Telluride Outside is a teaching-oriented, beginner friendly company and nowhere is this more evident than in our photography guide service. Experienced photographers have a field day on these trips, but as a beginner or intermediate, you will learn more than you can imagine under the guideance of our friendly professionals. Telluride is the ultimate training ground for beginners because there is such a wide variety of subject matters all within a stone's throw. With the instant feedback offered by digital cameras, you can see the results of your techniques and make adjustments for your next frame. Complete beginners consistently come home with "magazine cover" photos and techniques that will enhance your photography for the rest of your life.
Every visitor to our town is struck by the plain fact that Telluride is among the most breathtaking mountain settings we will ever experience. The San Juan Mountains speak to the photographer in a voice unique from any other range. Iconic picturescapes, such as Wilson Peak, Bear Creek and the view from Imogene Pass, are so numerous that they obscure the endless secrets of these mountains which unfold for the exploring photographer.
Our mission as a guide service is to reveal both the known and the unknown, to capture moments and places that occur uniquely, to guide photography enthusiasts on an unforgettable journey with knowledge that can come only from living in the mountains themselves.
Telluride through the lens of the beholder
Soaring peaks, alpenglow, waterfalls, wildflowers, aspens, historic ghost towns, rivers, canyons, wildlife and people; Telluride’s appeal encompasses all of Southwest Colorado and an inexhaustible range of subjects.
We tour from downtown Telluride to the highest mountain passes in America, the most famous historic mining camps in Colorado and through forests of aspen and fields of wildflowers. We also photograph Black Canyon National Park, the San Miguel, Dolores and Uncompahgre Rivers, herds of elk, soaring birds of prey and the trout that swim in our streams. We tour in the summer, fall, winter and spring, as each season casts unique highlights on the natural features of the land.
Special Tours in a Special Place
Themes and destinations ~ Each tour is customized to the interests of our clients. Recommended destinations include:
~ Telluride Alpina: Imogene Pass, Wilson Peak from “The Dairy Farm”, Lizard Head Pass, the Sneffles Range from Dallas Divide, Trout Lake, the Wilson and Yellow Mountain ranges
~ Telluride’s ghost towns: Tomboy and Alta
~ Wildflower tours to Yankee Boy Basin, Ophir Pass and Black Bear Pass
~ Waterfalls of Telluride: Bridal Veil, Ingram and Coronet Creek
~ Fall Colors tours to Black Mesa, Last Dollar Road, Alta, Ophir and Dunton
~ Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Two guides for the price of one
On our Telluride-based tours, you will actually have two guides, a local professional photographer and a 4-WD tour guide. Before and after your photo sessions, you’ll learn about Telluride’s colorful mining and geological history.
Ride in style
We travel in Telluride Outside’s customized 4-WD vehicles, which feature a spacious, raised seating area for our guests, configured in a horseshoe so every seat is a “window” seat. These open-air vehicles have removable canvas canopies that provide protection from the elements without impairing the view. Each vehicle seats 8 guests comfortably, but we only book a maximum of 6 guests, who ride in the seating area along with our photography guide.
On each trip, we stop at length to photograph key elements of the landscape and other points of interest. Our photographer familiarizes guests with each site and provides coaching for optimizing the photography opportunity.
Review and critique
On full day tours, we split the am and pm touring times with a mid-day photo critique session with lunch at Telluride’s Ah Haa School for the Arts.
Half day sunrise or sunset tour
Sunrise tour times: approx. 5:00 am – 10:00 am spring, summer, fall
approx. 6:00 am – 10:30 am winter months
Sunset tour times: approx. 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm spring, summer, fall
approx. 3:00 pm – 7:30 pm winter
Full day sunrise or sunset tour
Spring, summer and fall: approx. 5:00 am – 10:00 am + 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Photo critique and lunch: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Black Canyon National Park or Mesa Verde tours
Full day tour $450 pp, tour times approximately 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Half day Black Canyon tour with Montrose airport pick up or drop off
$350 pp, minimum 2 guests, tour time pairs flight arrival or departure with a sunrise or sunset tour in Black Canyon National Park
What to bring, what to expect
Most of TellurideOutside’s photography tours are “adventure photography” experiences. We travel to remote areas at high elevation in varying whether conditions through the changing seasons. The following attire and equipment are recommended for our guests:
~ Layered clothing, including a warm jacket and hat
~ Rain jacket
~ Warm gloves (winter and shoulder seasons)
~ Solid footwear, such as hiking boots
~ Sun glasses
~ Digital camera and tripod
~ Extra camera battery
~ Small backpack or duffel for extra clothes
~ Bottled water
Telluride Outside provides the following
~ Emergency ponchos
~ Bottled water
~ Lunch (full day tours only)
Telluride Outside’s photography tours emphasize time and place over technical instruction in the use of cameras. Each participant should be familiar with the use of his or her camera, as our photographers will not have time to learn the particulars of each camera’s functions. Inexperienced participants are welcome and advised to bring a point-and-shoot digital camera. Our tours are highly interactive, so some technical instruction will be provided, but the focus will be on the subject matter rather than the equipment. In photo critique sessions, our photographers will briefly discuss Photoshop techniques for editing images, but critique sessions will focus on photo content rather than editing methods.