My story

I'm one of those. My grandfather gave me a camera barely out of junior high school, along with a small contact printing device and some developing PARAPHERNALIA. I was immediately hooked, and looking at slides in never to fade kodachrome he shot on trips all over didn't help. When I was off to college it took only minor missteps in other majors like Poly sci and psychology to send me into the arts. I studied PHOTOGRAPHY of course, also film and art history, drawing, lithography and screen PRINTING. my life drawing prof looking over my shoulder one day politely asked "You are in photography eh?". at my affirmative reply he nodded VIGOROUSLY, repeating "good, good" as he walked off. drawing was not my thing.........

I "came into the country" as has been said of other places, in 1973. i woke my first morning in the capitol creek valley near aspen having driven in the night before seeing nothing in the darkness. the window of my room looked directly at mt sopris, and the line of high ridges connecting it eventually with capitol, daly, and the rest of the elk mountains. a BRILLIANT  labor day morning, there was snow down to the tree line, and early high aspen groves glowed a brilliant yellow gold. i was there for a winter and stayed 8 years. when i ran off to other pursuits, meaningful work, relationship and family, it was the world of advertising photography that grabbed me and gave me all those things and more. i never forgot that view, it was branded in the depth of my being. a long meaningful and beautiful 30 years in the city followed. a time i richly enjoyed, learned from, raised and mentored children in, and dealt with the fires of relationships, economic disaster and physical injury. I saw all the joy and sorrows of having and losing parents, watching children born and grow up, and as may be said, seeing them changes, both expected and shocking, in self and others.

tongue in cheek i say that i returned to the aspen area four years ago since "the kids are grown up so i no longer have to be". this expresses my approach more than reality. i seek quietness after the crucible of raising a family and the high anxiety of business ownership as a studio advertising photographer. i am fantastically rewarded to have made a toe hold in this new life, and the images on this website are part of my way of making it all work. the oldest image on the site is one i shot shortly after i arrived in aspen in 1973, just a week or two after I woke up and saw sopris dusted in snow with the fire of fall aspen at its flanks. a nicely circular tale. all the above is my why, read on to know the how and it's meaning for myself and perhaps for you.

the Story of mountain light

always shot outdoors since the first days of my time in colorado.hike, bike, camp, road trips, brought the cameras, my work provided both knowledge and quality equipment to have results worth sharing. about 2004 i was getting a bit burnt out on advertising, and thought it would be fun, perhaps profitable, and at least different to do something besides torture my family with all the images of colorado and the west I had taken over the years. had a friend in the ad biz, up in frisco, co who was doing outdoor shows and thinking about a gallery. i approached him for some ideas and next thing you know I was finding FULFILLMENT from selling an image i was the sole creator of, rather than as in advertising where the model is to fill a client need. wow!! fun, almost could see a way to change a living and lifestyle and so kept at it. the "great recession" caused a 5 plus year hiatus. today my booth at the aspen saturday market is a great outlet for the images you see here, along with a gallery or two. we (I) are honing our web sales skills which this new site is a big part of. we are happy which is really the point isn't it?


i was and still am fascinated by the processes of photography. the moment of capture has changed little with digital imaging. the supplicant must be there with intention, be present to the moment, be willing to wait, to sometimes make others wait, be aware of the moment's awesome presence or be able to discern that no, this is not it. then one must be a student of light, time, graphics, sun angle and the calendar. Waiting, PERHAPS for another day, better clouds, more green, Yellow, a different season, those @$%&#*!! elk to move into the right spot and more. i spend hours sometimes or even years looking at a picture. i revisit, rethink, reimagine, refrain from settling, retake, replace when i get a result better than the attempt I thought was it. i lassoed a wife  into a 7 plus hour excursion to steamboat springs from denver, a 2.5-3 hr trip. we scouted a route we had never taken before and with no hurry i was able to see new possibilities. some i am still returning to 5 plus years later looking for the light, angle, weather, time, always the finding of time, wildlife, season, and deep inspiration from all of them.


when I am asked to tell where a particular shot was taken so the person can "go get the same shot", i smile and tell them. but here's the deal. you can't take them, i did. stand in the same spot it won't be the same moment, light, weather, karma, technique, openness, willingness, and so much more. it's ok, you can easily possess my image, and not make the arduous trip. that's part of why I do it, to share what I have found and what i am learning to find increasingly well, I hope! what you may i hope get out of these images is simple. the images are an attempt to share a moment, a feeling, a sliver of time that i tried to exert creative control over. you may possibly during a good deep viewing smell an odor, hear a breeze, feel the wind and cold, sense the warmth of the sun, be stunned by the stillness, tremble that the beast may look at you. if we are lucky perhaps you feel the same shiver up your spine I felt when the elements conspired to birth a moment cartier-BREsson called decisive. i hope so, it's a feeling like few others i am addicted to. it approaches and can exceed love, rapture, being out of your body, transcendent lovemaking, incredible powder skied more truly than ever before. to be more succinct (once in a while i try), if one of my images transports or moves you, then it  has succeeded for us both. thanks for that, let me know if you care to share.


my tools are pentax dslr cameras and lenses, tripods, mac computers and epson printers along with my feet, a big yukon xl i can sleep in, occasionally skis and even a taxi at times. i am exploring use of the iphone artistically. a course at the anderson ranch center for the arts in SNOWMass village, co summer of 2016 helped with the iphone efforts. these are largely street and or other very in the moment images. Check out the gallery for these images, few now but more to come.

I have been exploring the photomerge functions of photoshop, which allow me to create very large file panoramas suitable for prints the size of africa, as one of my daughters likes to say when she is expressing something is huge. there is a separate section of these on the site. my use and understanding of both photoshop and lightroom continue to grow and change. I use both with a light hand, seeking to get into the print the depth and color of the scene, and trying mightily not to EXAGGERATE this as so many do. I never digitally alter the scene. Had a potential client request i remove a particular part visible on the huge bull moose you can see in my wildlife gallery. I refused to geld the beast in the name of making a sale and would do that again anytime. 

images are printed by my hand using an epson 7600 24" roll professional printer. when it came out this machine was the drug of choice for fine art reproductions at the boston museum of fine art. you may have heard of them. point being the inks are archival, the prints do not fade in 150 years, and the color gamut (lingo for range sorry) is as good as it gets. if i ever wear out the printer and can find a larger studio i will move from the 24" width to a 44" or 60" width. the thing will be easily 3 times the size of my 7600 and would need it's own room, a big one. for now my incredible friends at reed photo in denver will be called on to print anything larger than the 7600 can handle which is 24" by a long roll. they already do all my mounting, laminating, and are the absolute best at the popular new metal prints in the land.

website thoughts

a new site as I have said. the shopping cart function will be available by mid june. i am hoping it will offer sizes well related to output resolution so if you do not see a large size for a given image the file will not support sizes larger than listed at a clarity and quality I am comfortable with. there can be some exceptions, mostly for installations that do not allow for close up viewing. if in doubt use the contact page and get a hold of me. i always enjoy a printing challenge.

i am open to any input about glitches, typos, bad spelling etc. don't bother about run on sentences, that was a stylistic choice for the blog and this page. deal with it and i pretty much converse the same way.

if you read this far you might as well go ahead and order something because you obviously are interested. contact me if you need or desire advice on an image or it's mounting and installation. If you are in the aspen area as I am, I will bring a few sample mounts and images along with my laptop to aid in an on site conversation. might even hang the print for you.

thanks in advance!

Pete Grannis