What's In Your Backyard?

Remember the interview I did on a podcast a while back with Andie Smith?  One of the things we talked about was that you don’t really have to travel a whole lot to be a travel photographer – that sometimes your best shots are in your own area.  Well, a local Denver magazine, 5280 Photo, just put out an article in their most recent issue that talks about 52 things to do in Colorful Colorado this year.  Naturally, many are photogenic too.  So, for a dose of inspiration, don’t forget to look at what’s around you!

Here’s a couple of my own “picks” for beautiful areas to shoot in Colorado:

  1. Mesa Verde National Park – an historical beauty of cliff dwellings from 600 years ago!  Would love to get out there and shoot some of this…consider it a top pick for 2010! (Even though 5280 says Spring is the best time – I’d say any time is better than no time!)
  2. Grand Lake – While Colorado is known for the Rocky Mountains, this largest lake is supposedly a great scenic place to shoot.  With accommodations nearby, it could be a great weekend getaway for you and someone special!  Best time of year according to 5280 is Summer.
  3. The Telluride Bluegrass Festival is something I’ve known about since my days as a youth growing up in Colorado.  I’ve never been, but now that I am back home, this is on my list of things to do this year.  Music, drinks, and great scenery.  Mark your calendars for the event this year from June 17-20 (I’ll try to get there too)!
  4. Great Sand Dunes National Park – friend of the blog Alex Saunders (see his work over at Tenuous Thread) has been there many times and I’ve seen some extraordinary shots from his portfolio in this area.  Supposedly a perfect time of year to visit is in the fall.
  5. Colorado Balloon Classic – Held every year in Colorado Springs over Labor Day weekend (so Fall is the only time to do this), the sights and scenery just beg to be photographed and if no family plans trump due to timing, we’re gonna be in the Springs this year!

For those interested in visiting Colorado, those are just some of the ideas I got from 5280 for hitting up this year.  There’s more of course (and I have some other ideas for nice weekend stuff too, but instead of going on with that – figured it’d be fun to see what others know and love about their own back yards!  So, as you sound off in the comments, consider this question:

If you had to pick just 5 places in your own state (and it can be Colorado for other locals), which would you pick for photography fun?

Consider your answers as we head into the weekend – have you scheduled your next getaway yet?  Do it now while you’re thinking about it and go have a ball (and take great photos too)!  Happy shooting and have a great weekend!

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5 comments for “What's In Your Backyard?

  1. April 9, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I’ve gotten to visit Mesa Verde and the Great Sand Dunes. Both amazing picks. Now, for my backyard, AZ?

    1. The Granite Dells. Located right outside my door, an amazing set of rock formations and cute little lakes. Great for landscapes, portraits, and wildlife. Of course, I still haven’t gotten a photo of the local mountain lion.

    2. Sedona. The redrocks are amazing. Oak Creek adds so much to scenes. Ancient ruins in several locations.

    3. Grand Canyon. About 2.5 hours from home. That’s a short drive for some of the most amazing scenery I’ve ever seen.

    4. The Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. Coyote Buttes North and South, White Pocket, Bucksking Gulch, Wire Pass, Paria Canyon……the list goes on. I could spend months shooting up there and not cover everything I want to.

    5. Page / Lake Powell Area. Scenes on the water, slot canyons, Rainbow Bridge, and more……

    Wow, I like my “back yard.”
    .-= Rich Charpentier´s last blog ..I just couldn’t help myself =-.

    • April 9, 2010 at 8:00 am

      Yours don’t count – that’s like the Mecca of back yard photography! LOL

  2. April 9, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Good posting Jason! Anxious to see/read about what you found in 5280 too.

    For us here in Colorado:

    1) Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park
    2) Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Northeast Denver suburbs
    3) Roxborough State Park & Arrowhead Golf Course, Southwest Denver suburbs
    4) Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs
    5) Chautauqua Park, Boulder
    and I know, only 5, but I can’t resist: 6) Pawnee Buttes National Grassland (May 1st, baby!)

  3. April 10, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    whoohoo! backyard travel!!
    1. the Fort Worth Stockyards,
    2. The Hill Country during the spring/wildflower sason
    3. Palo Duro Canyon
    4. Cado Lake
    5. The gulf coast.

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