Business Before Blogging (Photography Business That Is)

I’d like to thank the many, many visitors that have visited and subscribed to this blog and its many postings, and who to this day continue to help make my business profitable.  I’ve enjoyed creating and sharing Telluride-specific content here very much, and now I have so much going on in other photography-related work that this will be my last post.  As off-season rolls into Telluride at this time, a great many projects are looming.  Most of these are photography projects, for which I am grateful!  This work has seen my blogging slow down here in recent times as you may have noticed- as I’ve been too busy out shooting for my business to have much time left to blog about various goings-on in Telluride…  I am not complaining at all- I LOVE IT! 

I can still be reached through Telluride Photography’s Main Website for any inquiries that you may have, and beginning in June I will be operating Merrick Chase Photography out of Boulder, Colorado, where I will provide photographic services to clients all over Colorado’s Front Range- in addition to continuing to serve the southwestern Colorado area with Telluride Photography.  Thanks for visiting, please visit both sites and have a look around there if you haven’t before- as well as at the many entries here on this blog.  If you’d like to hire a photographer in the Telluride or Front Range areas, you know where to find me.

All the best,

Merrick Chase- Owner and Operator of Telluride Photography

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Gold Hill Gallery Photo Contest Winning Entry… by Merrick Chase of Telluride Photography

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Telluride Photography’s Merrick Chase took top honors with ‘Main Street With Colors Ablaze,’ the winning entry in Gold Hill Gallery’s 1st annual Photo Contest…  for the best ‘Overall Telluride’ category, and the ‘Best Overall’ in the contest.  To view this image in full screen, as well as to purchase this print in a variety of sizes,  CLICK HERE.  Thank you to the Telluride Ski Resort for putting on the contest, and to all of the voters for your votes.  Thanks for looking!

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The Telluride Comedy Festival Rolls Into Town For Four Hilarious Nights At the Sheridan Opera House

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The Funny People take over the stage at the Sheridan.

Four nights of gut-busting, laugh-out-loud fun took place at the Sheridan Opera House  for the 12th year in a row as the Telluride Comedy Festival came to town February 17th-20th.

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Ed Helms of 'The Hangover,' 'The Office,' and 'Cedar Rapids,' among other favorites, performs Saturday night.

The bill was heavy-hitting per usual,  hosted by Telluride’s own Jeb Berrier and featuring the likes of comedians Ed Helms, Tig Notaro, Seth Morris, Brian Huskey, Jason Mantzoukas, Jamie Denbo, Jessica Chaffin, Jon Daly, Scot Armstrong and Nick Kroll.

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Scot Armstrong (L), writer of the movies 'Old School,' 'Starsky & Hutch,' and 'The Hangover II,' gets deep into some improv with Jason Mantzoukas (R) and Brian Huskey (kneeling), while Seth Morris and Jon Daly look on.

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Tig Notaro of 'The Sarah Silverman Show' reflects back to one second ago.

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Bobby Bottleservice, aka Nick Kroll of FX's hit comedy 'The League,' gets serious about security.

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Comedians are not afraid of the dark, apparently.

If you missed Comedy Fest this year, don’t make the same mistake again next year.

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Be THERE Now “Where Life is Good” on Pacific Avenue, in Telluride

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The staff at there.

If you live in Telluride and haven’t yet heard of  ‘there,’ then you’ve either been out of town all winter or else you’re hard of hearing.  “The best cocktails I’ve ever had, hands down” said one happy patron… “ and I don’t mean in Telluride; I mean anywhere.” What’s all the buzz about?  Well, you really should stop on by to see for yourself.

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there: You may just find yourself surrounded by a lot of new friends.

The hip and eclectic there, located on the West Side of town at 627 W. Pacific Ave, is one part upscale cocktail bar, one part uncommonly good restaurant, and two parts easygoing and interactive social experience.  “Walking into there just feels so comfortable,” said local  Jessica Kerr.  “I feel completely at home, and yet at the same time I feel like I’m not even in Telluride.”  Ms. Kerr is certainly not the only person to express this sentiment.

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You may feel like you're somewhere else...

According to Kerr, there and its appeal are no accident. “Tyler [there owner, Andrew Tyler- who goes by his last name] mixes his experience and know-how with his own creativity and originality to come up with something unique and completely unlike anything else in Telluride,” Kerr said.  The entirely custom design of the place may be the first thing to set one’s senses adrift.  A reclaimed bedroom dresser  makes up the centerpiece of the bar, while former tractor seats adorn artfully welded steal bases and serve as comfortable bar stools.

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The tractor seats come from Akron, Ohio.

Two aspen trees rise up from the floor and through one of the tables to the pressed tin ceiling where lightbulbs hang  from their twisted cords in  light wire cages.  An old-fashioned popcorn machine is always in operation, churning out a proprietary spiced blend of popcorn day and night.

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A mask that looks like it must have come from Carnival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil sits amidst bottles of hand-picked liquor on the bar next to a silver tea kettle and a child’s toy version of a silver six-shooter from the Old West.

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The bar at there.

Somehow each one of these seemingly small details goes a long way towards achieving an overall effect and feel that is truly original, artful- and hip-  without being the least bit pretentious.  Something really is going on at ‘there,’ and you can feel it the moment you walk in the door.

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there doesn’t stop at intelligent and artful props and interior design, however.  These may draw one in at first, but it’s the food and drink- and the welcoming feel- that keep the cozy space filled with a steady flow of customers from 3pm to close daily.  Owner Andrew Tyler brought with him to there eight years of experience in the high end restaurant industry, serving most recently as beverage director for the Nobu Restaurants program in New York for the past several years.  “I’m seeking to create an ever-changing, constantly updating experience of different flavors and textures for the palate… through the cocktails and food offerings that we serve,” Tyler said.

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there offers several varieties of specialty jelly drinks on the menu, among many other specialties.

Quite a few customers profess Tyler to be a mind reader, quite literally capable of mixing up a drink from scratch in one of his shiny steel mixing containers that matches their mood and taste precisely.  Okay, maybe they gave him a couple of hints to go on, but apparently Tyler excels at the fine art form of ‘the cocktail’ and especially at concocting them on-the-fly to match a person’s fancy.

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Tyler pours one of there's specialty martinis.

To see the staff at there in action is to witness professionals working hard- and lovingly- at their craft.  Drinks are not just made at there, they are crafted. The movie ‘Cocktail’ may have passed for cool some twenty-odd years ago, but the showmanship at there is the real deal.  Tyler and fellow bartender Oshane are seasoned pros and it shows.  They love what they do, and the fun they have while working behind the bar is contagious.

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Bartender Oshane mixes it up on a Saturday night.

These guys move quickly and with grace.  They’re smooth, mixing concoctions like medicine men in a traveling road show, shaking their mixes with fervor, raising their pours high, always smiling, always the showmen, always in tune.

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Have a shot of 'good times' right in your drink.

Part two of there is of course, as mentioned, the food; and as owner Tyler says, “It’s all about the variety of flavors and textures.”  The textures being served up at there were heavily influenced by Tyler’s experiences- and friends- in the restaurant industry.  Tyler wound up in Telluride because of a friendship with Siam restaurant owner Jeff Badger, and the idea to create somewhat of a symbiosis with Siam was laid from the beginning.  Offering Asian ‘bites’ on the menu with a Siam flair was one way to ensure that customers would feel comfortable at both (neighboring) places.  From the Siam influenced lettuce and soy paper wraps to the restaurant tostados, a specialty sushi roll or shiitake sticky buns to the extremely satisfying ramen soups or dessert offerings, the food at there has received nothing but rave reviews.

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The bench tables at there can be reserved for parties of five or more.

Other influences on there’s cuisine and atmosphere came from friends of Tyler’s who run the top Manhattan restaurant Momofuku (sticky buns) as well as friends at La Esquina (tostados), a neighborhood bar in the area where Tyler used to live in New York.  “I wanted to create a place where people could come for a bite and something to drink and feel at home with whomever came in…  The space works very well for that kind of interacting.”

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Patrons at there, where apparently, "Everyone knows your name."

If the scene at there on any given afternoon or evening is any indication, I think that Tyler got it right.  “It feels like Cheers to me,” said Sean Farshchi, a part-time Telluride resident. “As silly as that may sound, it really feels like when I go in there, that everybody does know my name; or if they walk in and they don’t know it, then they do after just five minutes.”

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there also comes equipped with a great soundtrack.  Boasting a wireless integrated online Sonos Music System with touchscreen Ipad controls, you’ll often find an exuberant (and confident) table of customers doing the DJ’ing- with quite literally any music that’s out there on tap and ready to play.  But don’t worry, Tyler and the staff at there reserve the right to pull the plug on DJ’s who miss the mark, and will cheerfully if not so subtlely have no hesitation in dropping hints to let you know that you should switch up the [awful] tune that you just selected.  Dance parties have been known to take place spontaneously when the right crowd of revelers pops in.

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Oshane gets down with one of the Ailey II dancers after their performance at the Palm Theater.

I must admit that my visits to there have proved Mr. Farshchi’s comments correct each time.  If I didn’t know everyone in the bar when I walked in, then I certainly knew at least the people sitting in my general vicinity after only a short amount of time.  It really is that kind of place, if you want it to be.  You can also feel every bit as comfortable keeping to yourself and the party you came with at any one of there’s tables.

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The food and drinks are every bit as good as everyone has been talking about, and that’s what I meant when I said ‘you’d need to be deaf to have not heard about there.’  Everyone is raving about it.  If you haven’t been yet, then I suggest you go- today.  I also recommend having Tyler make up a drink for you from thin air based on your mood.  Just give him a couple of things to steer by.  Aside from being genuinely friendly, accomodating, well-traveled, and intelligent (he’s considering going back to school for a law degree one day), he can make one helluva drink- try him.  And boy does he run a great establishment.

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The staff of there ham it up because they can.

The team at there is a big part of what makes the place work from what I can tell; the people out front as well as in back, and the staff never miss an opportunity to delight a customer.  Look out for the other front-of-house staff members, the lovely ladies Pia and Nicole, who will serve you with a smile and equal parts enthusiasm, beauty, and kindness.

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Are we there yet? "Life is good," as owner Tyler says. "Life is good."

there is open from 3pm daily, until they close.  You can reach them at (970) 728-1213 or Click Here to visit their website. Please feel free to click on any of the images above to view them larger as there is a great place to see as well as be…

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Hiking Telluride’s Palmyra Peak

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Setting out for the Peak from the top of Lift 12.

Friday afternoon, February 11th was a perfect day for hiking at Telluride.  The fresh snow of several days before had been all but skied out for the most part and it was a perfect bluebird Colorado day.

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Black Iron bowl dropping off to the left, Palmyra at top right of frame.

Shortly after 11 am while riding up Gold Hill Lift 14, we got the tip that Palmyra Peak had just been opened for the first time since the storm.  This was going to be good.

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My two ski buddies and I had all brought small packs to haul our skis, so it was only a matter of heading directly to Prospect Lift 12 once we topped out on 14.  We’d initially thought of only hiking ‘up and over the hump,’ the quick-ish twenty-plus minute climb up to Mountain Quail, but it didn’t take long to figure out that a day like this was too perfect to stop there.

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The view from atop Mountain Quail.

The hike gets progressively steeper once passing Mountain Quail…

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The top once again comes into view.

The incredible panoramic views of the San Juans also grow with altitude.

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Looking over the ridge into Black Iron Bowl.

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Stopping for fuel.

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Looking down from near the top, Gold Hill Chutes visible at right.

Arriving at the top elevation of 13,320 feet after just over an hour of hiking proved exhilerating.  A friendly local tossed us a beer to share as we got our gear together for the descent .  Nearly 2,000 feet of virtually untracked waist-deep powder was waiting for us!  As far as choice of lines went, well… Decisions, decisions, decisions…

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The author and buddies Shane and Tyler get ready to get some, in a big way.

And that was it.  Well, aside from the 1,900-plus feet of waist-deep powder that I mentioned earlier.  It was a glorious day,  not a cloud in the sky.  Barely a soul in sight, except for several other hikers whom we met at the top.   I’m sorry, but there are no glorious pictures to follow from our way down Palmyra.  The camera was put away, and after a fantastic hike it was time to just ski.

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POWDER DAY- AGAIN

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Been a while since my last post.  That’s because I’ve spent the better part of January assisting my son with applications to boarding schools for next fall.  Wish him luck! Thank you…  Now, back to [photo] business.  Smiles were big all around today after snow fell most of the day yesterday and into the night, creating the phenomenon known worldwide as simply ‘Powder Day.’  Also, the temperature barely got above 10 degrees today- even in the sun-  so the people you see in these pictures really wanted to be out there.  Including me.

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CHRIS AND HALEY’S WINTRY WEDDING, 1/11/11

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Chris and Haley were wed on Tuesday at noon on a beautiful balcony at Capella overlooking Mountain Village and the Telluride Ski Area.  Alpine Chapel Pastor Tree Cooper performed the ceremony. As the day grew later, it day would turn out to be one of the coldest days so far this winter, but that didn’t stop Haley from enjoying her beautiful wedding dress as if it were summertime and posing for a host of photos around Telluride.

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