Nature photographer Mangelsen holds reception today |

Nature photographer Mangelsen holds reception today

Margaret Hair

— Earlier this week, nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen spent part of a day with a family of river otters in Yellowstone National Park.

"I've been trying to get otter pictures for years and haven't been very successful with it," Mangelsen said. With a goal in mind to capture the otters in action, Mangelsen stuck close to the river and spotted some otters fishing. He followed the group for about half a mile upstream as the animals popped in and out of the icy water and took a few minutes to play in the snow on the riverbank.

For more than 30 years, Mangelsen has captured animals in their natural states, traveling across the United States and the world to collect images that have appeared in multiple books, magazines such as National Geographic, TV shows such as "Good Morning America" and venues such as the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

Mangelsen will be at his Images of Nature gallery on Lincoln Avenue from 6 to 9 p.m. today for a free public reception. He'll share stories from his recent travels, sign copies of his books, sign prints and showcase new pieces.

"It's just a time for me to meet some of the collectors and people who are interested in my work," Mangelsen said.

The day before his otter adventure, Mangelsen shot about 10 photos, he said. On the hunt for otters the next day, he also found a pair of bald eagles mating and wolves and bighorn sheep that prompted more than 1,000 shots. Things change from day to day on a nature shoot, he said.

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"Part of it is opportunist, and part of it is focusing your energy on searching for certain animals that over the years I have become accustomed to finding," Mangelsen said. The Yellowstone shots are for an upcoming book collaborating with author Paul Johnsgard about the park's wildlife and landscapes.

In the next year, Mangelsen hopes to travel to Brazil, Iceland and Kenya for photo projects. Work takes him to countries all across the world, and there's no way to exhaust all the options, Mangelsen said. Pandas in China and wildlife varieties in Madagascar are on the list for future projects, he said.

In the years since he became accustomed to watching wildlife by hunting as a boy in Nebraska, Mangelsen has opened 16 Images of Nature galleries, including locations in Steamboat, Breckenridge and Denver. Learn more about the photographer at

If you go

What: An evening with Thomas D. Mangelsen, nature photographer

When: 6 to 9 p.m. today

Where: Images of Nature,

730 Lincoln Ave.

Cost: Free

Call: 871-1822

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