Local photographer’s vision captured in new gallery
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Just inside the doors of Kevin Dietrich’s Natural Exposure Gallery in downtown Steamboat Springs, there are moose, bears and some of the town’s most scenic landscapes captured in perfect light.
“I kept seeing more and more animals, so I ended up getting a little point and shoot, and then I got a little bigger lens, and now, I’m to the point of just the ridiculous stash of equipment,” Dietrich said of his start in photography. “I think it was just wanting to capture those memories and to be able to share them with family and friends.”
Dietrich grew up camping, hiking, fishing and enjoying the mountains near his home in New York. His appetite for the outdoors grew after moving to Steamboat Springs in 2002 and has inspired his desire to create the images that now hang in his new gallery.
Dietrich has been capturing those moments and photographing all kinds of wildlife including moose in the Tetons, grizzly bears romping through the water in Alaska and a pair of foxes enjoying the afternoon light at the iconic More Barn in Steamboat.
Many of those images, along with some of Routt County’s most scenic vistas captured through the lens of his camera, are on display inside his new gallery at 507 Lincoln Ave.
“The large majority of the images are wildlife from Alaska to Steamboat,” Dietrich said. “But I’m going to mix in some barn photos as well as some iconic Steamboat stuff.”
Dietrich said opening a gallery has been a long-time goal. It will be a place where he can share his work, as well as host small gatherings with real estate and photography clients, as well as friends. But with COVID-19 still in the headlines, those plans will have to wait.
“It’s certainly a passion project, and it was something that was on the life to-do list, “ he said. “The pandemic opened up some retail spots around town at better rates than normal, so I thought it was just an opportunity to do something to get a little more creative.”
The gallery will be located in a 300-square-foot section in the front of the Colorado Group Realty offices, where he is an owner and broker.
“It ties together well, so that I could come downstairs from my office, talk to the new brokers and then come into this space, which is all connected,” Dietrich said. “It was definitely a convenience play. If the gallery was on the other side of town, I think it might have been more challenging.”
The gallery is slated to open Feb. 1, and business hours are from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
In addition to large framed pieces, the gallery will offer matted prints, as well as rolled prints for those who wish to take the images home and get them framed where they live.
Dietrich is hoping the brick-and-mortar gallery will help drive new customers to his website, where they can see his complete lineup of wildlife and scenic prints from Steamboat, Alaska, British Columbia, Antarctica and Patagonia.
“It’s cool to see the big elk or the big moose — the impact of the photo really speaks for itself,” Dietrich said. “It’s cool to get them on the walls and have that sort of impact.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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It was a love story that brought Jason Erwin to Steamboat Springs from Nashville, Tennessee.