Ski area photographer Larry Pierce featured in Artwalk show |

Ski area photographer Larry Pierce featured in Artwalk show

Margaret Hair

— Getting his start photographing surfers in the 1970s, then-Hawaii resident Larry Pierce could get the shot he wanted in two ways: He could stand on the shore or he could get in the water.

Things got boring fast standing on the shore with a gigantic camera lens, so Pierce usually opted for the closer, more action-oriented shot. That approach has served Pierce well in his 15-plus years as photographer for Steamboat Ski Area.

Pierce traded sand for snow when he moved from Hawaii to Steamboat Springs almost 30 years ago. A collection of some of the winter photos he has taken since he made the move is on display at Steamboat Ski & Sport at Howelsen Place. A free reception for the show is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. The event is part of First Friday Artwalk.

The collection of photos includes samples of Pierce's personal work and images he shot for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. during the past 15 to 20 years, he said. The show came together in collaboration with Ski Corp. as a way for Pierce to display and sell work he felt could hold its own in a downtown location.

Capturing the Western lifestyle is as much a part of Pierce's job as capturing skiers tearing through fresh snow, he said. Shots of cowboys and ranch scenes make up a good portion of the collection featured for First Friday.

"There's something about the Western feel. … It's just inspirational, and I have always been drawn to shooting that Western mystique," Pierce said.

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A background in stock photography and lifestyle shoots gave Pierce a boost when he started taking pictures for the resort industry, he said. Since he started shooting Steamboat in the mid-'80s, Pierce has turned in photos of skiing, winter scenes, town life, summer scenes and more. In his non-resort photography, Pierce covers a variety of action sports; travels to warm locales such as Fiji, Sumatra, Japan and Hawaii; and has had photos appear in magazines including Time, Rolling Stone, Newsweek and National Geographic Tra­veler.

Of all the fine art, lifestyle, commercial, sports and editorial photos Pierce has taken, his favorite shot holds closer to his start in beach photography than it does to recent experience on powder days: A group of dolphins breaking a wave.

If you go

What: Reception for photographer Larry Pierce

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, part of First Friday Artwalk

Where: Steamboat Ski & Sport at Howelsen Place

Cost: Free

Call: 871-5351


To find more information about photographer Larry Pierce and to see a broad range of his work, go to

Read about more First Friday Artwalk shows in Friday’s Explore Steamboat entertainment guide in the Steamboat Today.