Your Ah Haa Moment: “Telluride Autumn Through the Lens” with Ellzey

Your Ah Haa Moment: “Telluride Autumn Through the Lens” with Ellzey

Image of aspens, Bill Ellzey

Image of aspens, Bill Ellzey

For Telluride Inside… and Out, this is personal. We own two Bill Ellzey photographs. The first, a black-and-white image, was a gift to Clint Viebrock for his 50th birthday. It depicts a calf being rescued from a ditch by two cowboys. We obtained the second print, a small color photograph of a delicate bird perched on a fern, at  one of Baerbel Hacke’s art auctions for the Telluride AIDS Benefit. Both photographs are classic Ellzey and bear the imprint of his nature: penetrating, focused, elegantly spare.They tell us life’s wonder is everywhere. Celebrate.

Friday – Sunday, September 27 –September 29, Bill Ellzey returns to town to teach a class in digital photography at Telluride’s Ah Haa School for the Arts. The workshop targets serious landscape photographers, who want to capture the dazzling beauty of the fall colors in our piece of the Four Corners region. The immersion will involve morning and evening location shooting, exposure techniques and in depth critiques of each student’s composition, light direction and quality, visual impact, mood, and more.

Decades ago, Bill Ellzey was a cowboy/photographer. He still cowboys occasionally, just to keep his hand in, on the family ranch in the Texas Panhandle. But his photography has taken him a long way from the Western images that were his first love.

Bill Ellzey has traveled from Australia to Egypt, from the Rockies in mid-winter to the jungles of Central America in mid-summer, with stops in Australia, Mexico, India, Ireland, China, Alaska, Japan and Chilean Patagonia. En route, his commitment to his profession led him to explore fine art, black and white, portraiture (classic and outdoor), sports action (rodeo to skiing), commercial, industrial, advertising, aerial, editorial assignments and stock photography (National Geographic Image Collection). His wonderful images can be found in books, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, calendars, galleries, annual reports and personal collections such as ours.

Bill got hold of his first camera in 1965 at age 20, just after completing university where he studied psychology and electrical engineering. He realized his passion for the art during a four-year hitch in the Air Force. Self-taught, Bill now teaches others.

Bill Ellzey founded Western Photo Workshops in Telluride, Colorado, and was its director for 11 years. Sought for his wide-ranging experience and easy lecturing style, he went on to teach for schools such as Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Winona International School of Professional Photography. Bill is also a respected juror for professional and amateur photographic exhibitions.

A writer as well as photographer, Bill’s articles have appeared in Photo District News, Outdoor Photographer, and Camera & Darkroom, to name a few.

Today Bill keeps a darkroom on the family ranch and another in the San Luis Valley in Crestone, Colorado, his current home base, where he lives in a self-built straw bale home.

Locally, Bill Ellzey is represented by the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art.

To learn more about Bill and his workshop, click the “play” button and listen to the interview we did in 2011. All of Bill’s answers to my questions about his life and work remain true. Only the dates indicated in the interview have changes (an are indicated above).

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