Bizwatch: Wilderness Wonders gallery in Vail Village |

Bizwatch: Wilderness Wonders gallery in Vail Village

Special to the DailyWildlife and nature photographer Tony Newlin recently opened a new Wilderness Wonders gallery in Vail Village. The original gallery has been open in Beaver Creek since 2005.

Business name: Wilderness Wonders by Tony Newlin.

Location: Vail Village 183 Gore Creek Drive Sitzmark Lodge Building

Date opened: We opened the Vail gallery Nov. 20. The original Beaver Creek gallery opened in 2005

Owner: Tony Newlin.

Contact info:

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What goods or services do you provide? Nature and wildlife photography. Our subjects include Colorado aspens, Alaskan brown bears, wolves, elk, scenics, and images from around the world. All of our images are printed as giclees on either canvas or watercolor paper. The lack of reflection and the rich colors make for incredible images.

Additionally, we’re featuring world class petrified wood tables and bookends to compliment the images. They are amazing artifacts of nature that you have to see in person to appreciate.

What’s new or exciting at your place? The eight- and 10-foot-long panoramic images! They’re like looking out a window into a beautiful grove of autumn-colored aspens. Or you can sit alongside a massive brown bear as it fishes for salmon, or share the view of Mount McKinley with a bull caribou.

What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? Each of my photographs portrays an authentic wilderness image. I simply strive to share nature with my clients as I experience it – nothing more and nothing less. I continue to find the fact that I don’t use filters, captive animals, artificial light, or digital manipulation to be unique among nature photographers. I take pride in presenting authentic moments in nature and hope my clients appreciate and value the high standards of my work.

Also, we’re the only photography gallery I know of that only prints giclees. I’ve compared the quality of the giclees to normal photographs and found the giclees to be superior in sharpness and color saturation. We use a special high temperature laminator to mount and coat the giclees. The ultra-smooth presentation can’t be duplicated by a normal frame shop. Most important, the lack of glass prevents the annoying reflections associated with glass. The end result is what I believe is the best and most enjoyable display possible for a photograph.

What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? “Art from the heart of the wilderness” is a phrase that embodies the critically important values in my work. My ultimate goal is to convey a unique wilderness moment never to be duplicated using magical natural light illuminating a single moment in time.

I respect wilderness and experience nature on its terms. This means kayaking with orcas instead of approaching them in a large noisy boat, sitting and waiting for animals to become comfortable and approaching me versus encroaching on them. My passion is experiencing, sharing and preserving wilderness. Finally, I donate 5 percent of my profits to organizations working to preserve wilderness.

Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: As a native of northern New Mexico, I grew up exploring the spectacular wilderness in southwestern Colorado and was fortunate to visit the Northern Rockies several times as a child. I began photography as a means to capture and share the inspiring wilderness I experienced. I never received any formal photographic training and remain hesitant to take too much credit for my images – after all, nature did all the hard work.

I was artistically inspired by a childhood mentor who was the most amazing artist I’ve even known. She took me under her wing and taught me about art. Although I originally journeyed down a technology and business road, my passion for experiencing wilderness and sharing it with others eventually lead me onto my current path. Today, I utilize my engineering training to ensure my clients the highest quality image possible with the most innovative and state of the art technology.

What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? Things have been pretty normal at the gallery since we opened, so I’d like to share a funny story from one of my wilderness adventures. While photographing brown bears in Alaska this summer, my friend and I were camped about 100 yards from a salmon stream. At sunset, we watched a bear splashing around chasing salmon in the river. As I drifted off to sleep that night, I remembered hearing more splashing.

When I got up the next morning, I headed toward the stream to see if there were any bears around. I was barely out of my tent when I saw the head of bear rise up from the swaying grass about 75 feet away. The bear from the night before decided to spend the night in close proximity to our camp! We just looked at each other for a while, then he got up and headed downstream to continue fishing.

I realize most people don’t find this funny. When the rivers are full of salmon and there are several bears around, they’re easy be around. I take a lot of precautions, of course: We carry bear spray, sleep with an electric fence around camp, never approach bears, and more. The part I find the most humorous is the reaction people have when I tell them a 600-pound brown bear slept less than 100 feet from our tent in Alaska – it cracks me up every time!

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