Where to Photograph in Denver, Colorado
While working on my bucketlist is a passion, I have to say that some of my favorite places to photograph are in my hometown of Denver, CO.
One of the best parts of Denver is it offers a little of everything. There is a unique city skyline when you look east and a massive mountainous skyline when you look west. You can go from shooting in an urban setting downtown to photographing a gorgeous sunset in the mountains, 20-25 minutes later. While Denver offers countless photography spots, I have listed a few of my favorites. I will break it down to the surrounding areas and then Downtown Denver.
Denver's surrounding areas include the front range, Denver International, Red Rocks and a whole host of other hidden gems. Below are some of my favorite areas:
1. Denver International Airport
Denver International offers some incredible views backed by the Rocky Mountains. It also has some incredible arcitecture.
I haven't shot a lot out here but I know that there are a few prime locations. The first spot is off of 114th Ave at the North end of the airport. You will get some great approach shots here. The second shot is on the South end of the airport off 68th Ave. From this angle you can get some great mountain/airport shots. Another prime location is in Terminal C. The picture below was taken at sunset from inside the terminal. I waited there until I was able to capture some landing aircraft.
2. Red Rocks
Red Rocks is absolutely stunning, easy to get to and full of amazing photography locations. For this area I suggest going to the stairs of the amphitheater for a great sunrise or go to the surrounding trails if you're looking to do some portrait photography. I recently used this location for some senior photos.
3. Lakeside Amusement Park
Lakeside is one of the oldest attractions in Denver, dating back to 1908. I don't think I trust the park enough to actually ride any of the rides since its main rollercoaster looks like a tetanus wielding death trap, but it does make for some great shots. You can get a great shot of the theme park reflecting off the water from Lake Rhoda to the West. I also like this spot for drone photography.
The Highlands is Denver's up and coming area with no shortage of eclectic shops, great restaurants and awesome views. One of my favorite places to photograph is on the corner of Speer and Zuni. Now I know some plaid wearing, Lumineers listening, poetry writing, lumbersexual probably just spit their half-calf latte all over the place when I said that Speer and Zuni was the Highlands... Technically it's Sunny Side. For some people that's a big difference. But at that specific corner you get a great view of Denver and I-25. Another choice spot is at Avante that gives you a great sunset location. You can bring your camera and get some great shots while overstuffing your face with Arepas and one of Colorado's thousand microbrews, while you pretend to be able to taste the hint of chocolate and currants.
5. Mile High Stadium
Mile High Stadium is one of Denver's most iconic spots and even though the Broncos suck right now there is still plenty to take photos of, throughout the year. One of my favorite spots to go is the Burger King parking lot at 18th and Federal. You can park in the back and get a phenomenal sunrise. In addition, if you get lucky, you can get some pretty awesome drone shots of the stadium, but be careful about going into restricted airspace.
6. Colfax and Federal
If you pull over on Colfax and Federal there is an excellent bridge that goes over Colfax. This bridge offers some excellent, uninterrupted views of Denver. I have taken photos here both in the morning and at night and each time I get something amazing. Both of these spots are amazing for sunrise and sunset. If you choose sunrise get there before the sun comes up because as soon as it pops up over the city it’s pretty harsh and will drown out the actual city.
6. 16th Street Mall
I will transition to Down Town Denver now. If you want to get some great shots, pack your camera gear up and plan a late afternoon into evening downtown. You are guaranteed to get some awesome shots, I promise. One of my favorite places to start is the 16th Street Mall. While this place smells like weed and is full of homeless twenty somethings who are trying to find themselves it has some awesome angles, buildings and attractions to photograph. One tip is to go photograph right after it begins to snow downtown.
7. RTD Station and Union Station
Union Station offers some iconic photography locations as well as some unique spots that many people overlook. If you want one photo of Denver, Union Station is a good place to go. I like going there at night and getting shots of the trains coming and going.
8. 16th and Chestnut
Around the corner from Union Station there is a awesome stark-white bridge that makes for some great photographs. If you make it to Union Station, go walk a couple of extra blocks to the bridge.
9. Denver Court House
The Denver Court House is an awesome spot to photograph during the winter, especially around Christmas time. They always put up some pretty impressive lights that change throughout the night.
10. The Capitol Building
If you're at the Court House just turn around, you will see the Capitol Building. I could blab on about how awesome it is but it's pretty much like every other Capitol Building, but in Denver.
Other honorable mentions are:
Platte River- REI area is especially good
The Rail system- A huge rail system goes through Denver which offers some awesome train shots
City Park- If you go to City Park at sunset you will get some good sweeping shots of the Denver skyline and the mountains
Sloan's Lake- This is a great spot for sunrise shots from the
University of Denver Campus- Great shots of their buildings combined with student life
RiNo (River North if you want to picky)- Cool shots of street art