Derek Nielsen Photography

Painted Otter



Painted Otter


Telluride Colorado, 2023


Limited edition fine art print of 6 – One early morning in Telluride, I took my dog Dozy hiking up in the mountains for sunrise photography. It ended up being a cloudless sky, which is a photographer’s nightmare. So, we decided to make the best of it. The two of us set off deep into the Colorado wilderness, keeping a watchful eye for bears and mountain lions. At this point, fall was in peak colors. Oranges, reds, and yellows transformed the mountains into a kaleidoscope of color. We came across an alpine lake still as glass.


I photographed it from different angles but struggled to find an interesting composition. I heard the snapping of twigs and the rustling of leaves coming from the other side of the lake. Quickly, I switched to my 100-500mm f4.5-7.1L IS to capture whatever creature was making its way down to the lake. Dozy was on full attention. Then, the sweetest little creature slipped into the water and made its way in our direction. The otter made its way back and forth across the lake, looking for fish. The fall colors were glowing on the water where the little guy was fishing. Dozy and I sat quietly, with all 3 of us fully aware of each other’s presence. I captured this image and a few others before saying our goodbyes and continuing on with our hike further into the mountains. Photo © copyright by Derek Nielsen.

Additional information

Weight 5 lbs
Dimensions 48 × 3 × 32 in
Print Edition

Artist Proof, Limited Edition Print

Print Finish

Fine Art Photographic Print, Framed Lumachrome HD Fine Art Acrylic, Lumachrome HD Fine Art Acrylic

Print Size

16×24, 24×36, 32×48, 40×60