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Find Unfiltered Beauty

Filter Free Zones are places that are magnificent just the way they are. So much so that adding a filter would only ruin the authentic beauty of the shot. Challenge your skills, manipulate the lighting, be guided by the weather, and let the pure essence of your subjects come forward.

Your Guide to Colorado's Filter Free Zones

Filter Free Zones
Ditch The Filter

Mystic San Luis Valley is beautiful enough as it is. 

Filter Free Zones
Capture Moments and Personalities

Authenticity is more important than likes on Instagram. 

Filter Free Zones
Let Reality Do The Talking

Nature, weather and people will tell the story better than a photo ever could. 

Blanca Wetlands.
Frankie Spontelli

How To Mindfully Travel Around Mystic San Luis Valley

A local travel photographer embarked on a road trip around the San Luis Valley. The only catch: he had to limit the number of photos he could take along the way. Find out how this process changed his perspective on photography. 

Where To Find Our Filter Free Zones

sand dunes
Great Sand Dunes

Don’t subdue the colors of this raw natural wonder with a filter; let the hues and textures speak for themselves.

Old Veta Pass
Uptop / Old La Veta Pass

Weather is the ultimate filter at Old La Veta Pass. Depending on the time of year, historic buildings gleam with snow, mountains blush in the sun or crunchy leaves dull the landscape.

Spanish Peaks
Great Dikes of the Spanish Peaks

The granite walls of the Great Dikes serve as their own kind of filter, its appearance shifting at every hour of the day. 

Silver Thread Historic Byway

No filters on the Silver Historic Byway, especially not monochrome ones. This route is color-filled; take in the bright hues of the lakes, trees and sandstone as you journey

Farley Wildflower Overlook
Farley Wildflower Overlook

Designated a Filter Free zone thanks to its springtime colors, rendering it more vibrant than any manufactured filter could ever achieve.

Mount Blanca
Mount Blanca & Mount Lindsey

Included in the Filter Free Zone since the rugged edges and soaring majesty of these peaks say more than a filter ever could. 

Blanca Wetlands.
Blanca Vista and Blanca Wetlands

You don’t need a filter to enhance your photos at Blanca Wetlands. Simply point your camera downward and capture shapes, colors and textures in the water’s reflection.

Elephant Rock
Elephant Rocks 

Who needs filters when shooting these unique boulder formations? There are so many cool photography techniques you can try instead. 

Cochetopa Pass
Hwy 114 from Saguache to Gunnison / Cochetopa Pass

You may feel like the windscreen is hampering your view as you drive along Highway 114. Kind of like how a filter would….

Stations of the Cross
Shrine of the Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross Shrine is stunning in its own right. Add in the mountainous backdrop at sunset and it’s a sight better than any photoshop job could hope to achieve.

North Clear Creek Falls
North Clear Creek Falls

No filters needed at North Clear Creek Falls. Slow the shutter speed down and capture this 100-foot force of nature in all its glory.

Creede town

Take a walk through this vibrant small town and you'll understand why it’s a Filter Free Zone. Let the colors, sounds and events represent Creede’s heart, instead of a filter. 

Hwy 112 Canyon Drive
Highway 112 Canyon Drive

Turn up the music, not the saturation. This highway was selected to encourage you to embrace your present journey without thinking about uploading it to Instagram later. 

More Ways to Million Dollar Shot

There’s more to San Luis Valley than what’s in frame. To grow as a photographer, live the conscientious photography principles with us by stepping back from the viewfinder and refocusing on the moment. 

Find out how you can take the challenge to make your photos more authentic, considered and meaningful. 

Shutter Speed Limits

 Welcome to the Shutter Speed Limit Zone where there’s a limit on the number of photos you can take. As the old saying goes, ‘Less is more’ and we promise your snaps will be richer for it.

Colorado Photo Preserves

When finding moments of beauty in Colorado, take additional care to ensure your practices leave no trace, so future generations can enjoy them for years to come.

Bachelor Loop

Take a Photography Detox in Mystic San Luis Valley

What would happen if you asked an influencer to put down their camera while on the road? Well, we put this very challenge to a Denver photographer. Find out what he learned along the way.