Artist Statement

Welcome to my website and taking the time to look at my photography. I photograph a number of subjects which include wildlife, landscapes and portraits of people including weddings, family gatherings, senior or graduation, children and babies. I also do event photography which includes schools, sports, ski joring and have done motorcycle events on the Beartooth Highway. I enjoy all types of photography and have been doing it professionally for almost 30 years. Most of that time has been with film cameras but for the last 7 years I have been totally digital and I love it. Not that there is anything wrong or bad with shooting film, but I do embrace the new technology.

I particularly enjoy the nature photography and am blessed to live in an area that still has a great degree of wilderness and wildness. I love driving the Beartooth Scenic Highway as well as going to Yellowstone National Park or the Pryor Mountains for photographic outings. I have been fortunate to be able to travel around the country and to some other countries and while I have enjoyed those trips immensely, I am always reminded on my next trip to the mountains of how lucky I am to have all of this in my backyard.

My approach to nature photography is to let it come to me. I photograph what nature gives me. One time I went to Yellowstone in the fall and was looking for elk and bears but the clouds in Hayden Valley were so beautiful with the golden meadows and Yellowstone River that I spent all my time photographing them.

Hope you enjoy exploring the galleries and please, if you have any questions please give us a call or email.

Thank you




Merv Coleman grew up on a farm in Nebraska. Here on the rolling hills of the great plains is where his appreciation for nature began. His love for nature was further enhanced by family vacations to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Later he attended Colorado State University and spent more time exploring the Rocky Mountains.

Upon graduating from CSU with a degree in Range Biology, he served four years in the United States Marine Corps as a reconnaissance systems officer in an F-4 Phantom jet. After the Marines he started a career as a range conservationist with the Bureau of Land Management, where he was asked to use his photographic talents to photograph wild horses on the high cold desert lands of northern California and Nevada. These experiences greatly influenced his decision to become a full-time photographer. In 1980 he and his family moved to Red Lodge and started operating a photography studio and gallery with the Rockies and Yellowstone National Park as a backdrop.

Merv is an award-winning photographer of both nature and portrait photography. He was honored as Photographer of the Year in 1996 and 1998 by the Montana Professional Photographers Association. He has been published in Better Homes and Gardens, Western Horseman, Geo, Spur, Montana Magazine, Snow Country, Powder, Big Sky Journal, and many Yellowstone Country and Montana travel publications. His photographs are proudly displayed in businesses and homes throughout the country.

Coleman Gallery & Studio offers portraiture and framing services in addition to scenic photography. We photograph families, seniors, and weddings, indoors or outdoors. Custom framing and matting is available with a wide selection to choose from. Our staff is friendly, approachable, and knowledgeable. Stop by or call our studio and gallery for all of your photography needs.



People are always interested in what equipment photographers use for their work. I use all Canon equipment. I have several bodies but the one I use most is the Canon 5D  Mark III. Lenses include the 10-22mm, 20-35mm, 24-105mm, 70-200mm, 300mm and 600mm. I also have a 2x extender and a 1.4 extender. I use the 1.4 a lot and rarely use the 2x. I have the Canon Speedlights (flashes) 480 and 580. I use a heavy duty Gitzo tripod, Studioball head and sometimes a Wimberely Sidekick telephoto mount. Filters are limited to a circular polarizing 77mm that fits most of the lenses. I use a variety of compact flash cards that vary in size from 512mb to 16 gb.  I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop on a IMac 27 for post processing and organizing images.



My image "IN A PRISM OF LIGHT"  won the animal portrait category of the prestigious BG Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2001 competition that is organized by the BBC Wildlife Magazine and the Museum of Natural History in London, England.The aims of the competition are to find the best wildlife pictures made by photographers worldwide and to emphasize through the work of such photographers the beauty, wonder and importance of the natural world. Over 19,000 entries from 60 countries were reviewed by a panel of 13 distinguished judges for the 2001 competition.

As the Winner of a category I received a check for 500 pounds and a trip to London for an awards ceremony on October 25. The winning images are published in the November issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine and in a coffee table book ( BG Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2001 Portfolio 11 ) that is available through amazon.co.uk . A set of prints will be on display at the Museum of Natural History during the following year while several travelling sets of prints will be exhibited in France, United States of America, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, and other countries around the world.


My image "In a Prism of Light", or American Bison Defrosting #367 has been included in a new book, Wild Planet, published by the Natural History Museum in London, England. The book contains 100 images from past winners and entries of the Photographer of the Year competition organized by the Museum and the BBC. Considered to be the most prestigious of all nature photo competitions, it receives thousands of entries form dozens of countries. The book is available at amazon.com 

Light on the Earth is the finest collection of naturephotographs ever published. Featuring 180 images by some of the world’s top photographers, it represents the winning and commended entries from 20 years of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. Selected from thousands of images and representing many countries, the pictures range from plants to endangered animals, underwater life to landscapes—all dramatically displaying the beauty and variety of the natural world. Featuring background information and photographic details for each image, this is a magnificent, best-of-the-best collection for lovers of wildlife and fine photography.   My image "In a Prism of Light" also called "American Bison Defrosting" is included in this book.