Apré Fotos

Went up to Arapahoe Basin to take some turns and have been craving playing with a camera more and more the last few days. Been wrapped up doing other things, so I have no excuses. But I decided to play around for a few minutes while waiting for a guy to do somethings after getting blown all over the place and skipping off a few rocks, trees and anything else I could find under the crystalized water vapor lightly draping the mountain. Nothing fancy or well thought out. Just some split seconds from my afternoon and that sweet shallow depth of field. If there were a f/1 anything, I'd buy it in a heart beat. Along with a 3-stop neutral density filter considering the exposures I had to make at f/2 at 1/8000 at ISO 100.

I'll try to make more photos sooner. Though, I've said that already. New Year's resolution, right? Nah, just need to get my act together.







Day old bread anyone?

Got a call to cover the University of Colorado's winter commencement the other day. Had the option of shooting stills or video with another shooter. I chose the video. Wanted to work on my "skills" with the video camera, considering I can shoot stills anytime. It's not the greatest of productions, as there were some serious problems in post that I won't get into.

I would love to get a video camera, but with the prospect of HD video in DSLRs pretty much here I want to wait until the summer at least to see what options are available. Hoping that the Scarlet will be a feasible option by that time. But until then, you get my hack jobs from whatever I can get my hands on.


Unsilent Night

Was hired to shoot a quick video of an event in Boulder called "Unsilent Night." A group of people bring out boomboxes and other music players with speakers pre-loaded with the same song and walk the streets and sidewalks of Downtown Boulder. It's presented more as a live piece of art. Nothing too fancy as far as the video, mostly because I was a tool and hit the record button once too many times on a really good shot and actually stopped recording. That's what I get for not practicing the craft for nearly four months.

Not a fan of the tiny Scripps player.


Back in the game

Was given the job of shooting the Colorado versus Colorado State mens basketball game the other night. I haven't shot basketball in nearly nine months, so I was wondering how it would go. Guess I got lucky. Made a few decent frames and made deadline, so I guess it turned out alright.








Southwestern Style

Cruised down to Santa Fe, New Mexico, over the weekend to fill-in as an instructor for a journalism project class. There was only one photog student, Barbara Ford, on the trek so decided to play with light and form with Chris Lawson and a fellow photog that made the trip as well. It's fun to see how others view the same situation with viewfinder.




Interesting town Santa Fe is. A bit too expensive and everything looks very similar for my tastes. But I sure do wish I had a cool $50,000 laying around to buy an Alfred Steglitz and Henri Carrtier-Bresson print at the photo gallery we found near the plaza. There was an Edward Steichen The Black Canyon print for 800 large.

When we made a trip south of the government city to Cerrillos on Saturday afternoon the light was magical and the town was enchanting. Images were abundant and easy to make. Only wish we had arrived an hour or two earlier. There was a 20 minute window to click away.




After the sun retreated to the west we stopped in Mary's Bar where we met the couple that owns the watering hole. There was much to learn about the high desert landscape. Lots of interesting storylines to follow and learn about, but then it was time to return to the concrete jungle. Now I just need to hunt down some E-6 processing...shot some more of that film stuff I found in the refrigerator drawer.

There's a few other frames over on Flickr.






Went to Eldorado Canyon State Park to shoot some photos for a freelance assignment. Here's just a couple that I liked out of the lot. Luckily I didn't break any gear or myself when I slipped climbing down a nasty trail from one of the climbing areas and folded up on some rocks like a blanket. Now I'm off to shoot in Golden Gate State Park. Hopefully there are people there on a Tuesday afternoon.


Election Night 2008


I was able to shoot the Colorado Democratic Election Night Party in Denver for the Camera on Tuesday. It was a pretty energetic event considering the final results of the evening in the land of Blue. I didn't get any frames that I'm too charged about. It was mayhem shooting the Boulder-based folks because I didn't have a schedule of appearances. I was lucky enough to be around the stage when 2nd CD-elect Jared Polis was heading up to the podium, though I was out of position for the more desirable photo. Then as I was trying to send those images Colorado Senator-elect Mark Udall was introduced to the feverish crowd that had engulfed the front area of the stage. Thus I was stuck on a riser off to the side of the stage to shoot perpendicular to the podium. Luckily Udall and his wife were pretty animated and the location actually worked out pretty well.




While I was transmitting the lot of images CNN decided to call the presidential race for Barack Obama. I feel that I missed out on a pretty historic moment in history to be documenting. But it was very interesting to watch from a distance as the volume rose to that point of absolute crackling of your eardrum that there is not a decipherable sound.


The fact that people walking on the 16th Street Mall were just stopping anyplace along the way to listen and watch the acceptance speech confirmed the level of interest as well as importance of the moment. The crowds spilled onto the streets of downtown Denver and the celebration began. I made a few frames there, but was a bit preoccupied just watching and taking it all in.


Going Old School

Dug an old Nikon F film camera out of the closet with a Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4 lens on it. The camera and lens are pristine. They were given to me by a customer at the photo lab I used to work at several years ago. The customer's father had the camera for many years and by the looks of it, didn't really shoot with it much. She decided that I was to be the new owner after his passing. She said that she could tell I enjoyed photography. I wasn't too sure about the exposure being accurate, being that it is a spring fired shutter and it's been sitting around in the darkness for so long. But, being curious, I decided to give it a go.

I then dug around in the fridge and the Ziploc bags inside larger Ziploc bags holding a variety of flavors of film. Inside a roll of Kodak Royal 25 swam to the surface of plastic containers and I figured that would be the best to be able to use the giant aperture out in the blazing Colorado sun. I figured I would set the camera to its fastest shutter setting of 1/1,000th of a second at f/1.4 and let it fly. There are a couple exposures at f/2 at 1/500th, but that only for a few frames.


I just wanted to play with that slim depth of field and the beauty that is film. Many of the images are far from my personal vision and style. I've decided that I need to explore more and not be so uptight about imagery. Everything shouldn't be perfect in every frame. It's downright gleeful that I can only shoot a single frame at a time and the lack of instant "gratification" on a computerized camera. The suspense of wanting to see that latent image is fantastic. That distinguishable racket made by the spring-driven shutter is musical. If you couldn't tell, I truly miss shooting film.


I went to reload the old iron horse and found another roll of the Royal 25. So I'm looking forward to using that relic more. I've got a ton of expired film chilling in the lettuce drawer. I might as well use it to fuel my visual dependency. If anything, I've learned in the last several weeks how dependent I am on creating visuals by controlling apertures and shutter speeds.





My name is Josh and I'm an addict.


The cheapest Halloween costume

I was recruited to shoot the 10th Annual Naked Pumpkin Run in Boulder for the Camera. Having covered this event a couple of times before, I was pretty much prepared for the ensuing craziness. The only problem I was worried about was the deadline of about 10:45pm for my photos. The group finally wound their way to the alley behind the Camera to strip and begin the run along Pearl Street in the buff, at 10:45pm.

I was able to turn in a couple of photos very quick but then learned that Boulder police were issuing citations for indecent exposure at the end point of the run and people were getting worked up. Several calls for back-up were crackling across the police scanner. After rushing back out, I learned that there were about 12 tickets given out and everything was pretty much over. Nothing to see nor photograph.

I didn't get anything too gratuitous at the end of the night. I think the sheer number of people that lined the street was more of the story than the folks wearing birthday suits. Because there were so many onlookers, the runners were basically walking and weaving through the crowd. Not necessarily the "run" of the previous two years I had been witness to.

It was a bit of a rush to have the pressure of deadline and still try to cover the event having been out of the cycle of daily newspapering for a while. I've missed it. Looks like Tuesday will be a bit of more fun too. Election night coverage is at times slow and tedious, but it will be great to be documenting and creating regardless.







Pro Hockey

Shot my first frames of a professional hockey game. The Avs played the Sabers and after assisting for the first part of the game, I had some free time to play. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. My biggest problem was not staying on the play longer. Unlike football or baseball, the play can go on for a few minutes. So I missed a few shots that would have been decent. The other issue I had was that it started to all look the same. Maybe next time I'll have a better understanding of what to key on and stay with. But for now, here's a few visual nuggets.





Just a reminder that it is fall


Just a quickie from a respectable establishment's patio. More later.


Random street photos




Just posting a couple of frames from my random walking or biking around the Auraria Campus. Been playing with an ancient Nikon F, a 50mm f/1.4 and some film. Yes, film. That resin coated plastic of years past. Haven't processed the film yet, but will scan and share soon.


Crestone and the Dunes

Made a little weekend trip to southern Colorado last weekend to see a new and interesting community in Crestone and to make a trek into the National Sand Dunes Monument and Preserve. I had never been to the Crestone area but I had been really craving a trip to the Dunes for a while. I've been there a few times and I have always really loved it. Such an odd geological feature to have a bunch of sand blown up against the towering 14,000 foot peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The area of Crestone is home to one of the largest international interfaith communities in the world. There are nearly 30 various sites or centers for several different spiritual groups tucked into the brush and base of the Spanish peaks. The small town of Crestone is where all of these various faiths intersect as a collective community in support of each other. The long and easy transition into fall had transitioned many of the trees into gold, yet there were still many that had yet to start their molting process.

After a late arrival on Friday the 3rd and an incident with a mindless four-point buck that had a hard lesson of inertia and gravity, we set out to explore. Randomly driving up roads to see what kind of surprise was to be found, we happened upon a Temple of Enlightenment associated with the Pundarika Foundation.

Temple Of Enlightenment.jpg

Enlightened Lines.jpg

After that we ventured up to a couple other sites before walking into a Fire Offering Ceremony at the Haidakhandi Universal Ashram center. The ceremony was in celebration of Navratri, nine days in honor of the Devine Mother. We were asked to wear a wrap around our selves, given a dot on our foreheads of three important elements and to remove our shoes as we watched, listened and I shot photos. There were several stages of the ceremony as various forms of food and offerings were tossed into a fire pit surrounded by the group. It was an interesting experience and very calming as the sun tried to peek out from behind the thin upper level clouds. The smells of elements burning in the fire had a distinct aroma. The circle of participants rhythmically chanting and throwing offerings into the fire created a unique environment.

Ashram Ceremony2.jpg

Ashram Cremony.jpg


After a bit more roaming and a stop into the town center for some coffee and a snack we drove into Alamosa for some lunch and a quick drive-by of the most populous center of the San Louis Valley. Then it was on to the Dunes to set up camp and take a jaunt into the sand. With a storm front approaching the winds were whipping up the finely ground grains of rock from the west as clouds obscured the sun. After a brief hike we returned for some dinner and then I passed out in my sleeping bag for nearly 12 hours of slumber. I still don't know why I was so exhausted, as I slept like a rock the night prior despite a bit of rain and chilly temperatures next to a flowing creek. But I awoke the following morning to a bit of a wet chill from some rain and more gray skies. The snow line was just a couple thousand feet above. After packing up the tents and the rest of the gear we cruised our way back to the metropolis. Winding up and over the Sangre de Cristos and their golden tinged arbor blankets. Before long the concrete jungle was once again dominating my view.

Fallen Fall.jpg

It was a brief adventure, yet very enjoyable. I was able to manipulate a camera again. I was able to play with light and form. I was able to explore and learn. I was able to have the comfortable sense of being a photographer and at times photojournalist again. It was delicious and bittersweet. It had been four weeks since I left my staff position at the Camera. And I felt like I had lost some of my identity as a problem-solver who happens to record events in split seconds of time. To have it back, even if for a weekend, felt right and good. Now I plan to work on my educational demands more efficiently in order to have more time to explore the world more often with the chunk of technology in my hand that is essentially just a light trap. Sometimes you get to meet the most interesting people around, or sometimes you just see uniqueness that is taken for granted.