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.