A few months ago I was approached by my friend Jen who had an interesting proposal. She and Marc (also my very good friend ever since I met them both at the Pawnee Buttes four years ago) were finally going to tie the knot this June after years of being together. Jen knew very well that traditional wedding photography was not something I do, but she wanted me to help to create a special memory of the day they would be getting married. Marc and Jen moved out to the Denver area from New York in 2011 and quickly fell in love with all aspects of Colorado. They instantly enjoyed the mountains and also gained...Read More
This fall, someone from an "anonymous" online image board for photography decided it would be a good idea to send a $3 thrift store camera around the US to see what we would come up with. I loved the idea because it would be a simple and fun way to document my travels this autumn. If you've never heard of a traveling camera, the general idea is that someone sends it to you, you shoot a few rolls of film (hopefully in a short period of time) and mail it on to the next person who signed up for it. Well, it arrived one day before...Read More
Back in May of this year I took a short trip out to rural Pennsylvania to see my grandfather and visit with other relatives. It had been far too long since I had made it out this way, so I was excited to see the land and people that had brought me so many fond memories in the past. It wasn't a long trip so I have just a handful of photos to share and you may notice that these are a bit different than images you would typically see from me. The landscape is much different than what I'm used to in Colorado. There are beautiful rolling hills covered with vibrant greens and yellows, and the view is frequently interrupted by a thick, lush and green forests. But it goes much deeper than that. Every building is older, and things seem to change much slower. There is such a different feel to the place. As usual, I'll let the photos do most the talking.
It's amazing how you remember your way around a place you haven't been to in ages. This dirt road looked just the way it did in my head, and even though I had hardly driven around here before it all comes back. You also just don't see forests like this in Colorado.
The weather was unseasonably cool while I was there, with mostly cloudy skies and a brisk breeze, but all I wanted to do was walk around the farm and explore the familiar sights. Photography has really become a much bigger influence in my life since the last time I was there, so it was interesting to see it all over again with a different sense of vision.
This view is from a perfect place to end an evening walk and watch a sunset. Time is much different here, and you can just lose yourself in the moment. It's great that I had a place like this to visit as a child, to get away from the suburbs and really grow. The view from this small hill looked better now than I had ever remembered.
Photos of people is something you'll rarely see from me, but I wanted to capture one decent portrait of my Grandfather while I was out there. A truly great man, and someone I could spend weeks visiting with and enjoying his company.
The view my grandfather has from his table inside. He isn't really able to get out and about the property too much these days, but he does get to enjoy this view with his morning coffee.
When we visited as children, we all slept in this large upstairs bedroom that was actually an addition to the 100+ year old home. I remember many great vacations spent up here and looking out the window you could always see who was out in the park, enjoying an evening around the fire. I'm not sure my grandmother was ever able to finish the painting on the easel.
Speaking of the park, that's where everyone goes to eat, drink, and enjoy a fire outside. Or in this case, leave the shutter open while drinking cheap beer and shooting off fireworks for half an hour. Hey, we don't get use many fireworks at all in the bone-dry state of Colorado, so my brother and I had to shoot some off for ourselves. You could pretty much say it's a tradition at this point.
The smell of this particular garage came right back to be as soon as I opened the door. Oil, gas, grass, rust and humidity. I remember being tasked with trying to fix the golf cart in here years ago after driving it over too large of a "bump" out in the field. Ah yes, the old golf cart has been the preferred method of transportation on the farm for quite some time.
Just another view from the property.
This was from a trip into town. The farm is just about one mile from the Ohio border and maybe five miles from Lake Erie. This part of the country hasn't exactly had the best economic fortunes recently, so many things are closed down and crumbling apart. This gas station had a sign claiming the price was a dollar and some change per gallon, so you know it's been out of commission for a while.
That's all I have from this trip for now. I'm so glad I was able to get out there, and I need to do so again soon. I was glad to see some places that had such a great influence on my youth.
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As many of you may know, last month Colorado was hit hard by a series of heavy rains over several days that caused massive flooding all the way from the eastern slopes of the mountains to the Nebraska border. The mountain town I grew up in, Estes Park, was pretty much cut off from the outside world for several days and still remains difficult to access with two of the major highways washed away and in need of serious repairs. Needless to say, this flooding has had severe economic impact on many of these communities, as well as the loss of life and property for many families.
As a photographer I felt the need to document some of what was going on. I wanted to write this blog post to share with you some of the views I had of the catastrophic event. This handful of images will all be focused on the flooding that occurred around the Greeley area, where I live. I will let the photos do most of the talking, but will also explain some things I feel necessary in the image captions. Please click on the images for larger views.
It was heartbreaking to see the damage to people's personal property, even more so as some homeowners were showing up to their homes for the first time after the initial flood crest while I was there. In general, many of the people I came across seemed in surprisingly good spirits for the circumstances. People can be quite strong through the worst of events, but still I can't imagine the amount of work that lies ahead for those who lived near the river.
Nearly all the roads that cross the South Platte River were completely destroyed, as you can see in these next few photos taken north and east of Kersey, Colorado.
This really was an unbelievable event to photograph. While it is terrible to think of the damage and loss of property, in some ways I could only hope that I could bring a sense of beauty into a few of these images. Standing in the middle of a major highway that was completely split in two and photographing a foggy sunrise is an experience I will never forget, nor is it something I would have ever done on a normal day. I will leave this post with one final image, taken three weeks after the initial flooding. A small section of low land along the Big Thompson River east of Milliken has continued to hold water long after most areas, and made for a perfect reflection of these cottonwood trees during a classic explosive October sunrise.
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