Bright Green Water in Cherry Creek

April 26, 2014 by ·  

cherry creek bright green water wewatta bridge

Cherry Creek At Speer Bridge Over Wewatta

    Yesterday afternoon I was biking down the Cherry Creek bike path and I noticed that the water in the river was bright green. Something was coming out of the drain at the waterline the north side of the river. A few cyclists and pedestrians were stopped along the trail; some taking pictures and others wondering if what they were seeing was some chemical spill or some other intentional thing like someone was dumping industrial waste. To me it seemed like it was too bright to be intentional. It looked like anti-freeze but it just it would’ve been a massive amount and it was REALLY bright so it seemed like it was made to be seen. It turned out to be a test of the sewer system and the color was a harmless dye.

cherry creek bright green water

Bright Green Water In Cherry Creek

    For many years I have carried a camera around with me everywhere I go but recently I have been carrying my iPad mini around with me instead. As a professional photographer I like having my camera with me. I like having an object in my hang that was made to be a camera. In the same way that digital photography was unacceptable to me until 2003, cell phones and tablets with cameras were unacceptable to me until 2014. The thing is since photography went digital it’s really bummed me out that it’s taken away the darkroom portion of the process. In that regard I really enjoy the process that I have now with digital photography of taking the photo with the camera and then coming back to my studio where my desktop is, looking at the photos and processing and editing them and posting them. Since journalism now is all about who can break the story first that makes it difficult to reconcile with the way that I’m doing things. I don’t like that the best new stories are the first breaking news stories; it should be the ones that have the best content and the best photos.

bright green water cherry creek wewatta bridge

Cherry Creek From Wewatta Bridge

    This bright green water wasn’t really breaking news but it was something weird going on so it was at least local interest story so I had plans on doing a post, but not right away. If I had actually thought that whatever was in the water was a life-threatening thing that was going to cause a zombie apocalypse I would’ve called 911 instead of doing the post anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to doing my first%all iPad mini post for The World Is Raw. In the four months that I’ve been using this thing I’ve come to realize that I really need to include it as a tool for me and my photography and my blogging and using it to help present stuff to the world. I’m still carrying all my reporters notebooks and pens with me everywhere in addition to the iPad; I’m not yet to the point where I am just carrying the iPad around instead of all that stuff but I’m definitely using it more and more in order to take notes, take pictures and now even doing blog posts. This will be the first post on The World Is Raw that has photos that were taken with my iPad mini and the first draft of text for this entire post was voice recorded on the iPad, transcribed over into Word and then pasted into WordPress in order to publish this post. I’m still playing around with the process and figuring out the best and most clever way to do everything so it probably would’ve taken less time had I just typed the post out but if nothing else it’s really helped me see the potential of what I can do with this iPad and where I plan on taking this blog. Cheers!

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Blood Red Moon Over Denver

April 15, 2014 by ·  

Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon and SpicaBlood Red Moon And Spica

    Early this morning I was able to see my first full lunar eclipse. The weather in Denver cooperated by allowing crystal clear skies during the entire event. As for me, I cooperated by showing up in the cold in the middle of the night but I didn’t bring a tripod or a very long lens so it was less of a photo trip than I would have hoped for. Not turning the eclipse into a photo shoot had the remarkable effect of forcing me to just look at and appreciate the moon and stars for a few hours. The moon was in the company of the star Spica and the planet Mars. In the photo above, Spica is the bright blue point of light below and to the right of the blood red moon. Mars was just out of frame on the right. Anyway, I hope all of you lovely Colorado people got to see it because even though it’s going to happen a few more times this year, there are periods of hundreds of years when it doesn’t happen at all. Cheers!

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Denver Public Art

April 5, 2014 by ·  

Indeterminate Line Colorado Convention Center

Indeterminate Line – Colorado Convention Center

    I am very impressed with the way Denver has incorporated art into just about every capital improvement and public space restoration over the last quarter century. What started out as a 1988 executive order by then mayor Federico Peña became the Denver Public Art Ordinance when it was signed into law in 1991. In a nutshell, it states that any city project over $1 million must set aside 1 percent of the budget to include art in the design. Back then we didn’t have The Pepsi Center, Coors Field or 2 Super Bowl wins and all those abbreviated neighborhood names like Lodo, RiNo, LoHi and SoBo that are so popular now where nothing more than areas of abandoned buildings. They were able to rise from the ashes like a phoenix to become the beautiful, mature city you see now. The first time Denver and I met, it was a year away from having an art ordinance and I was a year away from being a teenager so we have watched each other grow up.

Dancers Denver Performing Arts Complex Public Art

Dancers – Denver Performing Arts Complex

    The oversized art trend Denver has embraced is something I happen to like as well. I’m not sure if it’s psychological or just a matter of preference but much like a photograph printed on the side of a building, I think everything looks better if it’s bigger.

Leap Of Faith Elitches and Pepsi Center In Denver

Leap Of Faith – Elitch Circle

    I’ve been enjoying Denver’s awesome system of paved bike trails and that is how I came to notice the amount of art that is just out for anyone to look at. There are dozens of pieces visible right from the trails and every single other piece can be reached by walking or biking a short distance from any trail.

Dave Choe Denver Mural 13th and Champa

David Choe Mural – 13th and Champa

    Many different mediums are used so no matter what sort of art you are in to, you’ll see something you like. I know that for some people the difference between illegal graffiti and legitimate street art is whether or not it was sanctioned, so I think it’s great that some artists have created sanctioned pieces with an underground style.

Confluent People Speer Street Bridge On Little Raven In Denver

Confluent People – Under Speer Street Bridge On Wewatta

    I have ideas for several posts that will highlight public art in Denver but as I started to compile photos and words for this post, I realized what a colossal task it is going to be. There are just so many public pieces and I have so many things to say about them that I have not yet figured out how I’m going to do it.

Mona Lisa Mural and Mona's Restaurant

Mona Lisa – Mona’s Restaurant – Near Confluence Park

    Of course, there was public art before the art ordinance and the 1984 mural above is an example. The difference is that back then art like this was the exception rather than the rule. Being able to see it all around the city now is one more thing that makes Denver such a great place to live.

Leap Of Faith Elitches and Pepsi Center In Denver

Leap Of Faith – Elitch Circle

    When you look at art, you feel emotion so hopefully the art around Denver will help you feel happy. Just head out to any trail in Denver, head towards downtown and you’ll start seeing art all around you. I recommend riding a bike, locking it up at Confluence Park and then continuing on foot into downtown. That way, when you are done with your romp, you can end up back at the park, jump on your bike and head home. Cheers!

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Thinking About La Mesa

April 1, 2014 by ·  

Rob Hurlbut Sleeping On The Floor In SummerSleeping On The Floor In Summer

    I lived in La Mesa, California for five years. What I remember most was that it got bloody hot in the summertime. My second floor apartment did not have AC so my place would be above 80 degrees at night. On those nights I would sleep in front of my open front door with a little desk fan blowing right on my head. It reminded me of camping but in all seriousness, there is nothing fun about sleeping in an oven baked room. La Mesa is an eastern suburb of San Diego but at more than ten miles from the ocean, the cooling marine layer just doesn’t reach.

La Mesa Steps

Steps In The Hills Of La Mesa

    La Mesa is a very hilly place with lots of hidden staircases and pedestrian paths running all around the city. It was 2006 when I moved from Denver to San Diego and I was very excited to be landing out there but La Mesa turned out not to be the quintessential San Diego experience I was hoping for. Besides the heat, it was just too far away from the ocean to really seem like I was living the San Diego dream.

Jolt n Joes La Mesa Under Full Moon October 2009

Jolt ‘N Joes In La Mesa

    La Mesa is where I was when I became a full time photographer and launched The World Is Raw. It is a pedestrian friendly city so I used to walk around at all times of the day and night taking photos of my new neighborhood. One of the main reasons I moved away from Denver was because the winter was so cold. I don’t ski or snowboard so all the lovely fresh powder and sub freezing temperatures were nothing but a nuisance for me. Once I moved to San Diego, I was able to wear shorts and flip flops every day for the next eight years. (After living in La Mesa for five years, I moved to the coastal town of Imperial Beach, where I lived for three years.) I have a friend from Texas that would visit from time to time and he very poignantly explained to me why it was so expensive to live out there. “In San Diego, you pay for the weather.”

Mount Helix In La Mesa

Mount Helix In La Mesa, CA

    I made the best of my time in La Mesa and I really did like living there but it always seemed a bit dull to me. There’s just nothing very “Southern California” about it and since part of my reason for moving to the coast was to actually be on the coast, it was never destined to be a permanent home for me, even though my place was directly across the street from a 24 hour grocery store that sold liquor.

St Martins Catholic Church

St. Martin’s Catholic Church – La Mesa, CA

    I think this nostalgic post came about because now that I live in Denver, I am very antsy for spring and summer weather to get here. There have been some very nice days this year, but it is still too cold most of the time to just go on a walk or bike ride without long pants and a jacket. The photo above is one of the last ones a shot before I moved away from La Mesa. It is a view of St. Martin’s Catholic Church at midnight on Christmas Eve, 2010. A few days later, I moved to Imperial Beach. Below is a video I shot as I was about to leave my apartment in La Mesa for the last time. Cheers!

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