South Platte River

September 11, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Dragonfly Silhouette

A Dragonfly Silhouette

    I spent some time along the South Platte River yesterday and I saw a few cool things. First up was a dragonfly. It was just hanging out on top of a branch, silhouetted against a cloudy sky

Deer On South Platte River

A Deer

    After that, I saw a deer looking at me through the trees. For some reason, it stuck its tongue out at me.

Rob Hurlbut On A Refrigerator

Rob Hurlbut On A Refigerator

    Then, I got a twofer. I found a refrigerator an overflow area of the river, so of course I posed for a picture. I have the notion return to this spot and dig it up to find a serial number or something that will tell me how old it is.

Spider

Spider In A Refigerator

    Inside the refrigerator, a spider waited for dinner to be served up. It kept running away when I got close so I had to use a zoom lens and a flash to get this pic. What you see here is only a fraction of what I saw and even a smaller fraction of what lurks around The South Platte River. Cheers!

Praying Mantis Eats A Bumblebee

September 8, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Praying Mantis Eats A Bumblebee

Praying Mantis Having A Bite

    The other day I rode around Chatfield reservoir, just south of Denver, Colorado. My unstated goal was to get some photos of flowers because so many of them are blooming right now. Yes, boring, I know but this mission got me out on a five-hour bike ride so I was OK with it and you should be too. About halfway into the ride, I saw a bunch of yellow flowers so I approached and started taking photos. I saw a bumblebee that seemed to be tangled up in a small, dead portion of the plant. This turned out to be a situation of not being able to see the forest for the trees because I was so fixated on trying to figure out how the bee couldn’t free itself that I didn’t realize it was in the clutches of a praying mantis.

Praying Mantis Eats A Bumblebee

Praying Mantis Cleaning Up After Dinner

    What I thought was movement of the bee trying to get away turned out to be the mantis eating the poor thing. At that point I started filming some video that you can see below. I’ve only seen a praying mantis once before and it wasn’t during mealtime so while this wasn’t the most exciting thing I’d ever seen, it was new and different. So, I watched this mantis have dinner and then clean up afterwards. Not a bad day in my humble opinion. Cheers!

Solar Eclipse Over Denver, Colorado

August 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Solar Eclipse Denver Colorado

Solar Eclipse Over Denver, Colorado

    On August 21, 2017, there was a total eclipse of the sun that traversed The United States of America from Oregon to South Carolina. I was in Denver, Colorado so I didn’t get to see totality but I did get to see 92% of the sun covered. I took about 25 minutes of photos leading up to that 92 percent. It was cool and if nothing else, helped to get me taking photos and posting on the blog again. The photo above is a montage of those 15 minutes of photos. Cheers!

Global Dance Festival 2016

October 31, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Red Rocks and Denver Skyline at Global Dance Fest GDF 2016

Global Dance Festival 2016

    There are a few places and events I’ve been to many times but never blogged about. Right now will manage to kill two of those birds with one post by telling you about Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado. Red Rocks is not your typical concert venue because it’s carved out of the side of a mountain and overlooks Denver. Many years ago a very good friend of mine said that standing in the bowl of the amphitheater feels like you are in the hand of God. Cup your hand and hold it in front of your face. The bottom of your palm is the stage and the top of your fingers are where I was standing when I took the photo you see above. Those lights on the horizon are Denver.

Dancing at GDF 2016

Dancing at Red Rocks During GDF 2016

    I would guess this was my tenth time attending GDF since 2001 but it was my first time bringing my camera to the show. GDF is held in the middle of summer, which means the weather is perfect for tailgating, people watching, dancing and partying. My friends and I get there early and leave late.

Masked at Global Dance Fest 2016

People at Global Dance Fest 2016

    The music plays nonstop for about six hours and you will be dancing, in one form or another for at least that long. Global Dance Fest is the world heavyweight champion festival of electronic dance music (EDM) and since it lasts for three days, just about anyone will be able to attend at least one day, no matter what your work schedule demands of you.

PLUR Peace Love Unity Respect GDF 2016

Peace Love Unity Respect

    What it comes down to is love. In a world with where it can seem enemies and stress are always at the gates, GDF is an oasis of peace, love, unity and respect. PLUR. PLUR. Peace, love unity and respect. Those are all things we can use more of and they are all free. You can produce, receive and project all of those things with less than the flick of a wrist. Cheers!

Walking Around Downtown Denver

April 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Ryan And Millennium Bridge Denver 2016

Ryan Shoots Millennium Bridge

    Downtown Denver is a fun place for street photography. Yesterday I joined Ryan and a few other cats for a walk around the west edge of the 16th Street Mall, where the Millennium Bridge crosses over the light rail tracks.

Denver Police Millennium Bridge

Denver Police Millennium Bridge

    There are steps to walk up and back down again to take you to a bridge that will cross the South Platte River right next to a massive flight of stone stairs.

Skate Rail Steps In Denver

The Steps At South Platte

    The flat area above and the wide landing pad below make the 15 foot metal hand rail and it’s 10 foot vertical drop a location for skaters all over Denver.

Ryan and the Gang in Denver

Ryan and the Gang in Denver

    The Cherry Creek bike path lead us back into downtown where we would all go our separate ways.

Denver Light Rail Over Cherry Creek

Denver Light Rail Over Cherry Creek

    The light rail C Line crosses Cherry Creek on its way to Union Station right before we all headed out to whatever came next. I really do like being back in Denver.

The Brown Palace In Denver

June 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Brown Palace Shower Door Etching

Brown Palace Shower Door

    The other night, I had the honor of photographing DJ Equalizor as he rocked the house at The Church in Downtown Denver. I knew from the start it would be a very late night so I asked a friend to arrange lodgings for me. She set me up at the Brown Palace. What? I was going to stay at the most luxurious hotel in Denver, located six blocks away from the venue I had a photo gig at? What?!?

Brown Palace Bathroom Selfie

Selfie In The Brown Palace

    I rented a camera specifically for this gig and I had about 6 hours to practice with it before the show started. My regular camera is a beast and I have been denied entry into The Church for having it in the past so I rented the Fujifilm X100S just for the occasion. It is the best low light camera on the planet and it looks like something JFK would have carried so on this night, I made it in without any problems at all.

Brown Palace Mirror Selfie

Another Selfie

    I got to The Brown Palace about two hours before the show so I spent that time taking photos and mentally preparing myself for what it would take to shoot a DJ in the most well known nightclub in Denver. The Brown Palace is very accommodating and allowed me ample opportunity to play with my new camera whilst basking in luxury. Make no mistake, The Brown Palace is the best hotel in Denver.

Brown Palace Robes

Robes In The Brown Palace

    I’d like to talk about what I hope are complimentary robes provided by The Brown. They weigh at least five pounds and two of them are provided. I took one of them with me and gave it to my mom. Roman emperors never felt anything like this; these robes make you feel like royalty.

Brown Palace Toilet

The Toilet In The Brown

    The toilet was very normal, but the trash can next to it had The Brown logo on the bottom. That last sentence is NOT a euphemism.

Trinity Church From Brown Palace Skybridge

Trinity Church

    Check out time is at noon so the day after the show I walked around the hotel and at one point found myself on the sky bridge of the hotel, looking directly at Trinity Baptist Church.

Brown Palace Escalator

Art Deco Escalator

    There was no such thing as escalators when The Brown was built so I would guess that the art deco feel of this area was installed in the 1920s. That’s just a guess, so don’t get all pissed off if I’m wrong.

Brown Palace Breakfast

Brunch At The Brown

    Looking down from my room, I was able to see people having brunch.

Brown Palace Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Windows At The Brown Palace

    I wandered around after checking out and came across these stained glass windows.

Brown Palace Ghost

Photo By Bibi Aldana

Ghost In The Brown Palace Hotel

    Finally, I saw a ghost while I was at The Brown Palace. If you think I put on one of those awesome robes and then had someone take my picture whilst standing behind the sheer drapes in the window well then… You are totally wrong. Cheers!

DJ Equalizor at The Church

June 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

DJ-Equalizor at The Church Full House

DJ Equalizor At The Church In Denver

    This past Friday night I was at The Church, a Denver nightclub that has hosted more nights of debauchery for me than I can remember, let alone count. There is a genre of performer that has cut a swath of music so wide that I don’t know how to categorize it or explain it to those that have never heard it. In the beginning I generically referred to it as techno or electronic music. Since that time I’ve come to call it the most important recreational activity I’ve ever taken part in. When you are familiar with or personally know the disc jockey at a show, it adds to the recipe of fun that had already included the friends you spent time with before attending the show. There is a very good reason that what a DJ does is referred to as spinning; they blend music in a way that coalesces people together in a place for a certain amount of time that would never happen otherwise. On this night, DJ Equalizor did that for me.

DJ Equalizor Spinning at The Church

DJ Equalizor Spinning At The Church

    DJ Equalizor is a musician from Denver that was in The Church to show that he has what it takes to perform at the premier electronic dance event in the country; Global Dance Festival In Colorado. This is an annual, three day event held at Red Rocks amphitheater under the summer night skies of Denver, Colorado. In the same way that bowling balls cannot be compared to sailboats, GDF is something that can’t be compared to or measured against anything else.

DJ Equalizor Outside The Church

Outside The Church

    What was it like to walk on the moon, attend Woodstock, serve in the Navy or scuba dive on the wreck of a WWII submarine? The fact of the matter is, only people that have done those things know what it’s like and while some people might be able to describe what it was like to do it, what they describe is nothing like actually doing it. Attending a show in a Red Rocks, the most glorious concert venue on the face of the planet should be on the bucket list of everyone. Carved out of ancient rock and positioned in a way that all of the heavens and earth are viewable from the upper levels, it is the closest I have ever been to seeing and feeling joy the creator felt when he created all of us.

DJ Equalizor at The Church in Deep Thought

Preaching At The Church

    I think I may have gotten a little off track. What was I talking about? Ah yes, DJ Equalizor and his path to performing at GDF. Here’s the thing, anyone can climb Mount Everest, be an astronaut or knock a homerun out of Coors Field but the simple fact of the matter is; not everyone does. Each and every one of those things has been experienced by a very small percentage of the human race. Let me tell you this; DJ Equalizor deserves to join the club that has said, “I performed at Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks.”

DJ Equlalizor Full Church View

Full House At The Church

    DJ Equalizor has a website and many free, downloadable mixes on Soundcloud. I personally recommend his GDF audition from last year which can be listened to here:

DJ Equalizor Smiling At The Church In Denver

DJ Equalizor

    Yeah, I know DJ Equalizor and I think his music is the shit. He should be granted access into that exclusive club of people that have performed at Red Rocks for Global Dance Festival. I’ve had this blog for over six years so you loyal readers know that I don’t post about, let alone photograph anything that I don’t believe in. DJ Equalizor is from Denver and he is going to take the world by storm and that storm should be formed over Red Rocks at GDF this summer.

Colorado State Capitol Building

November 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Top Of Colorado Capitol Dome In Denver

Colorado State Capitol Building Model

For the first time in about 15 years, I went inside the Colorado Capitol building. The gold dome has gleamed over Denver for a hundred and ten years and it was just refurbished so it looks great. While I did walk all over the place I had one actual thing on my agenda; to get to the top of the dome.

Ground Floor Of Colorado Capitol Building Looking Up

Ground Floor – Colorado State Capitol Building

If you don’t work in the capitol, there are two options for visitors to enter; the north or the south side of the building. There are very polite security guards that will have you walk through a metal detector and place your bag in an x-ray machine. It’s similar to going through security at an airport but you can keep your shoes on and you only need to take metal objects out of your pockets. After that, you can walk all around the building.

Grand-Staircase-In-Colorado-Capitol-In-Denver

The Grand Staircase

The place if filled with vintage art and stained glass windows that are worth spending time admiring and photographing. That being said, I didn’t admire a whole lot because, as I said before, I wanted to go to the top of the dome.

Emily Griffith Stained Glass In Colorado Capitol In Denver

Emily Griffith Stained Glass Window

Normally, a stained glass window is an actual window. What I mean is that they are on the outer wall of a building in order to let light in and showcase the colors. There are a few of them in the capitol building that are on interior wall and lit from behind with electric lights. This likeness of Emily Griffith is one of them.

Colorado State Capitol Chambers In Denver

Colorado State Legislature Chambers

While the restoration of the dome is complete, there are still interior chambers getting a facelift. This is the part where I have to tell you that I don’t remember exactly what this room is but I think it is the state legislature chambers. I do remember that it was on the west side of the building and that it has some great stained glass windows. I also remember the information poster outside this room said that in the 1950s acoustic tiles were placed on the walls, covering the original gilded walls. Those tiles are now being removed and the original walls are being restored, which I think is awesome.

Hall Of Presidents Colorado Capitol In Denver

Looking Down From The Hall Of Presidents

Up and up I went, looking at the architecture whilst resisting the urge to open random doors. While the actual footprint of the building is rectangular, each floor under the dome is round; I think that would make these areas, if not the entire building itself a rotunda. This is perfect for a wide angle lens since it distorts straight lines into a curve.

Hall Of Presidents Looking Up In Colorado State Capitol In Denver

Looking Up From The Hall Of Presidents

One of my last stops before finding the stairs that lead up to the gold dome is this room filled with portraits of every American president. Some of the portraits are missing because they are being cleaned off site but it was still a very easy way to put faces to names that haven’t made it on to our currency. I am a modest student of early American history so at this point I have to say that Benjamin Franklin should have his portrait up here because I think he should have been president.

Top Of Colorado Capitol Dome In Denver

After a hike up a final set of narrow stairs, I was right underneath the gold dome. The spiral staircase you see in the photo above is off limits to the public so where I was standing is the highest point a regular dude like me can go; the same place I stood 15 years earlier.

Civic Center From Colorado Capitol Dome In Denver

Civic Center Park

Once out on the veranda of the rotunda I set to work taking photos of my glorious Denver skyline. All these photos were taken on November 5th so the fall colors of Civic Center Park were on full display and there were just enough clouds to give some depth to the sky without blocking out the warmth of the sun.

Denver Skyline From Capitol Dome

The Skyline Of Denver

It was about four in the afternoon when I was up there; access to the dome is only granted during daylight so you will really have to get the timing right if you want some sunset shots. This is one of those instances where having a high placed friend would come in really handy. If there was a photographer with a friend that could grant him access to the top of this building after hours that would be awesome. Maybe there is someone that doesn’t personally know a photographer but after reading a post like this could arrange for a photographer to get some night shots from The Colorado Capitol. I’m just saying.

Colorado Flag And County Building In Denver

The Skyline Of Denver

For those of you that have been reading my blog over the last half decade, you know that I try to write the way that I talk. It’s not easy because I have no regard for punctuation or AP Style when I speak. I think, I speak, I type and then I read what I’ve typed aloud to myself. That’s how I do up a post, that’s my process. I love Denver and I love Colorado. Any sort of anything that has made me the man I am today has its roots in the centennial state. I was in this landlocked state when I enlisted in the Navy and it was Denver that I returned to after sailing around the world. Cheers!

Partial Solar Eclipse Over Denver

October 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Solar Eclipse And Bird In Flight In Denver

A Bird Flies Past A Solar Eclipse

    Last week I photographed a partial solar eclipse in Denver, Colorado. That was something I had never done before so guess what happened. Never mind, don’t guess; I’ll just tell you: I didn’t do a very good job. I did the best I could with the equipment I had but believe it or not, pointing a camera at the sun, the brightest thing any human being has ever seen requires more than skill, it demands specialized equipment; a neutral density filter. Just attach the filter to the end of your lens and it functions just like sunglasses or a welder’s mask. They restrict the amount of light that passes through the lens so you can use low light techniques in broad daylight. Or, in the case a solar eclipse, prevent you from going blind whilst composing a shot that includes the sun.

Solar Eclipse Through Colorado Blue Spruce In Denver

Partial Solar Eclipse Through Colorado Blue Spruce

    Since I don’t have one of these filters, I had to push my camera to its limits by using the fastest shutter, smallest aperture and lowest ISO available; 1/4000th of a second paired with f/32 and a film speed of 100. In addition to that, I did what I could in order to get some trees, leaves and branches between my camera and the eclipse to help act as a natural diffuser. So, technically I got some photos that show the moon partially blocking the sun but as you can see, just barely. There are cameras out there that can slap their shutters at 1/8000th of a second and that would’ve helped me out a lot but using a neutral density filter for an event like this is the better option because it would have given me more flexibility, including the option to directly view the sun through the viewfinder. This would have made it so much easier to compose the shots.

Solar Eclipse And Trees In Denver

Partial Solar Eclipse And Spooky Trees

    The eclipse itself was a very unique event for North American photographers because it happened right before or during sunset for the middle and eastern side of the continent. Just like when the harvest moon happens, it’s always nice to be able to place familiar objects in the foreground to enhance to apparent size of the celestial event by giving it some scale. There was a very light cloud cover the entire time so the sun looked like a very haunted moon and the foreground subjects looked like something from an evil garden.

Solar Eclipse Through A Pinhole Camera In Denver

Solar Eclipse Projected By Pinhole Camera

    If you don’t have gear capable of being pointed directly at the sun, there is an old world way to see an eclipse and that is to construct a pinhole camera. You need a piece of white cardboard to poke a pinhole in and another white surface for the eclipse to be projected on. The smaller the pinhole, the closer together the two ends of the camera need to be. I poked a hole with a large paper clip so I was able project an image of the eclipse onto a white brick wall from more than three feet away. The image itself, visible on the left side of the photo above was about a half inch a cross and even showed the branches of the trees. I hadn’t messed around with old school optics like this for over 20 years so it was fun and even a little bit nostalgic. The good news in all this is that there will be a total solar eclipse visible across a large swath of the United States in August of 2017 as well as a total lunar eclipse in September of 2015. I know it seems like these are a long way off but having two events like this so close together is very special and doesn’t happen very often in the United States so, buy a neutral density filter and start practicing now. Cheers!

Denver Burger Battle 2014

August 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Williams And Graham At Denver Burger Battle

A Booth At Denver Burger Battle

    If ever there was an event tailored made for me, Denver Burger Battle has to be it; 12 local burger joints slugging it out in a competition of hamburgers in the middle of Sculpture Park in Downtown. It was a great time and I have a winner and two runners up that I’ll get to but before I do I want to tell you about my experience at the battle because it was a lot of fun and very well run.

Old Major Pork Burger At Denver Burger Battle

Making Burgers

    Upon entry my badge was scanned and then I was issued a sturdy, red plastic plate with compartments, including a drink holder. Besides the burger booths there were desert stands, bars that poured wine and beer and ice filled tubs with cans of soda and bottles of water. You just walked up and took what you needed.

Cornhole At Denver Burger Battle

Corn Toss In Sculpture Park

    There was a corn toss, a couple caricature artists, tables that had paper towels and lots of trash cans. It was just a fun atmosphere and I was eating hamburgers so after taking it all in, it was time to get down to business and do my personal battle with these burgers.

Night at Denver Burger Battle

Night And Lights At Denver Burger Battle

    I don’t like onions and almost every entry had onions so that was a bit of a problem. They are the one thing I can’t just scrape off because they contaminate what they touch and sometimes they’re so integral to the burger recipe that they contaminate it beyond where I can eat it. Other than that, I was game to try any new or progressive style of burger by biting right in, as served. They were all good and there were only a few that I straight out didn’t try because of the onion thing and one other one that was based on mushrooms. I don’t do mushrooms either. Or tomatoes.

Denver Burger Battle Sculpture Park Dancers

Dancers In Sculpture Park

    My second runner up is Ste. Ellie and their Ste. Ellie Burger which had fennel jam and amazing, crisp pickles. First runner up is Acorn and their Oak Grilled Double Cheeseburger with fried pickles and aioli. That little bit of garlic flavor was nice and the fried pickles were a brilliant idea. This is a classic recipe made with modern ingredients. If the cheeseburger had been invented today, it would look and taste like this one.

Denver Burger Battle And The Band

The Band At Denver Burger Battle

    The winner of Rob’s Choice at the Denver Burger Battle for 2014 is Tag and their Colorado Proud. This was unexpected because I would never have just tried a burger with green chili on it. Spicy is something that I do not associate with burgers but it worked for me, probably because it was different. On a side note, Little Man Ice Cream was there and I had some lemon sorbet on a cone that was perfect for the occasion. Cheers!

Denver Public Art

April 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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!

Globe of Death

February 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Globe Of Death Denver Motorcycle Expo

Globe Of Death Before The Show

    Today I went to the Colorado Motorcycle Expo where watching the Globe Of Death stunt riding was by far the most interesting thing to see. Aimlessly wandering the National Western Complex led me to the stadium where I got my first glimpse of the globe. The near empty building made the thing look like a lunar lander with motorcycle riding astronauts. Walking up to the globe I met Monte Perlin, the stuntman who commissioned the construction of the globe in the early 1980s at a cost of $15,000.

Monte Perlin Enters Globe Of Death

Monte Perlin and Globe Of Death

    They call it Globe of Death because one or both riders could die performing this stunt. They ride motorcycles inside the 16 foot sphere using centrifugal force to ride upside down and every other direction.

Inside Globe Of Death

Inside View – Globe Of Death

    There is a hinged panel that acts as the door. It’s not big and the riders have to duck way down when riding the bikes in and out. The globe is just a metal sphere and metal rib exoskeleton held together with bolts.

Monte Perlin Exits Globe Of Death

Getting Motorcycles Ready For The Show

Globe Of Death Denver Motorcycle Expo Monte Perlin

Monte Perlin About To Enter The Globe Of Death

    The photo above is Perlin warming up the crowd with some tricks outside the globe before finally going inside to ride gravity defying loops and horizontal donuts. The video below shows the bikes riding inside the globe. Cheers!

Denver Sportsmen’s Expo

January 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Colorado Convention Center Denver Blue Bear

Blue Bear At Colorado Convention Center – Denver

    Today I took the light rail to the Colorado Convention Center for the Denver Sportsmen’s Expo. The trip was easy and it was so much fun looking at all the latest stuff in the world of the outdoorsman that I didn’t get many photos of the day. The two photos in this post are the best I have. I’m bringing this up because I did a lot of homework and prep to cover this show but most of my schedule went right out the window. There was so much to see and eat and drink that I decided I wanted to attend the show, not cover the show. During my teenage years I was all into being a survivalist and learning about skills that would be of help when the Walking Dead or communists would lead to us reverting to an Iron Age world. There were a lot of people that would be prepared either of these events plus many more at this show. When I was a kid I had to get my fill of survivalist adventure from weekend camping trips and going to the swap meet with my family along with mail order catalogs from places like Campmor and Brigade Quartermaster. This expo was everything my teenage self could have wanted and everything my present self hadn’t seen for quite some time. In my late teens, especially for the year or so before I graduated high school we would camp just about every weekend.

Fly Fishing Casting

Flyfishing Casting

    The two photos in this post are of the big blue bear in front of the convention center and a lady that was participating in a casting demonstration. I didn’t take many others; I just enjoyed the ride and watched tons of demos for things that I now want to buy. I did very well in terms of self control by only buying food while I was there. I took copious notes and will be sure to post reviews for any items I end up buying that I also end up really liking. Cheers!

Fixing The Sewer

December 21, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Front Hoe and Sewer Hole

A Hole To The Sewer

    Is there anything worse than a clogged toilet? No. When your toilet backs up you are transported back to the dark ages. If the worst parts of humanity are spewing up out of your crapper and a plunger doesn’t fix it, you have to start shoveling, and I’m not talking about snow. Before you know it a plumber is snaking hundreds of feet of steel cable down a pipe that has never seen the light of day and the next thing after that, there’s a front hoe and an eight foot hole in your yard in the middle of the night.

House and Sewer Hole

Inside The Sewer Hole

    Digging a hole for the purpose of repairing an underground pipe is art and science. The science is figuring out where to dig while the art is knowing how to dig. The guy operating the hoe had a very delicate touch and dug a very sharp edged hole large enough for two guys to work in.

Digging A Hole To Sewer Line

Men At Work

    They worked well into the night and finished up the following morning. After they left, you would never have know they were there, other than the fact that the basement toilet was now fully operational. It was just another day at the office for them and just another photo op for me. Cheers!

Denver Has A Greek Amphitheater

December 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Greek Amphitheater Denver At Night

Amphitheater In Civic Center Park

    The Denver Capitol Building and the City and County Building are separated by Civic Center Park. In the center of the park is a Greek amphitheater and a fountain that are connected by a large paved walkway. I was in the park last week to photograph Christmas lights and to get reacquainted Downtown Denver. I arrived just after sunset, before the Christmas lights were turned on so I indulged in a little blue hour photography. The yellow lights of the amphitheater were a great contrast to the deep blue of the soon to be dark sky. After I was done, I headed to the 16th Street Mall to check out the ice rink at Skyline Park and then retraced my steps back to Civic Center to get some shots of the lights on the City and County Building.

Allen Tupper True Art In Denver Greek Amphitheater The Trapper

Allen Tupper True Art In Denver Greek Amphitheater The Prospector

Denver Greek Amphitheater Front

Looking North From The Greek Amphitheater

    The amphitheater and the walkway run north and south through the park so the capitol building, on the east side of the park, the city and county building on the west side and Downtown Denver to the north can all be seen from this central location. There are two 1920 paintings created by Allen Tupper True within the amphitheater that were completed in 1920. Above, on the left is the work titled, “The Prospector” and the other, pictured on the right is titled, “The Trapper.” According to 15 minutes of internet research, they have both been restored twice; in 1976 and in 2008. The photo in the center sits between these two pieces of art, facing north towards downtown so you can see Republic Plaza, the tallest building in Colorado in the background of all three photos. The Denver Art Museum was behind me and the paved walkway along with the north end of the amphitheater is in front of me. For all you artistic snobs out there, the center photo above is the skene (tent) whilst the other two are the parados (passageways). Do you see the two light poles flanking Republic Plaza? For the next photo I walked to the north into the orchestra area, towards the other end of the amphitheater.

Downtown Denver From Greek Amphitheater

Downtown Denver Seen From Civic Center Park

    Above we see much more of Downtown Denver framed by the lights of the Greek Amphitheater as I walked towards the northern border of Civic Center Park. Up ahead there is a fountain that is disabled during winter but still provides a great foreground to what is around in the park year round.

Civic Center Park

The Fountain In Civic Center Park – Downtown Denver

    Continuing my walk through the park I ended up at the aforementioned fountain. In all fairness, this is not one giant amphitheater; it is a proper amphitheater to the south and a fountain with a Greek structure to the north, which is pictured above.

Greek Amphitherater and Capitol Dome

Denver Capitol Dome Seen From Civic Center Park

    From this vantage we are looking at the fountain, along with the Denver Capitol Building and amphitheater in the background. All of these photos were taken after sunset, that’s why at the top of the post I referred to me indulging in blue hour photography. As you can see, the sky is has a very deep blue color once the sun is down, before the night takes hold.

Greek Theater In Downtown Denver

Looking East From Civic Center Park

    Above we can see the top of the Denver City and County building (sans Christmas lights) in the background, McNichols Civic Center building in the midground and the Greek amphitheater in the center. There is some mysterious art in the arches of this structure that can be seen at the top of the photo.

Greek Amphitheater Upward View

Upward View Of Art In The Greek Amphitheater

    I had to leave this magnificent area to shoot the Christmas lights of the city. On this same night I ice skated at the rink in Skyline Park and took in the lights at the Denver City and County Building. It was a good night and it assured me that I’d done the right thing by returning to Denver after being away for eight years. Cheers!

Denver Capitol Building

December 7, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Dowtown Denver Capitol Building From Civic Center Park

Downtown Denver And Capitol Building

    Denver has a capitol building with a dome covered in gold and granite steps that sit a mile above sea level. Unfortunately the dome is currently going through an extensive renovation, so people are not able to walk up the inside or even see it. The last time I walked up there was in 1999 so I was looking forward to walking those steps again but alas, I was denied. The renovations are needed; the building is over 100 years old so in addition to stripping lead based paint and rust from the structure, 72 ounces of brand new Colorado mined gold will be pressed into gold leaf and applied to the dome. The work will be completed early next year and when it is, I have a feeling that the saying, “shine like the top of the Chrysler building” will be replaced with, “shine like the dome of Denver.” That’s my early prediction, so place your bets now.

Denver Capitol Building Mile High Step Marker

Denver Capitol Mile High Step Markers

    Denver is known as the mile high city because it sits one mile above sea level. The granite capitol building is right at that vertical point in space. There is a spot on the west steps that shows you exactly when you are one mile above sea level. Actually, there are three. In the photo above you can see two brass markers as well as words carved right into the granite steps. The mythology of Denver says that the top marker had been stolen many times so city leadership had the spot marked with immovable words chiseled into the steps. In 2003 it was discovered that the first two markers were not quite at the right place so a third was added, a couple steps lower. I have it in my head that I’d like to go back to take more photos but I’d like to bring some brass cleaner with me to clean the marker up a bit. Hopefully, it’s not illegal to clean up city property because I would hate to have a swarm of men in black tackle me to the ground for polishing a mile high marker.

Denver Capitol Building West Steps

Denver Capital Building West Steps

    Even though the spiral staircase leading up to the dome is closed, you can still go inside the capitol building during the week during regular business hours. I didn’t go inside on this day. I’ve not been in there for 14 years so I can wait a little longer, until the golden dome is open and gleaming. Besides, my actual mission was to photograph the Christmas lights on the City and County building and the ice rink at Skyline Park so being able to get reacquainted with the capitol building at sunset was just a pleasant bonus. Cheers!

Ice Skating At Skyline Park

December 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Skyline Park Ice Skate Rink 16th Street Mall Denver

Southwest Airlines Rink At Skyline Park

    Skyline Park is in Downtown Denver, on the 16th Street Mall. It is three blocks long, half a block wide and is the venue for many different events and activities throughout the year. When it is not a host for special occasions, it is a nice place to take a break from your daily grind or from shopping at the mall. Right now, during the Christmas season it is home to an ice skating rink that is free and open to the public. I learned how to ice skate when I was young but in 1995 I discovered inline skating so almost 20 years ago I gave up the ice for the road. I’ve only ice skated a few times since the 1990s so I was excited, albeit a little nervous to try out this rink. So, on an unseasonably warm yet windy day, I headed out to ice skate in the middle of Downtown Denver.

Skyline Park Ice Skate Skating Rink 16th Street Mall Denver

Skating At Christmas On The 16th Street Mall In Denver

    I ended up making two trips to Skyline Park that day; once to skate and again to take photos. After I left for the second time I headed over to take photos of the Christmas Lights on the Denver City and County building so it was a very enjoyable day. After all these years I’ve managed to hold on to my ice skates so I brought them with me which saved the $2 skate rental fee. I just showed up, laced up my skates and hit the ice. I skated for about an hour, until my ankles started begging for mercy. I did fall down one time but I swear it wasn’t my fault; as I rounded one end of the rink a very strong gust of wind pushed against me, taking away my forward momentum and causing me to crumple to the ground.

Skyline Park Ice Skating Rink 16th Street Mall Denver D&F Tower

D&F Tower And Southwest Airlines Skate Rink

    The Southwest Airlines sponsored rink will be in place until the middle of February so you still have plenty of time to head down there for some winter sports fun. The rink is on Arapahoe Street just off the 16th Street Mall, right in the middle of all the action and very near the light rail. Having photographed the beachside ice rink at Hotel Del Coronado the last couple years I’ve become a fan of outdoor rinks in unique locations. This rink, sitting amongst the skyscrapers of Denver certainly qualifies as one of the most unique places in the country to have a skate. Cheers!

Denver City and County Building Christmas lights

December 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Denver City And County Building Christmas Lights 2013

Denver City And County Building Christmas Lights

    The Christmas season has officially arrived in Denver and mercifully, the winter weather has not. If the weather psychics are correct that’ll all be changing over the next few days but yesterday it was sunny and warm enough that I didn’t need a jacket or a beanie until after the sun went down. I arrived in Downtown Denver and Civic Center Park about an hour before sunset with two specific things on my agenda; to ice skate in Skyline Park and to photograph the Christmas lights at the Denver City and County Building. I was able to do both and even though I skated before I went to the City and County building, the photos from the ice rink will be in my next post. I really like how Denver embraces Christmas because it doesn’t conform to what the rest of the country does at this time of year which is to blend every December celebration into one big holiday. Denver decorates its buildings and holds a parade to celebrate Christmas, not some generic collection of holidays. I love Denver!

Denver City and County Building Christmas Lights Straight Up 2013

Under The Christmas Lights In Denver

    As it turned out, I arrived much earlier than I needed to. I incorrectly assumed the lights would be turned on at sunset, but they were not turned on until almost an hour and half after sunset. My original plan was the go directly to Skyline Park to ice skate, then go to the City and County building to take photos, go back to the ice rink to take night photos and then jump on the light rail to head back home. I wanted to make photographing the ice rink the last thing I did because it’s very close to the light rail while the City and County building is not. Alas, my journey ultimately consisted of skating, going to Civic Center Park to wait for the lights, going back to the ice rink, returning to Civic Center with the now lit Christmas lights and then going back to the light rail to head home.

Denver City and County Building Christmas Lights Up Close 2013

Christmas Lights In Denver

    There are a lot of people taking a lot of photos of everything these days so it’s becoming more and more difficult to be original. Instagram and iPhones have the general population believing they take good photos and that their photos are adding something to the ethosphere, but they’re not. It’s cool that people are sharing where they’ve been in a way that’s more accessible than a traditional slide show but you need to remember that just because you can drive a car doesn’t mean you can be a mechanic.

Denver City And County Building Christmas Lights Full View 2013

Denver City And County Building At Christmas

    Either way, I had a great time spending and afternoon and an evening in Downtown Denver. Civic Center Park, The 16th Street Mall and everything in between was my playground for the first time in almost a decade. I am so glad to be back in Denver that I may just have to run for mayor. Below is a video version of this post. Cheers!

Confluence Park

November 28, 2013 by · 6 Comments 

Confluence Park From 15th St Bridge

Confluence Park From 15th Street Bridge

    I have been back in Denver for two weeks and the winter season has been remarkably good to me so far. It has snowed once and there have been a few really cold days but for the most part it’s been sunny and warm. Yesterday I went on a 30 mile roundtrip bike ride from Littleton to Confluence Park in 65 degree weather. Denver has an amazing system of bike paths throughout the metro area so I rode the entire way on a paved path, never once having to deal with cars or roads. I was just cruising along and enjoying the sites of Denver so the amount of time I spent on the bike was about four hours as well as an additional hour taking pictures.

    Confluence Park is named because it is situated at the confluence of The South Platte River and Cheery Creek. In the photo above, I’m standing on the 15th Street bridge looking southwest at the park. The South Platte Trail, the trail I arrived on heads off in the distance while the Cherry Creek Trail is on the left.

Confluence Park Rapids

Confluence Park Rapids

    Starting at the Speer Street Bridge there is a hundred yards or so of mild rapids where kayakers are permitted to practice their craft. Everything in the park is free. There are no amenities but there is a river, lots of grass and trails that you may use whenever you like. It is a pedestrian and biking gateway into Downtown Denver. I am very happy to be back in Denver; I’ve been in San Diego for the last 8 years and just didn’t realize how much I liked and ultimately missed the Mile High City. I grew up in Denver, most of my friends and family live here and I know the place like the back of my hand so these last two weeks have been an amazing homecoming.

Confluence Park Pedestrian Bridge

Pedestrian Bridge Over South Platte River

    I have been into Downtown Denver a few times since I’ve been back but this was my first time riding my bike there and just taking some time for myself and my camera. I’ll be the first to admit that the San Diego sun has jaded me against cold weather so I was very nervous about moving back to here at the onset of winter. Denver is a very sunny city and the mountains get the lion’s share of the snow so it’s not like living in Alaska, but it’s also not like living in San Diego either. Truth be told, it’s better than both of those places. Yeah, I said it. Cheers!

Road Trip From San Diego To Denver

November 18, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Uhaul Trailer In Imperial Beach

Uhaul Waiting For The Road Trip To Begin

    I have lived in San Diego for eight years and I have enjoyed it immensely. I spent my first five years in East County in the town of La Mesa and the last three years in South Bay in the country’s most southwestern city, Imperial Beach. The weather, the people, the beach, and having the magnificent Pacific Ocean practically on tap made living there a joy that I will not soon forget. Alas, the job market out there had been kicking my ass for over two years so after much internal debate, I’ve moved away and landed back in my hometown of Denver, Colorado. I’ve been back in Denver for four days and while I’m not happy to be arriving here at the onset of winter, I’m very happy to be back amongst my family and old friends.

    I had been somewhat isolated in San Diego and on top of that I was living in a somewhat isolated area of San Diego. The area of Imperial Beach I lived in was right next to Bayshore Bikeway so I had an easy three mile ride to Silver Strand and an equally easy nine mile ride to Coronado which I frequently did on my inline skates or bicycle. The beach and the weekly Farmers Market were a very pleasant 10 minute ride from my place and were usually the highlight of my week. All those things kept me here, hoping that my next big break was right around the corner but it finally seemed that I run out of corners so I had ultimately decided to leave. As I would be taking all my stuff and a few items of furniture with me, this would be an escape made by road. As is usually the case with moving road trips, a trailer from Uhaul is needed, so above you see the trailer that would hold everything I own on a two day journey that would cover almost 1100 miles.

Bonnie and Clyde Death Car At Whiskey Pete's

Bonnie And Clyde Death Car

    This was not a “stop and smell the roses” kind of trip but it wasn’t the Cannonball Run either. My awesome parents drove to Imperial Beach from Denver to get me so it was their vehicle the Uhaul was attached to. Our route would take us out of California through the southern tip of Nevada, clipping the extreme northwest corner of Arizona, plunging straight into Utah where we would meet up with Interstate Highway 70 which is the highway that would lead us west, straight into Denver, Colorado.

Bonnie and Clyde Death Car

Bonnie And Clyde Death Car In Whiskey Pete’s Casino

    One place we did stop on our first day was in Primm, Nevada so we could take a look at the original Bonnie and Clyde death car. It is sitting inside Whiskey Pete’s Casino behind a glass enclosure. As I was a bit bummed about moving, I hadn’t even touched my camera until this point so it was nice to get out of the car and take a few photos. The glass made it difficult to get great shots but in all honesty, it is something that is more fun to look at than to try to photograph. This would be the only stop we would make other than to get gas or to sleep for the remainder of the trip.

Front Hoe On A Steep Hill

Front Hoe On A Steep Hill

    After our stop to see the Bonnie and Clyde death car, we continued northeast and stayed the night in Cedar City, Utah. When we got back on the road the next morning I was feeling much more upbeat and the joy of being back in Denver was beginning to overcome my sadness of leaving San Diego. As such, I wanted take more photos so I had my camera at the ready most of the day. Utah is full of natural wonder and HUGE canyons and cliffs. We were all rather anxious to get to Denver so we didn’t stop at any of the scenic places; I merely shot them from the moving car.

Plowed Field Seen From A Moving Car

A Plowed Field And A Blue Sky

    It takes about two and a half hours to fly from San Diego to Denver and about 16 hours of actual road time to drive there. I know airports can be a real pain but the speed of an airplane is very convenient. However, road trips are the original way that people went on trips. You sacrifice seeing the land in order to have speed if you fly. It can be difficult to embrace America if all you see of it when you travel are crowded airports or mountains from 35,000 feet in the air.

Red Rock Cliffs

Red Rock Cliffs

    With the exception of the hilarious 1980 movie, “Airplane!” not many other great things have been created that revolve around airplanes. Take it easy! I know fighter jets are cool and aerial photography has changed the world; what I mean is that people tend to come up with great things whilst on the ground. Just imagine what “On The Road” by Jack Kerouac would have been like if he had written it while traveling on airplanes and named it, “In The Air” instead? Or what if Hell’s Angels were an outlaw airplane gang? Hunter S. Thompson would never have been able to write, “Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.” If Isaac Newton had been sitting back in coach on a flight to London he may never have seen the apple fall. See what I mean? Any eureka moments you will have will probably not come to you until you get off the plane but on a road trip, you may have one as you travel.

Utah Canyons

Canyons In Utah

    These are the things you think about when you are on a road trip. You can see just how big our world is so you begin to have big thoughts. When you are on an airplane all you’ll really think about is how small it is so your thoughts for the duration of the flight will be small. I’m not saying there have never been eureka moments on a plane, I’m saying they are much more likely to happen if you are able to experience travel from the ground. After you conclude your road trip and get settled in to wherever it is you need to be, give yourself some respite by walking or riding your bike without a destination in mind.

Runaway Truck Ramp Sign Eastbound I70

Runaway Truck Ramp Sign On EastboundI-70

    After two days, five states and hundreds of miles, we began to see runaway truck ramps on westbound I-70. That meant that we were over the Continental Divide and on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. In other words, it would be all downhill from here. The sun was already set when we got to The Eisenhower Tunnel so 45 minutes later when we emerged from the foothills, the Denver skyline was twinkling out at us from the darkness. We made it! I am really looking forward to writing and posting photos for The World Is Raw from out here. In the four days I’ve been here things have already started looking up and I’m very excited to assimilate back into Denver and Colorado. Cheers!

What I Love About Denver

November 28, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Denver Capitol Building, 1999

Denver Capitol Building, 1999

        Denver is a great city, no matter what time of year it is. Downtown, LoDo and Capitol Hill in particular are such great places to live and spend time. Anything you need and everything you want is right there, sports, drinks, food, walking, skating, shopping and sightseeing are all touching each other.

Inside Denver Capitol Building Christmas 1999

Inside Denver Capitol Building Christmas 1999

        There are two very different forms of solitude available to the residents of Denver, the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains. Depending on your mood, the time of year and your own reasons for wanting to get away from all human beings for a while, you can drive to west or south to the mountains or drive east towards Kansas and America’s Bread Basket. Personally, I like the mountain form of solitude better than the endless plains form. Being out in the woods is more engaging and more inspiring for me, I feel like there is more nature per square inch in the mountains.

        Sometimes, the history of Denver is what held my interest for extended periods of time. So many things have happened in Denver in the last 150 years and all of it is interesting and fun to talk about. Click here to visit the city of Denver’s website. There is just so much to do, and there are so many restaurants, all of which you can walk to. Downtown Denver is a great place.

        Four sunny seasons is what you will find in Denver, Colorado. Fall colors, winter wonderland, spring is colorful and warm and summer is hot with thunderstorms that will make you take notice. The mountains are so different with each season and each mountain town is different as well. Estes Park, Boulder & Golden would be good starting points for visitors that want to start visiting mountain towns. After them, head out to Cripple Creek, Georgetown or Central City. Now you’ll be ready to head deep into the Rockies to visit ski towns and do some real exploring!

Mile High Stadium And Unborn Investco Field

Mile High Stadium As Investco Field Is Built, 1999

John Elway & Denver Broncos - Superbowl XXXII Champions 1998

John Elway & Denver Broncos - Superbowl XXXII Champions 1998

        There was a stretch, back in the late 1990’s when I was going to a lot of Bronco games, and almost every game was watched from the south stands, in both stadiums. Those that were attending home games of the Denver Broncos in the late nineties will remember what a time that was. The Broncos had already won the Superbowl and were on track to win for a second time. The new stadium was about to be built and John Elway was just awesome. The pic on the right was taken following the Denver Broncos Superbowl victory parade through downtown. John Elway & The Denver Broncos are on the steps of the city & county building for this photo. I did not take this John Elway shot, but I was standing next to my friend when he shot it. It was such a fun day and we both waited since we were kids to see the Broncos win the superbowl.

This Is Why I Live In San Diego

October 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Pacific Beach Sunset

Living On The West Cost Of California Does Have It’s Advantages

        This is a view only possible to those of us that live on a West Coast of an island, state or nation. For me, it helps to be reminded why I am doing or have done the things that I do. I moved to California during the dead of Colorado’s winter, so I suppose not much more explanation is necessary in that regard.

I-70 Runaway Truck Ramp

From This Point It Is Downhill All The Way To San Diego

        This was my view upon exiting the Eisenhower Tunnel, heading west. Crossing the Continental Divide, in the spirit of the pioneers did enter my mind. I was moving across the country with no money and only the barest scraps of a plan. I was heading towards unknown opportunities and I was starting my journey in Arctic conditions, with the promise that better weather lay ahead.

Eisenhower Tunnel

On Approach To The Eisenhower Tunnel

        Try climbing over 11,000 feet into the air with your possessions strapped to your back, and you can understand the gravity of what you are doing. I can only imagine what a journey like mine must have been like in the age before fossil fuels and certainty of destination.