Denver Photography

STEM

Another quick update since a couple more things are going up here.

First, I found a short documentary that I worked on for the CCSSO (The Council of Chief State School Officers) which talks about the STEM program in the St. Vrain School District here in Colorado. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and they incorporate one of those four principles into all of their classes. So they've pretty much done away with English and PE. But it was a conscious decision on the part of the community to create this system, since many of the parents that live in that area of the state work in one of those four areas for a living, and they wanted their kids to have a better grasp on what they did, as well as give them a leg up on the competition in case they decide to stay in that area after they graduate. It was an incredibly interesting program, and I have to say, they had a lot of cool toys to play with! You can find the documentary here, or MY WORK section.

Also, I've been working through the thousands of pictures that I took while in South America and have been posting those on my Flickr page. I still have about 6 more countries to get through, so it will take a while to get them all up, but they'll trickle in as I get done. Please excuse the gigantic watermark, but I have had companies steal my photographs in the past and put their own copyright on the pictures, so I wanted to try to combat that a bit. If you would like to see any of the pictures without the watermark or (god forbid!) if you would like to order and prints, please let me know and I would be happy to help you out.

Hit the Ground Running

This isn't really the place where I give you all of the up-to-the-second news about my life, but I still need to do a better job of keeping my website up to date. As I had mentioned before, I took off to South America for the better part of January and February and just returned about a week ago, so there has been a small amount of re-acclimation, but this seemed like a good time to dedicate myself to getting the website back up and running at full steam.

So. The news. I was sorting through the internet trying to dig up completed versions of some of the videos I had worked on in the past, and I was able to find quite a few good ones which weren't up before. First off is the video that I had the privilege to film at the MLS All-Star game last summer. It centers around Kei Kamara, who tied for "The Golden Boot Award", which is awarded to the highest goal-scorer in the MLS each year, only to lose to Sebastian Giovinco on an assist tie-breaker. Either way, it was an incredible year for Kei and it has been an even more incredible life. Not all of it has been good, but it's a great story to listen to, and that's why he was chosen for an MLS Insider piece which ran on the MLS network channels, the MLS website, and subsequently got picked up by CNN and other news networks. You don't have to be a soccer fan to appreciate everything he has been through, so check it out here!

Next, we have a political ad campaign for Republican Robert Blaha, who is running for Senate out of Colorado Springs. It was a pleasure to work with the entire Blaha family, who didn't blink an eye when it came to inviting an entire film crew into their house. It was also nice to be able to meet a politician in person, when they're just being themselves. In an increasingly erratic political world, it's sometimes hard to say who is telling the truth and who is lying through their teeth, and what they would actually be like when they're relaxing at home, so this gave me a little bit of a glimpse into Robert's life. Now I can safely say: Not all politicians are robots! Haha. 

The next video I found was filmed up in South Dakota with my good friend Wade Yamaguchi of YamoFilms, and it was with an organization that he had been working with a lot: Love, Light and Melody. The video centered around Scott Norby, who won the Stu Wolfer Award from Thomson Reuters, a company which awards the honor to one of their employees, so they can in turn give it back to an organization which they have been working with in the community. Years ago, Scott began working with the Lakota Nation, a native tribe in southern South Dakota, so he returned there with the grant to help spread a little joy by giving the kids gifts, as well as teaching them music, photography and art. It was humbling to head onto the reservation and see how little they had there, yet how happy some of them could be. However, there are still myriad issues that they face every day, and alcoholism and suicide are two shadows which loom large over their land. That's why it was nice to be able to help bring them a little bit of happiness. I was also grateful that Wade allowed me to shoot some second cam on this project so I wasn't always just the guy hidden behind the boompole who had to keep his mouth shut!

That's about it for now. Meanwhile, I've been looking for updates on the 30 For 30 that I worked on a while back, as well as the new season of Tiny House Nation, so I will post any news about those as it comes about.

PLUS! I will be posting pictures that I took in South America as I get done processing them, but it's really quite a grind. It's amazing how many pictures a person can take in a month and a half. But I'll post updates on those as soon as they go online.

Sheridan Bridge Demolition

A couple months back I worked with Ames construction company to photograph the demolition of the Wadsworth bridge. Since then, I've worked on a couple other small projects with them, but I finally got the opportunity to do another bridge demo. This one didn't seem like it was going to be as much fun as the other one... until they brought out the torch. I think they said it burns oxygen and magnesium, and it burns somewhere between 9,000 and 12,000 degrees. They said it can burn your retinas from 100 yards away. Well, at least it will make for some really cool pictures!

Demolition Man

A while back, I helped out on a timelapse project for CDOT  and Ames Construction Company while they installed girders for the new Wadsworth bridge over US36. Wade Yamaguchi of YamoFilms did the timelapse and I compiled the footage for them to distribute to news stations and to the internet. I was a little bummed out that he got to do all of the field work, and I just had to sit at the computer and do the grunt work, so I was happy when this last week I had a chance to head out for a different project they had. Since the new bridge was now in place, they had to take the old one down, so I went out and took stills of the demolition.

What was originally scheduled to be a three-night event was over in one night, however, as the demolition crews used their machines like toys and quickly disassembled the bridge in massive chunks. Starting at 9:30 PM, it was all said and done by about 3:00 AM so the road could be reopened for morning traffic. Pretty impressive. If only the rest of the road work in the Denver area moved as quickly and smooth as this.  

Below are some select (bite-size) stills from that night.