And, since I am expected to interact with visitors…Why not come by and say “hi” if you are up in the mountains near Nederland, Colorado during that time!? (I will have a few of my prints and larger works up there for perusal as well.)
Yesterday, a look at the weather forecast, along with with casting my hairy eyeball out the window at the observable conditions, led me to some conclusions…
The latest cold front (OK, cool front) storm was on its way out.
With some good precipitation up in the high mountains over the past couple of days, there was the possibility of a light snow dusting up in them thar hills.
There was still plenty of humidity and a low cloud layer, that probably wasn’t too thick, blanketing the foothills and it looked to stay there overnight.
The next day (which is now today) was to be “sunny”.
There was a moon scheduled to hang high in the west at sunrise.
When I see these conditions align, I start thinking of what nearby summit I can zip off to so as to photograph the following imagined sunrise scene:
Some interesting mountain on the Continental Divide with a light dusting of snow, a moon above, and the rising sun turning an undercast of clouds into a sea of fiery orange.
It was with that objective in mind that I hoisted my fanny perpendicular at 1a.m. and headed off to the 11,428-foot Twin Sisters, up near Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Enroute entertainment was a BBC radio program about John Muir–amazingly apropos. By 2:40a.m. I was headed up the trail by the light of my headlamp through fog and a very light misty drizzle.
However…my imagined scene never really appeared–the low clouds started dissipating even before sunrise, there was no light dusting of snow on Longs, no lacy high cirrus to enhance the Colorado blue, and Mother Moon was too pie-high in the sky to work well in any composition.
Oh, well. You never really know unless you try…you can’t win the race unless you enter…and so on.
Even though I haven’t finished all the 14ers, I am still going to go out an a very narrow and exposed ledge and call this my all-time favorite of Colorado’s big mountains. But…since I still have 17 summits to go, I reserve the right to adjust that statement slightly. I have a hunch I probably won’t change my mind…
For this rather serious mountain, going solo didn’t seem to be particularly wise, so I teamed up with Brad, an experienced 14er climber, otherwise known as “Mountain Ninja” (and appropriately so!). He is currently only 18 summits away from finishing all 58 peaks for a second time and has done a fair number in winter, so my only worry was whether I could keep up with him!
Also, he had been up Capitol before, so his navigation skill through the talus and rock-snow gullies at black cat-dark 3a.m., and his navigation nose up the puzzling scree and exposed rock ledges on Capitol’s imposing southeast face, were to be be most welcome. Indeed, I found him to be a delightful and very positive-karma kind o’ companion–and extremely fit for such adventures. Thanks for a great trip, Brad!
For the full report, along with a mini-mountain montage of images…
Yesterday I thought it might be interesting to haul the old Nikon brick downtown to see what I could photograph at the 19th running of the Pearl Street Mile. This kind of “sport photography” is not something I usually do, so I was curious to see how I would “see” things and what images I would come away with. Would the pictures match the style and vision I seem to be developing in the rest of my art?
And…I also thought the event itself sounded quite intriguing and worth a visit (I had never been).
This might be something you could try as well–throw yourself at a minor little photo project that has nothing at all to do with the current direction of your art. You might find it a nice change of pace and you could even learn something while you are at it–I certainly did!
Things kicked off at 6p.m. with the kids racing with tremendous enthusiasm around a shortened (1/2 mile) course. Talk about the unleashed, unbridled, pent-up energy of youth as the starter pistol fired! The winner was 12-year-old Harrison Freis-Levy of Superior, CO at 2:45 (#90 below). In second place was the first girl–Ella Wolf of Ft. Collins, CO at 2:56:
A few of the kids got a little guiding hand or two (or a bit of levitation?) from their parents–as did two-year-old Valentine in this image. Watch for her in the 2036 Olympics in the 3000m steeplechase!
Who says these amateur runners in the “Open ” class aren’t damn serious about what they do! I loved the myriad different expressions in this image which was made just as the starting gun went off. Thirty-three-year-old Tyler Butterfield of Boulder, CO, a two-time Olympian in triathlon, was the winner at 4:47.
War stories after the race…
A door prize maybe??? I have no idea. You never know what you’ll see down on the Pearl Street Mall:
In the picture below, the small lead pack of Elite Women fly by the Boulder Theater. The race was close with first through third basically all together at the finish: 1st – Elise Cranny of Niwot, CO at 4:49. 2nd – Katie McMenamin of Lafayette, CO at 4:49, and Mara Olson of Boulder, CO at 4:51. Fourth place came in some ten seconds later.
And who is Pokey Lafarge you might ask? If you haven’t heard his unique music–or seen him perform with your own eyeballs–you are missing out on a real sweet and strange treat. For a short sample, try this link: Pokey Lafarge: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert.
The Elite Men blur their way past the Boulder Theater. Mirroring the women’s race, the top three elite men also finished nearly shoulder to shoulder: 1st – Blake Theroux of Boulder, CO at 4:11. 2nd – Kevin Kochei of Iten, Kenya at 4:12, and Stephen Pifer of Louisville, CO also at 4:12. Fourth place came in a full six seconds later.
As the course is ran on city streets, with corners, slight uphill and downhill grades, and usually a bit of wind, the times are not nearly as fast as you might see on the track. Still, 4:11 is a pretty fast mile! For the full 2016 results, see THIS LINK.
Oh, how I would love to spend six months traveling the country and photographing these aging, classic, motels from the grand era of pre-interstate motor touring. Each has a unique personality…and, oh, the stories their proprietors (and walls) could tell!
The camera can and does lie, of course, almost all the time whether we realize it or not. Nearly always, though, it is aided and abetted significantly by the very emotional and unconsciously-biased humanoid operator behind the viewfinder.
The video I have embedded below explores one angle on this phenomena of how the camera can be made to lie–or at least how it can construct parallel visions of reality depending on how certain preconceived notions mix with the personality of the photographer.
In this three-minute clip, six photographers are called in for a portrait session, the subject for all six being the same balding middle-aged man you see in the link. The twist: Each photog is separately told something different about the subject–the man is an ex-con, he is a millionaire, he just saved someone’s life, he is a recovering alcoholic, a psychic, and so on.
The final six prints–which couldn’t have been more different–reveal how each photographer made the camera “tell a lie” about the subject.
Are they really “lies”? Or simply differing perspectives? Food for thought…
For an ongoing online discussion of this video and the idea of cameras as liars, see THIS POST at photo.net.
Sometimes the alleyways are more interesting than the main streets. So it was on my recent visit to Cheyenne, Wyoming.
I would rank “The Buffalo” (2015?) as one of the two best urban street murals to be found in the City of Cheyenne (“The Cherub”–below–being the other). This one is a creation of Jordan Dean–his first, apparently–and can be found behind the Paramount Cafe. Spectacular…
On the left wing of the “Buffalo Mural” you’ll find this optical illusion done by Dan Toro (that link goes to an impressive video of yet another of Toro’s unique projects) in support of Dean’s big wall work…no, the band can’t really enter through that door…
You don’t need to look too closely to spot where Jordan Dean finally exits stage left…
“The Cherub” (2011), by Michael Cooper and just a block away from the Dean/Toro work, gets my vote as the other BEST urban mural in Cheyenne. Wonderful…
Ernie November is a music, T-shirt, and “other cool stuff” shop in the downtown area. You won’t see this unless you wander the alley…
Now, to hark back to days of yore…These vertical billboards are now called “fading ads”, “brick ads”, or “ghost signs” and are an endangered species throughout the country, but a number can still be found throughout downtown Cheyenne. I wrote a short blog post about these old signs, with some background, history, and details, way back in 2013: See Henry George Cigars, December 8, 2013.
In the example below you can clearly read the “Drink Coca Cola” slogan above left, but the “Bull Durham Smoking Tobacco” paint is a bit more difficult to discern…
“Delicious and refreshing”–it must have been Cheyenne’s official soft drink…
When Cheyenne built the big Frontier Mall out north of the airport in 1981, it spelled the doom of many of the small (and even larger) businesses in the downtown area. A story repeated ad nauseam elsewhere throughout our fair land of enthusiastic real estate investors and moguls. Alas, the 2008 recession hasn’t helped things in the urban revitalization department and many city center storefronts here are still vacant.
A quick up and back to Cheyenne for a family-related matter, but I had some time to make a few images with which I am quite happy.
First, a pilot on his/her way to…? Or, is this a statement about the religious culture in this neck o’ the prairie? You decide. Without these skies, I don’t think the composition would have worked quite as nicely. Plus, it adds an additional element of Mother Nature, of forces out of our control, of perhaps even a sense of foreboding…
Second, an image that would feel quite “at home” (so to speak) in my Neo-Topographics portfolio. The road leads to a new future…a future of development, of course. The giant bison cutout on the hillside serves as a reminder of a previous phase of “development” on the Great Plains. And the flowers? Well, we seem to always go merrily, happily, gaily down the road without seriously considering the long-term consequences…
Finally, a few miles to the north, I found this interesting landscape. The campaign poster is for Liz Cheney, daughter of our controversial ex-Vice-President. She is running on a conservative platform for the lone seat Wyoming has in the U.S. House of Representatives. Wyoming, the least populated state with fewer than 600,000 souls, is heavily conservative–yes, the philosophy of individualism and the lifestyle of the frontier are still quite alive here, pardner. Of course, the juxtaposition of the political poster with the smaller (and seriously humorous) ranch poster was what made the picture…
2016 Black & White Magazine, Spotlight Award Winner!
All photographs on this website (unless otherwise indicated) were created by and are the property of Daniel R. Joder and may not be used for any purpose without permission. Most of the images you will find here are available for license or purchase. If you are interested in using one of my images for your website, or if you would like a print, please contact me directly (See the Contact and Purchase Prints buttons for more information).