Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bio Dome

This old abandoned dome reminds me of one of those "bio dome" projects where they try to create a self sufficient ecology.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fire In The Skies

Fire In The Skies

Two nights ago, I looked outside to see the most amazing sunset I've seen in several years.

This was from my front porch on August 27th. I've rarely seen skies like this. HDR from 3 RAW files with Photomatix.

It should be noted that while this photo is quite saturated thanks to the HDR, this is how it really looked to the naked eye that night.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Thoughts On Giving Away Photos

Tonka Trucks

Irene chimed in yesterday to my post about giving away all my photos for free:

"Hi! I just recently found your blog. I am an aspiring photographer and I find your photos amazing and inspiring!

I also found this post very interesting. I have read so about so many others who cover their photos with huge watermarks, include stern warnings about NOT using their photos and refuse to enable the "all sizes" on Flickr for fear of a photo being used.

I have opted for the less fearful option (and I am not sure who would want my photos anyway). I never use watermarks, I never include warnings and I allow "all sizes".

In my limited experience, it also seems that often the less talented photographer is the one most fearful. Can you give me some more information on why you choose to encourage your photos to be used, even without your permission?

Thanks so much!"

Thanks for the comment Irene. Allow me to elaborate a bit.

We live in a world where anything and everything is available on the web...usually for free. It is expected that you can get whatever you want for free, including photos. So if someone sees a use for one of my photos, they're probably going to just use it, copyrights be damned.

It used to bother me a little bit. Not anymore. Let's take the truck photo above for example. I will more than likely never make any money off it. Joe Blogger might have some use for it on a blog post, but he's not willing to pay for it. He'll either steal it or move on. Why not just let him use it? At least this way he'll credit me for the photo (most likely).

I take photos for my own enjoyment. But I also want to share them with the world. Why take photos no one will see? After all, this is why I created Photowalking Colorado, so I could show my images to the world.

Besides, though I won't make any money on the photos now, what happens if this blog becomes really popular, thanks to all the links back to it through use of the photos? What happens when thanks to all that extra traffic, some marketing guy sees a photo that they really want to use in an ad? More than likely that company won't just rip off the photo (since there's a no commercial license on them). They'll contact me, and pay me for the use. Whoa, now I'm making money by giving stuff away for free. Or even better, what if said company decides to commission me to do some photography work for them based on what they see? Oh yeah.

I'm not saying that will happen, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities. There are a handful of photobloggers out there making a little extra change on their photos for two reasons. First, they take great photos that people like. Second, they give them away, thus making them more popular and increasing the "foot traffic" on their images, leading to sales.

Now of course there are some photos that don't get the ol' Creative Commons license. For example, I would never give away the licenses for my portrait sessions. Otherwise my clients would just run off and take the photos to Sam's Club. Nah, that's part of my living.

It's interesting that you mention that the amateurs are usually those who most fear stolen photos. But it's odd that those are the same people least likely to sell any photos to begin with. You have to be a better business person than a photographer to go anywhere with your photography.

So there you have it. This is why I give photos away for free.

Spring Canyon Drops

Spring Canyon Drops

Taken at the splash park at Spring Canyon Park in Fort Collins, CO.

I took this shot of the water coming out of a fountain from about 40 feet away using a 300mm lens.

ABC Reporter Arrested For Doing His Job

This story is going to create quite the firestorm, and I hope it does.

An ABC News producer was arrested today while filming in Denver near the Democratic National Convention. Video goodness is included, and you can clearly see the cops on a power trip.

I hope the cops involved lose their jobs (though they probably won't). As a photowalker, I take police power trips personally. Photographers aren't criminals, but are routinely treated that way on a daily basis by police the world over, and increasingly in the U.S.

Thanks to Thomas Hawk for bringing this one to my attention. I recommend you head over to Thomas' post and Digg it to get some attention on this story.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Want To Use A Photo? Take It!

Deere In Flashlights

Need a photo for a blog post? Or an article? Or whatever? If one of my photos fits your purposes, take it! I have all photos in my Flickr photostream marked with a Creative Commons license. What that means is that if you want to use one of my photos, you're free to do so. You owe me nothing other than to put my name next to the photo. Of course I would love to get a quick email letting me know that you used a photo, just so I can check it out. But it's not required.

To get different sizes of a photo on Flickr, go to the photo page. Then click the button labeled "All Sizes" above the photo. You'll find the HTML code for each size on that page.

So, need a photo? Take it!


A couple of months ago, ranchers at the entrance to Poudre Canyon started letting their cows roam into the canyon. They hang out, eat grass, wade in the river, and poop on the road and on people property. One cow even suffered a horrible fate after "meeting" a nice unsuspecting driver a while back in the middle of the night.

This shot is one of my neighbor's houses, a full eight miles from where the cows call home. My house is about 500 feet up, and I look down on their roof. One day I look down, hear mooing, and decided to go take a look. There were about ten cows down there, all pooping nonstop.

Watch your step.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Old Town Fort Collins Photowalk - September 13th

I'll be hosting a photowalk in Fort Collins on September 13th in Old Town. Come join me for some fun, meet other photographers, and take cool photos!

We'll be meeting at the "Running Man" statue on Mountain Ave. at 4:00 PM. To see a discussion thread on the topic on the Fort Collins Flickr group, go here:

To see a map of the route:

Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ew....Bear Poop

A local black bear has been roaming the neighborhood looking for tasty snacks in the middle of the night. This here is what was left behind after he went through and thoroughly destroyed a neighbor's dumpster at the bottom of my driveway.

The trash company recently replaced the dumpster with one that has no top, thus attracting the bear over and over. Hopefully this doesn't lead to yet another destroyed bear due to human activity.

As you can see, I ran over said poop after making this photo.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Anadarko Lighting Diagram

I realize that when you see a shot without seeing the setup, it can be hard to visualize how it was done. So here's a diagram to show how the lighting was set up for the Anadarko Industries employee photos (example below).

The camera was about 15 feet from the subject, set to 70mm with a shutter speed of 1/250th to kill the ambient. Aperture was set to 6.3 to throw that background a little out of focus. This also let me choose a low power on the flashes to use less juice and recycle quickly.

The key light was a Canon 430EX set to 1/4 power, and shooting through a translucent umbrella. I feathered the light forward to soften it and direct a good portion of the light across the subject and onto the reflector.

The gold reflector bounced the light back into the shadow areas and warmed it up, giving the subjects a nice glow.

The background light was a Vivitar 285HV, set to 1/16th power and zoomed out all the way to give a tight light pattern. I was up about 8 feet off the ground, and placed about 6 inches from the wall. The light was pointing down at about 45 degrees. This made the light sort of "skip" or "scrape" down that wall, adding lots of shadow to the rugged stone. Had I pointed the light straight at the wall from a distance, it would have come out looking flat and lack interest and shadow.picked

This was a very quick throw together shot. I got to the hotel about ten minutes before the employees, picked the spot in about a minute, and threw everything up in a hurry. Two test shots to get the lighting nailed and I was off and running. Bang bang bang, 30 people in about ten minutes.

It was fun!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Not so much a photowalking photo, but a photo in Colorado nonetheless.

I took the photos of all 30 of Anadarko Industries' employees in Fort Collins, CO. Taken at the Hilton on Prospect.

Those around Fort Collins have probably seen this guy. He wears a kilt every day. With a purple shirt on some days it seems.

Canon 430EX in a translucent umbrella to camera right. Gold reflector to camera left to warm things up. Vivitar 285HV camera left, up high, and scraping down that back wall to add a little something interesting.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Man I really dug those big dump trucks. This is a close up shot of one of the wheels' lugs. Each wheel had to have about 90 of them.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Poudre Ram

I took this shot of my truck back in June. This is somewhere along the Poudre River.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cheyenne Boots

These big old boots sit in front of the Union Pacific rail depot in Cheyenne. This boot has all the governors of Wyoming.

Cheyenne is one very western town. Cowboy hats galore.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The New US Forest Service Mascot

I work at the U.S. Forest Service in Fort Collins. This stuffed animal has taken on a life of it's own. It moves, seemingly on it's own. Every couple of days it shows up in another part of the building, in some silly position. No one knows who does it. Most assume it's me (though it's not).

On this particular day, the sheer creativity of the person who moved the animal warranted a photo.

Good on ya, stuffed animal mover guy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another Shot Hits Flickr Explore

I just found out another of my photos has hit Flickr's Explore page.

Pole View Of Trucks

I made this shot by attaching my camera to my tripod, and extending it as high as it would go. Then I got a focus, set the timer, and held the tripod as high as I could. The camera was about 15 feet off the ground for this shot. You can see that these huge trucks are still higher than that.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tonka Trucks

A couple of HUGE dump trucks I found sitting in a field. To give an idea of just how big these things are, one wheel is around eight feet tall. Notice the ladders to get to the drivers cab.

I processed this photo in LightRoom 2. This is not a HDR image.

Friday, August 8, 2008

My Boy At The Denver Zoo

On a high after riding the carousel, my son give me a big cheesy smile while hanging on a seal statue. If I remember correctly, this was right after he said "Birthday!" He was obsessed with his second birthday for a week.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Carousel Shot Wins the CanonBlogger Photo Contest

The photo I took this past weekend at the Denver Zoo won first place in the Canon Blogger photo contest today.

Thanks to Jason for the contest! Congrats to the other winners. If you haven't yet checked out Jason's blog, give it a look.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


This Airstream travel trailer is parked right next to my trailer at the storage yard in Fort Collins. I love Airstreams, I want one. Too bad they're so stinkin' expensive.

High Traffic for O

So I took this photo and uploaded it to Flickr on July 8th. It was well received by the Flickr community, and has continued to climb in terms of number of views. Then yesterday the number of views suddenly jumped, by over 200 views! The thing is, I can't figure out what happened. Did it end up on Explore? I just don't know.

Anyone have any ideas?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Carousel at the Denver Zoo

We took my son to the Denver Zoo this last Sunday to celebrate his second birthday. He got to ride the carousel with mom, grandma, and grandpa. I stayed behind to take photos. I got the idea to blur the whole thing, and here's what I ended up with.

My son is in the photo, somewhere.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Young Gulch

A water shot I took back in June of the creek in Young Gulch, Poudre Canyon. My wife hiked this trail last week and told me this creek is now dry. Too bad, it's such a nice hike.

Rolland Moore

Rolland Moore park in Fort Collins.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fossil Creek Park

This is a pretty cool park down in south Fort Collins. Lots of dinosaur and prehistoric themes. There's also a Fossil Creek natural area, which I believe actually has fossils. I'll have to go over there and check it out.