Wray, CO | The Other Half | Colorado’s Eastern Plains

The mountains of Colorado get a lot of love from photographers (for good reason). This is a really beautiful state, and the first subject that generally leaps to mind, is the mountains.

Having grown up spending a lot of time out on the Eastern Plains with relatives, when I think about cool places to shoot, this other half of the state really calls to me. Out on the plains, agriculture and open spaces rule. This gives photo opportunities that we rarely come across in the city. In the small towns, the pace of change is slower. Old buildings stick around longer. And history feels real, not like something that was made-up for the tourists.

Below I have a few pictures that were shot on a trip to Wray, CO (my Dad’s home town) last summer. They are all pictures of buildings, some in use, some abandoned. The images were all shot on a quick walk around town early on a Sunday morning. The streets were pretty much empty, so I had the place to myself. I was really happy with the textures and forms that I got with these pictures, also the detail visible in both highlights and shadows is really amazing – gotta love that black and white film.

Hopefully you will like these pictures, and if you are thinking about a quick photo trip, I would highly recommend taking a look at a map of Colorado, picking a small town out on the plains and pointing your car in that direction. You never know what beautiful pictures you will find along the state highways, county roads and small town streets.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
Fuji GS645S
60mm f4 Fixed Fujinon Lens
Fuji Acros 100
Ilford Ilfotec DD-X Developer
Epson 4870 Scanner + VueScan + Adobe Camera Raw

Behind The Scenes | Photo Website | WordPress + Photocrati

I know that some of you out there are interested in all things digital media and web technology, so I thought I would give you a little peak behind the scenes of this website and blog. For those of you that are strictly here for the photography, sorry about the geek-fest, please check back next week when we return to our regularly scheduled program.

To start with, this whole website is actually built on a self-hosted WordPress content management system. That means I had my web host (webhero.com) install PHP and MySQL on my webserver and then I installed WordPress. I know that sounds super geeky and impressive, but it isn’t. You don’t really even need to know what PHP and MySQL are, you  just need to know that WordPress needs them in order to operate. It takes less than an hour to get the bare bones website up a running, and there are easy to follow instructions over on www.wordpress.org

Of course, at this point, all you really have is a very generic looking blog with one “Hello World” post. The cool look and feel of the website comes from your theme.  There are about a million WordPress themes out there, some free, some you pay for. For my website, I chose Photocrati. This is a premium theme designed specifically for Photographers. It will set you back about $80.00 – a really good price considering everything you get.

What I really liked about the Photocrati theme is the amount of flexibility you have in setting up your look and feel. There are 15 basic templates within the SuperTheme (as they call it) and you can further tweak the final look of any of them until you are really happy.

I have my website set up so the home page looks like a “normal” photography website with a continuously running slideshow and navigation bar across the top. From the home page, you can navigate to any of my galleries, sub-pages, or go directly to the blog. All of these pages can be customized, and since the whole site is built on WordPress, every time I make a blog post, or someone else comments on a post, Google comes looking for new content to index. In other words, Google sees the site as an ever changing and evolving blog rather than a stagnate portfolio site.

So far, I have been really happy with this set-up. The WordPress dashboard makes updating and maintaining the website easy, and the Photocrati theme allows me to create the look and feel that I want. Also, the Photocrati support and update frequency has been great. They have been busy adding tons of new features and making the theme even better, so if you are in the market for a photo-centric WordPress theme, I would definitely check them out.

I hope those of you that are interested in web technologies found this information useful. If you would like more of these types of posts, just let me know.

***Disclaimer Alert – Other than using their products, I’m not affiliated with Webhero, WordPress, or Photocrati***

Denver, CO | Family + Senior Combination Session | Three Sisters

Below are a bunch a pictures from my recent Family Portrait / Senior Portrait combination session. I really like the variety of images we were able to get in just a short time. McWilliams Park in Denver provided a bunch of different settings and backgrounds, and I kept switching between Camera/Lens/Film(digital) combinations to keep the look changing.

As you look over the pictures below, the soft, pastel looking color images were shot on color film, the warmer more contrasty color images were shot on digital, and the black and white images were shot on black and white film. Film processing and scanning was done by the amazing Richard Photo Lab in Hollywood.

I am really happy with how all of these images turned out, but as usual, my favorites are the images shot on black and white film. The combination of Fuji Neopan 400 and the Nikon 85mm f1.8 lens constantly blows me away.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Tech Info:

B&W Film
Nikon F100
Nikon 85mm f1.8
Legacy Pro 400 (AKA Fuji Neopan 400)
Richard Photo Lab

Color Film
Nikon N90s
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Fuji Pro 400H
Richard Photo Lab

Nikon D70s
Nikon 35mm f2
Adobe Camera Raw

Westminster, CO | Documentary Portraits | Molly & Balloon

With all of the below zero weather this week, I was really longing for some summer sun. I went back through some of my photo shoots from last summer and pulled these documentary portraits of Molly. They were shot during a concert at the Westminster Promenade in Westminster, CO. Molly was having a great time playing with the black balloons while staying in the shade of the Westminster High School tent.

The dark tent overhead, with light streaming in from all sides, made for some beautiful light; and the dark balloons next to Molly’s light skin created really interesting contrast in the images.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
Natural Light

Nikon F3
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Ilford HP5 Plus
Ilford Ilfotec DD-X (9min @ 20C)

Camera Scan
Sigma SD9
Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro
Photosolve Xtend-a-Slide