This made my week! Elaine found the April edition of Smithsonian Magazine with my photograph as the double truck opening spread for their America’s Best Small Towns feature while we were shopping at the Tattered Cover Book Store yesterday. It’s an honor to have my work in Smithsonian Magazine, and a pleasure to have it illustrate a feature on America’s small towns. (I always enjoy spending time and photographing life in small towns)
Below is another addition to my ongoing project, On The Road; a series of non-manipulated photographs capturing the essence of a landscape in a very non-traditional way. Often my work takes me to remote or rural locations that require hours of driving to reach. The spaces and places in between offer their beauty as the miles roll by. With these photographs I hope to capture a bit of the soul of the land I pass and a glimpse into the lives lived upon it.
After a full day of training and just days before he left Colorado for his Olympic debut in Sochi, U.S. figure skater Jason Brown agreed to go outside in below freezing temperatures and some serious snow to pose for a few portraits for me. We made a several wonderful photographs, the best two are below, and through the entire day of training and freezing outside Jason was generous with his time and energy, friendly and helpful, and a true pleasure to meet and work with.
It is always a treat for me to meet and photograph a skilled entrepreneur, farmer or artist as they work to create something that has the potential to elevate an industry, transform sentiment or upturn convention. Recently I had such an opportunity, making photographs inside a Good Meds medical cannabis cultivation facility here in Denver. Growing Cannabis (marijuana) in Colorado isn’t new, but with the rapid approach of legal recreational marijuana being available to those so inclined (and over 21) from shops in Denver on Jan. 1st, attention on the subject has greatly increased.
Farming indoors is a feat I used to associate with survival in a post-apocalyptic movie. But over the last few years I have witnessed substantial crops being raised in warehouses across Denver. The photographs below are a few from an indoor Good Meds cultivation facility. The combination of entrepreneurship, agricultural skills and craftsmanship on display there was wonderful to experience. While complying with complex regulation they successfully grow a variety of strains and create a truly artisanal product.
I find myself back up in the Oil Boom country (the Bakken region) working on assignment. The crazy weather (snow + -20 + wind) makes for challenging photographic situations. But the weather and logistics create a wonderful atmosphere for another installment of On The Road. This project consists of photographs I create while driving to/from an assignment, usually on deadline, that hopefully captures the spirit of the landscape and place while utilizing photography in a novel way.
The DEA did not show up to raid his field earlier this month so Ryan Loflin and a crew of volunteers harvested, by hand, the first major (known) hemp crop in The United States in over 50 years. Ryan quietly amassed the illegal seeds from abroad and planted them earlier this year in about 60 acres of the same land he worked as a boy in a remote corner of Southeast Colorado. In early October, as part of a decision to optimize yield, he opted to harvest the entire crop by hand. Instead of hiring migrant farm workers Ryan turned to twitter and facebook making a general call to anyone interested in participating in this historic event to go to his farm, camp and help harvest. Friday night the crew began to assemble, most camping in tents inside the barn used the following day to store the harvested crop. People came from down the road, and as far away as Idaho and Texas to participate. Saturday morning after filling out an indemnification contract, a breakfast of muffins, yogurt and coffee, Ryan and fellow hemp enthusiasts fanned out across the weedy hemp field plucking the green leafy stocks, now mature and heavy with seed, one by one, pulling out the entire plant by the roots.
Harvest weekend proved to be a visually interesting event full of colorful characters harvesting a crop in the still drought-plagued Southeastern corner of Colorado that directly reflects the changing attitudes and laws about Cannabis and Hemp in Colorado and around the country. And it was all made possible by the entrepreneurial spirit of an enterprising farmer.
I made 3 trips to the farm and hope that the photographs below capture Ryan’s entrepreneurial spirit as well as showcase the undertaking in a visually interesting way.
The 2013 Colorado flood caused catastrophic damage along the entire Front Range, mountain communities, farmland and towns along the South Platte River. Thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed, roads and bridges were washed away and several people were killed. I spent an afternoon in Jamestown and a morning in Evans working to create a collection of photographs capturing a slice of the toll the flood inflicted on the people in its path.
An unprecedented week of heavy rainfall across the Colorado Front Range has flooded mountain towns, larger cities, portions of Denver and rural agricultural lands. I wanted to see how the more rural Colorado agricultural areas were affected, especially those situated along the South Platte River. Floodwaters race down canyons in minutes, but it can take days to reach here.
Below are a few documentary style photographs from my trip through the area yesterday.