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.
A recent weekend of heavy combat, fencing, and other Medieval and Renaissance activities provided a prime opportunity to create some visually interesting photographs with my new Fujifilm X100s camera. Combining the ability of the camera to sync with flash at shutter speeds faster than most cameras and this amazing event resulted in some interesting photographs. All are .jpgs straight out of the camera – not even opened in Photoshop.
I spent 2 days on the ground photographing the aftermath of the tornado that tore through parts of Oklahoma City and Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, May 20th, 2013. Below are a handful of the photographs ranging from aerial photographs captured near sunset the day after to residents and volunteers salvaging items of sentiment and value from destroyed homes and views inside Plaza Towers Elementary School.