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I Love A Good Dump Myself

Really! Read on. This last month was the biennial “Month Of Photography” in the Denver Area. I took the opportunity to visit several art galleries that were hosting photography exhibits. After visiting CPAC, this green door called out to me.

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Green Door, Denver

The next gallery on my list was in the Rino District. This area is full of murals. Here is one I haven’t seen before…

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Humming Bird Mural, Rino District

As I was making my way back to the car, I found this dumpster outside the “Cleaners”. I could not help myself. Who knows when the dumpster with this post’s message will be towed away!

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I Love A Good Dump Myself

Last weekend, I visited the Helikon Gallery (and Studios). This gallery had some really interesting image on exhibit. Also, there are several studios, rented by artists, in the building. These had some interesting art. This location is well worth a visit.

The gallery is located across the road from some grain elevators and silos. Leaving the gallery, I spotted this reflection in the water that pooled from the previous day’s rain. This pool is not guaranteed to be there for long — so time to capture the image.

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Grain Elevator Reflections, Rino District

The day was overcast, so I chose to make these two images as monochrome, with the cloudy sky as a backdrop.

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Silos, Rino District

Rounding the corner of the silos, I noticed the ladders climbing up the grain elevator. Those four orange bollards caused me to leave this image in color.

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Grain Elevator Ladders

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More Images From Monte Vista

During the trip to Monte Vista, I found this male Red-Winged Blackbird among the cattails. Like many of the blackbirds, he was calling out. It was fascinating to watch these birds. They have to take a big breath of air to vocalize their call. So their bodies and wings spread out, as we can see in the image below.

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Red-Winged Blackbird Calling, Monte Vista

For much of the day, clouds were stacked up above the mountains to the west. As the sun set, the colors of the clouds warmed with the setting sun.

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Clouds Over Western Mountains, Monte Vista

To the east, a single cloud caught the last rays of the sun.

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Sunset Light On Single Cloud, Monte Vista

Early the following morning, I headed out to the Wildlife Refuge before sunrise. As the sun rose, I made this image of the sunlight streaming in front of Blanca Peak.

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Spring Sunrise Blanca Peak, From Monte Vista

I spent a couple of hours near the wetlands that morning. The Coots were very active that morning. I am not sure whether the Coots were establishing their territory or whether they were courting. This image was made as one Coots was chasing another across the water.

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Coots Chasing… Monte Vista

The Canada Geese were out to be found everywhere. I found this courting pair.

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Canada Geese Courting, Monte Vista

What big tongues geese have!

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Sandhill Cranes At Monte Vista

Two weekends ago, I made a trip to Monte Vista. At this time of the year, many birds stop at the National Wildlife Refuge during their annual northern migration to the summer breeding grounds in the northern States and in Canada. On this visit, I planned to make images to hone my skills of birds in flight. Sandhill Cranes are large birds and their flight through the air is very graceful. Monte Vista is located in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado, situated between mountain ranges to the east and the west. I have always wanted to capture Sandhill Cranes, in flight, against a backdrop of the mountains.

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Sandhill Cranes In Flight, Monte Vista

In the image above, I managed to capture these magnificent birds in flight and am very satisfied with the result. The lead crane is in sharp focus, and the two cranes on the right are a little soft. They are slightly farther away and just out of focus.

Here is another image of one crane, doing sentry duty, while other cranes are feeding.

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Sandhill Cranes, Standing Sentry

Another group of cranes were busy calling out to one another.

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Sandhill Cranes, Calling, Monte Vista

In this image, another group of three cranes are busy calling out.

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Sandhill Cranes, Three Cranes Calling

Another image of a very attentive crane.

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Sandhill Crane, Monte Vista

Sandhill Cranes usually create a mating pair for life. Every year they perform a dancing mating ritual. I captured one pair in the following image.

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Pair Of Dancing Sandhill Cranes

Finally, I managed to capture another three cranes in flight. In this image, all three are in sharp focus against a blue sky.

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Sandhill Cranes In Flight, No 2, Monte Vista

There were many other species in the Refuge — another time.

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Afternoon In Rino District

On Saturday, ten days ago, our Meetup group planned to visit a few galleries in the Rino District during the evening as part of the Denver “Month of Photography” event that takes place every two years. I took the opportunity of get there a couple of hours early to make some images. There are many murals in the area. This yellow and blue color contrast makes this mural really striking.

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Parking Lot Mural, Lx Kuhn

Now that I have your attention… This mural of a boy decorates one side of the fins protruding from the front of the building.

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Larimer Street Boy Mural

Walking down the street to the other side of this building, we see a different image — of a girl — on the other side of the fins. Apparently, these two murals will be replaced later this year!

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Larimer Street Girl Mural

Later, after the clouds cleared, I made another image of the view down Larimer Street. The colors of the girl mural were warmed by the sunlight. What is more interesting about this mural is the shape of the girl’s head. Moving away from the far side of the street and shooting from a distance, radically alters the perspective of the mural.

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View Along Larimer Street, Rino District

In one of the alleys, I found this porthole window that became part of the mural. I always prefer to find something to add to an image of a mural. In this case, I moved around to include a reflection in the window.

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Rino Alley Porthole Reflection

In the following image, I chose to use the window frame as a frame around the reflection of the mural on the other side of the street.

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Framed Reflection, Larimer Street

In an adjacent street, I arrived as the sun was dipping low in the sky. The low angle of the sun enhanced the color contrast of the orange and blue walls of this building. I also like the diagonal stripe of the sunlight on the pavement.

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Orange And Blue, Rino District

It was getting close to the time to join the Meetup group. Walking along an alley, I found a manhole and a reflection of a streetlight in a water puddle.

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Alley Reflection, Manhole And Streetlight

As night approached, I found another reflection, this time a blue stripe in a window. I’m not sure what caused the reflection — looks like some light fitting inside the building.

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Blue Stripe Reflection, Larimer Street

After hooking up with the Meetup group, we headed to the Redline Gallery. One exhibit inlcuded moving lights that cast shadows on the wall. I waited until some visitors walked in front of the lights to create this final image of the night.

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Wall Shadows, Redline Gallery

That concludes the images for the day (and night).

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First Friday Art Walk, March 2017

Last Friday was the first Friday Art Walk along Santa Fe Blvd. Visiting the Denver Art Society, I found one artist’s exhibit in the basement. As I approached the display, I saw this landscape composition. The foreground is a a landscape formed from cotton or some other fabric. The background was a painting.

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Fabric Mountain Landscape. This is the regular color image with a slight contrast adjustment.

This would be interesting to interpret in some other ways. First was a regular monochrome image.

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Fabric Mountain Landscape, BW. This is a regular black/white monochrome image with no toning.

I wonder what would happen with toning the image. This is something that I should experiment with in the future.

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Fabric Mountain Landscape, Toned. This black/white monochrome image has been toned with pale yellow in the highlights and cyan in the shadows.

Moving around the gallery exhibits, I found this piano. In this image, the keys look like a road receding into a landscape. This pattern of receding keys is interrupted by the single white key that can be seen in the foreground. It is this key that really makes the image — to my mind, at least.

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Piano Key Landscape, Art Walk

Another artist was exhibiting pottery lampshades. I make this composition of the pieces laid out on the shelf.

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Pottery Lamp Shades

In this final image, I found a group of paint brushes in a coffee mug. I was drawn to this image by the fan-shaped brush hairs.

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Artist Paintbrushes, Santa Fe Blvd

These images were posted late because my computer died over the weekend!

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Photowalk In The Five Points Neighborhood

Sunday, Carey and I headed out to explore and make some photographs in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver. Carey made some images that he also shared on his website. This neighborhood has some really old buildings and is close to Downtown. After parking the car, we headed along Welton Street. The first colorful building we encountered was this restaurant, that served Caribbean foods.

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Caribbean Food, American Soul Food

The Hatter Dashery store across the road has a handsome entrance.

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Hatter Dashery Entrance, Five Points

We stopped outside one block of apartments. Looking up, I noticed two dogs looking out from the 3rd or 4th floor balcony.

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Apartment Dogs, Five Points

From a previous visit, I remember that one of the nearby buildings had an interesting wall along the parking area. I headed there but discovered that the wall had been repainted — that would be the beige wall on the left had edge of the following image. Take a look at an image that I made at this location two years ago. However, the back wall on the second floor had an unusual mural.

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Second Floor Mural, Five Points

In the following image, I wanted to make an image that included a passerby walking past the downward facing mural head. We waited a few minutes for a pedestrian who was walking his dog. Unfortunately, he headed off in a different direction. There was no one else nearby… except for the two of us.

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Mural And Walker

Along the wall of the Media Center building, is a wall with mosaic and mirror tiled feature. I always seem to make and image of the reflections in the mirror tiles. So here is another.

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Mosaic And Mirror, Five Points

Several homes along the street have immaculately groomed, small yards. This is one example.

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Neat House And Yard

There is one building that looks like is served as a gas station during the 1950’s. The gas pumps are long gone, but the building looks like it is awaiting restoration or another owner.

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Old Gas Station, Five Points

While making one image, Carey hid behind a lamp pole. I made several images of him looking out from behind the pole. Maneuvering around, I think this was the best angle before he noticed me and we headed down the street!

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Carey, Behind Lamp Post

Our final stop, was the “Rolling Pin Bakery”.

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Rolling Pin Bakery, Five Points

We enjoyed a croissant and coffee for lunch, talking about photography and software. Along the wall behind the serving counter is this interesting collection of rolling pins mounted to the wall.

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Rolling Pins

We enjoyed the photowalk and look forward to more in the future.

 

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Ducks In The South Platte River

Most modern cameras have some form of auto-focus capability. One feature of my cameras is the ability to track moving subjects, attempting to maintain focus. Over the last two weekends, I decided to try out how this works. It took a couple of days to figure out that I had a lot to learn! After a couple of attempts, I discovered that the AF-C function was not enabled. Consulting some You Tube videos, I learned how to set this up. On Saturday, I made some images along the South Platte River to get the feel of the focus tracking.

Mallards and Canada Geese were the most common birds along the river. In this image, I did not really need to use focus tracking, but I did nail the focus on male duck from this pair of Mallards.

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Mallard And Mate, Platte River

On the previous weekend, several Mallards were exercising their wings while paddling in the river. I spent a long time waiting for the Mallards in the river to repeat the movement this weekend. There was only one Mallard that performed this movement and I was lucky enough to capture the following image.

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Mallard Stretching Wings, Platte River

I was particularly pleased with this second image of a male Mallard. Neither image really exercised the focus tracking, but I got to exercise some new skills.

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Night Photowalk On South Broadway

Last night, I headed out for the monthly Denver Photo Night Walk Community. We met at the Mayan Theater on South Broadway.

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Night Shoot, At The Mayan

At one fast food restaurant, a hand cart was parked out on the sidewalk, so I looked some action here. After a short while, I found this guy deep in thought…

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Contemplation

There is a giant red shoe on the sidewalk, outside a shoe store.

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Lady Behind The Red Shoe

This store is in the process of being fitted out, or being vacated. There was a stack of plates on the floor.

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Stack Of Plates In The White Room

Smile once more — you’re on camera… again.

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Smile, You’re On Camera

One restaurant had these lilac veils hanging outside. I made this image that includes the kitchen staff working behind the veil.

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Behind The Veil

A light breeze started blowing. This image almost looks like petals of a flower.

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Lilac Veil, Flowing In The Breeze

We had a great evening meeting up again and making images.

 

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