Casio Watches and Backpacker Magazine

In November while hiking in Zion National Park I received an unusual phone call. It was someone I’d never met asking me if I would be one of Casio’s outdoor adventurers as part of a Backpacker Magazine and Casio project for their ProTrek watches. I initially wondered if this was a prank, scam or a wrong number. Sure, I spent a lot of time out in the mountains but I’ve never climbed Everest or wrestled a grizzly. I’m simply a landscape photographer. After they sent me a link to one of their previous adventurers, I started to realize that they were serious. Apparently, Casio was given a list of outdoor people in the Boulder, Colorado area. They went through it and for some reason felt like I was the person they wanted.

As soon as I returned from Arizona plans began to come together. Like many such projects there was a real rush to do this as quickly as possible in order to meet a print deadline for an advertorial with Backpacker Magazine. They wanted to do a full page article about me while advertising Casio’s ProTrek watch at the same time. They first had me come down to Boulder where they purchased a couple of outfits for me from the Eddie Bauer store. It was clear that my ragged outdoor gear wouldn’t fit the bill for a glossy ad.

Then a couple of days later the first big snow storm of the year moved in. It was decided that we should do the shoot in the storm. We originally wanted to film in Rocky Mountain National Park, but it is difficult/time consuming to get filming permits and we needed them right away. I joined photographer David Camera and his assistant at 7am near Berthod Pass. The roads were terrible and it was pretty chilly, but the setting with the heavy snow was fantastic. Dave knew just what he was doing, having done of lot of winter sports photography such as the X-Games. We took a lot of photos in different outfits and poses, but this what came out of it. It was printed as a full page ad in the March 2016 edition of Backpacker Magazine.

Casio Ad

Then, just after the start of the year, I was told that it was time to do a video to accompany the ad. They wanted it to blend in with the first shoot, so as soon as it started snowing I met videographer Alton Richardson. We again had the same issue of not having permits to photograph Rocky Mountain National Park, so we did our first shoot in the trees on the side of Lily Mountain as it gently snowed. As we hiked up the trail, I found myself getting very winded and feeling very old and out of shape as Alton turned out to be a real mountain goat. He’s in his early 20s and fit as can be. He primarily makes climbing videos, but it was clear that he knew what he was doing even in this situation.

We both felt we needed a scene with me photographing sunrise as I so often do and that it would be nice to include as much of Rocky Mountain National Park as possible without photographing on park property. I found a spot near Lily Mountain where we were not in the national park, but which gave us great views of the park. I also put together a little script that expressed my thoughts about photography. On the morning we met to film this segment it was dark and very windy. The winds must have been gusting up to 35 or 40mph. When we climbed to the top of the ridge, we were nearly swept off of our feet several times. Alton was a pro and got the footage he needed despite the challenging conditions. The end result of our labor was this video which I hope gives a little glimpse into who I am and what I do.

Newly Renovated Gallery

In March of 2007 I signed an agreement to rent our current gallery space. It had previously been a candle shop and you could smell it half a block away. It’s true! I had almost no money to work with but with the help of a couple of friends, using lots of nails, paint and elbow grease I did my best to take this ugly room and turn it into a gallery, albeit a temporary one: I had been told the building would be torn down at the end of the summer.

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I added a few walls and put a fresh coat of paint on everything. I also then painted the outside, changing it from white and green to red and white.

Vist my gallery behind Bond Park. Open 9am-7pm
Summer 2007

When the gallery opened on April 14th, 2007 it was quite the celebration. I couldn’t believe that I had my own gallery, even if it was only for a few months. Lots of photographers and friends came to the opening event. It wasn’t the fanciest looking place, but it worked.

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The first summer was quite an adventure. I didn’t know how it would go and if I would be able to even pay the rent. In the end it went a lot better than I anticipated. Later that summer the big project was put on hold and I was told that I could remain in the gallery. The following year my building was sold to someone else. The new landlord wanted to upgrade the building. After a couple of years he did some renovations moving the front door, fixing the siding and replacing the green carpet. I also did a few things to improve the quality of the gallery on the inside. It then stayed like this for quite a few years.

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In 2014 our great landlord took the lead and repainted the outside, giving the gallery a completely new look. Then this year, after celebrating 8 years in the gallery I decided that it was finally time to make it the way I wanted it. I shut the gallery for the entire month of April and made several changes to the interior. I took out the carpet and replaced it with a fabulous tile that actually looks like wood. I also added some additional wall space, brought in a fire place, had a barn-wood desk made, replaced all the trim and then gave it an updated paint job. The changes also made it possible to bring in some new and much larger artwork. I am very happy with the changes and think it captures the feel that I was aiming for.

Gallery Outside 2014
Newly renovated inside of gallery – May 2015

It really has been a fun journey to see things develop over these years. Thank you to all of you who’ve helped me along the way! I can’t even imagine where things will be in another 8 years.

Wild Light Wins Two National Awards

As many of you know I flew to Austin, Texas on Friday April 10th, 2015 for an award ceremony where I was a finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Award with the Independent Book Publishers Association. My book Wild Light received the gold prize for best book in the Nature and Environment category and a silver prize in the Coffee Table Book category. There were 1,400 books in competition this year so I felt very honored to win these awards.

Wild Light: A Celebration of Rocky Mountain National Park wins the gold medal in the Nature and Environment category at the Independent Book Publishers Awards in Austin, TX.

I also just learned that my book is a finalist for the Colorado Book Awards which will be held in Aspen in late June. It feels great to know that my hard work paid off and I was able to create a book that appropriately honors this amazing park during its 100th anniversary.

If you haven’t seen my book, you can learn more about it here: http://imagesofrmnp.com/product/wildlight/.