September 2010
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Month September 2010

Bordo Bello and a tub drain

On September 30, 2010, folks in Denver will head over to a skateboard art fundraiser known as Bordo Bello to check out around 200 custom designed boards. The event helps raise money for some design scholarships and other arts programs organized by AIGA Colorado. If you’re around, you should buy a ticket and check it out.

I was asked to make a board a few weeks back. While I initially couldn’t think of an idea for a board, a thought for a photo came to me while I was showering one day.

Too odd I wondered? Some folks on Facebook and Twitter gave me feedback:

I liked the range of responses. So I setup my camera, popped some flashes, and ended up with this image – click through for a slightly larger version.

So I wonder. What does a photo of a tub drain make you think of?

Update: Here’s a photo of my wood backed board hanging. So exciting to see. Photo courtesy of Bordo Bello.

Adventures in passport photography, or, you get what you pay for.

I’m going to Mexico next month for a friend’s wedding. Last night, as I dug up my ten year old passport, I found out it had just expired. Renewing your passport isn’t super complicated, but you do need new headshots to send in with your forms.

I thought of making my own photo, but that seemed like overkill. So this morning I drove over to Walgreens to take advantage of their flat rate $8.99 passport special. I knew they likely had a turnkey passport photo operation and would give me something to government spec quickly. I figured the photo wouldn’t be great, but not terrible either.

I walk into Walgreens, ask around, and the guy at the photo center directs me over to a white pull-down backdrop. He whips out a little point-and-shoot with a built-in flash and makes this photograph of me:

Where did my left eye go?

I walked out of the store, sat on a bench outside and wondered if this was the photograph I’d show border agents, friends and relatives for the next ten years. No way I concluded.

Sharing my story with folks on Twitter, and after some encouragement, I figured out that I should take some time and make my own damn passport photograph. After all, I am a photographer.

I returned to my studio, quickly setup one light and a bounce board beneath my head and shot a few frames. Much better I thought. It wasn’t too painful either.

After downloading my shots and knocking out the background in Photoshop, I was ready to proudly mail in my photograph to Uncle Sam.

Boulder is burning and needs help

In case you haven’t read the news, Boulder is burning.

While fires are somewhat common in Colorado, it’s hard not to be heartbroken when you hear about 40 60 90 130 plus structural fires in your backyard. A lot of these structures are homes that belong to regular working class folks too. It’s been reported that nine firefighters in the area have also lost their houses.

Here are a few ways to help:

  • RT @RedCrossDenver: You can help your neighbors by donating to the Red Cross Colorado Disaster Relief Fund
  • Volunteer Connection: 303-444-4904 or email They’re setting up a volunteer contact list
  • You can also find other inquiries for help by following the #boulderfire hashtag on Twitter

And finally, while I’m not sure if there will eventually be a lot or very little demand for photographers to document property damage for insurance claims or personal records, I’d like to offer my time and services at no charge for those in need of images. If you need a photography resource, please email me your requests at image (at) or leave me a voicemail on my Google voice account at 303- 731.6741.  Once it is safe to venture back up the canyon, we can schedule some time to document whatever needs to be documented. If the need is great, I’m confident I can find other photographers to help as well.

To our many volunteers, thank you. Let’s all pray for rain.