Monday, August 27, 2012


(click to enlarge)

Today is the first day of classes at UW, and I'm teaching a new course (for me), which is one of the reasons that I haven't written a new blog post for a while.  Instead, I've had my head buried in the books so that I can present the illusion of knowing more than I do when I stand in front of my classes this week.  When I get really sick of writing lectures, I wander around the house with my camera, and harvest little bits from Ellen's garden and experiment with shooting flowers.  These were taken with a lightbox behind the flowers and a softened flash overhead, low ISO, small aperture, slow shutterspeed, tripod.  A fun diversion.  I recommend viewing the larger versions by clicking on the images. They look nicer.

Now back to work...



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Portraits in Uganda

Recess at the Kyamulinga School in rural Uganda, 2009
(click images to view larger versions)

In 2009 I had the opportunity to travel to Uganda to photograph schools and students for Boulder-based non-profit One School at a Time.  It was a fantastic trip and I look forward to being able to afford to return sometime to work with them some more.  One School partners with rural Ugandan schools (one at a time) and does a great job of bringing the school community into the partnership so that the projects are shared and sustained.  The kids at these schools are remarkable.  They are poor, living in a subsistence economy with very few resources, but they are driven to succeed at school.  I wish our kids could somehow see how good they have it here and not take our schools quite so much for granted.  

Since returning from Uganda, I've joined the One School board of directors, given a number of slide shows on their programs, and generally tried to help out.  Ellen sells delicious Bristol Bay salmon (thanks to a friend at Misty Fjord) here in Laramie twice a year and the profits go to One School.  Many of you know about this.  

I'll be doing a show at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder this fall and will show some of these photos, and others, there.  I also maintain a blog for One School--I just posted some of these portraits there along with others, so have a look if you are interested and spread the word.  One School does a lot of good things with a very small budget, and unlike many non-profits, almost all of their funds actually make it to the ground in Africa, thanks to a huge amount of volunteer work and personal sacrifice by the directors.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mountain Cement Plant, Laramie

Tirax Boiler, Mountain Cement, Laramie
(Click images to view larger)

Figuring that I might be more successful asking for forgiveness than getting permission, I walked into the abandoned part of the Mountain Cement Plant south of Laramie last week, tripod over my shoulder and camera in hand.  The site was not posted, so at least I wasn't blatantly ignoring any directive to stay out.  Despite being next to the working part of the plant, nobody bothered me as I wandered around the two cavernous main buildings and several smaller outbuildings.  The cathedral-like buildings are used now for storage, partly occupied by shelves of big motors, 55-gallon drums full of various sized metal balls, arrays of storage tanks, and piles of bricks, intermingled with old boilers and other machinery from when this part of the plant operated.  Mountain Cement was built in 1927 but eventually moved into the newer facility a little to the north of these older buildings.  

Ceiling lights and pipes, Mountain Cement.

Ceiling lights and pipes, Mountain Cement.

Main Boiler, Mountain Cement.

Storage, Mountain Cement.

Boiler, Mountain Cement.

Blue tarp, Mountain Cement.

Spigot, Mountain Cement.

Drums and pipe, Mountain Cement.

Concrete walls, Mountain Cement.

Lotsa balls, Mountain Cement.

Storage tanks, Mountain Cement

Skate or Die, Mountain Cement

Friday, August 10, 2012

From the Archives: Deqin, China

Yangtze River Valley from road to Deqin, Yunnan.
(Click to see larger)

School is approaching, and with it the low level panic of new course preparation.  So blogging has fallen to the wayside.  Here are a few black and white images from Yunnan, China, all taken in 2006 with a 6 Mp Nikon D70, pretty low resolution compared to today's cameras (the Nikon D800 makes 36 Mp images), but still printable.  The area in these shots is on the Yunnan-Tibetan border, a place I would love to revisit, though I'm afraid of what tourism might be doing to it.  The nearby village of Yubeng was only accessible on foot when I was there, and even so, Chinese tourists were flocking there to see the spectacular peaks of the Meili Xueshan, and a sacred Tibetan waterfall.  I hiked to Yubeng after descending into the wrong drainage to the Mekong, and spending a night with a friendly Tibetan family that lived along the river and took me in for the evening.  

The Meili mountains 

The road from Zhongdian to Deqin.