Tuesday, December 31, 2013

13 for '13

I guess it's that time of year to take a look back and select my favorite images from the past year.  The images I have selected are my favorites for a variety of reasons.  They might not be me my best or tell the story the best, but they all have meaning to me for one reason or another.  Enjoy.

13. Winter Park Highlands fire

Granby firefighters wet down a hot spot on a house fire on County Road 85
in the Winter Park Highlands on Saturday morning, Oct. 5.  Firefighters from
East Grand, Granby and Hot Sulphur Springs/Parshall fire departments
responded to the blaze that left the residence a total loss.

12. Red Bull Final Descent

Ned Kajko of Steamboat Springs recovers from crashes on his two previous laps
during the Red Bull Final Descent at Winter Park Resort in September.
Individuals and teams attempted to complete as many laps
through the Trestle Bike Park as they could in 12 hours.

11. Perch perfect

A female red-winged blackbird sings while perching on a cattail
along the shore of Shadow Mountain Reservoir in May.

10. Rivalry game

Middle Park's Jace Linke (32) blocks the shot of West Grand's
Nick Ritschard (0) during the cross-county rivalry game
in January in Kremmling.  The Panthers held on for a 57-50 win.  

9. Dog bites "dog"

Bernie the Colorado Avalanche mascot has his foot bit by National Sports Center
for the Disabled therapy dog Cinnamon during the Wells Fargo Ski Cup
in March at Winter Park Resort. 

 8. Too close for comfort

Visitors to Grand Lake look at the smoke rising from the Big Meadows fire
 in Rocky Mountain National Park in June.

7. Hug a tree

Grand County Search and Rescue member Dave Kafer instructs Granby Elementary School
 third graders on how to use a garbage bag to stay warm and dry as part
 of the Hug-a-Tree program in May.

6. Bald is beautiful

A bald eagle passes above the Colorado River
along U.S. 40 between Parshall and Kremmling in February. 

5. "A" for effort

West Grand and Hayden face off in a Western Slope League game in October in Kremmling.

4. Boys will be boys

Bighorn rams play on the tundra in Rocky Mountain National Park in August.

3. A "Kool" reaction

A fan reacts as Shawn McQuiller, lead singer of Kool and The Gang, touches her hand
 as the band performs "Ladies Night" during the Winter Park Jazz Festival in July.

2. Rain art

Rain from a passing thunderstorm runs down a car windshield
in Rocky Mountain National Park in August.

1. Snow-clasico

Costa Rica defender Juan Diego Madrigal (6) falls in the snow as United States forward
Herculez Gomez (9) looks for the ball in the second half of a World Cup
 qualifier at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City in March.
The United States won 1-0.  

goo, goo, g'joob

My second book

Ever since I published my first book "Grand County Visions" way back in 2000, I have had numerous people ask me when I was going to do another book.  As much as I enjoyed seeing my work in print and receiving all of the wonderful feedback, there was a lot of time and money, energy and money, and work and money that went into getting that book into print.  Did I mention money?  Not to mention dealing with distribution and marketing.  I had several ideas floating around in my mind, but didn't know if they would be financially viable.

Today the world of book publishing looks totally different.  There are so many options now that don't require a huge investment of money up front.  A few years ago I came across an on-line publisher called blurb.com.  The offered a variety of printing options (sizes, layout templates, paper choices) and you could print one copy or thousands of copies.  But one of the best features is you could direct potential customers to the web site where they could order your book and it would be printed on demand.  I had seen several photographers I know use blurb.com to produce wedding albums and was slightly surprised by how good they looked, but was excited to have found an option to get another book published.

Then it became a matter of determining the subject.  I went around and around trying to come up with the right idea.  It actually took me several years to get this figured out.  But one Saturday morning back in November I sat down at the computer and said to myself, "it's time to get this done and you aren't getting up from the computer until this book is done."  I finally decided to do a book with some of my favorite Instagrams from the past couple of years.  About three hours later, I had the bulk of the photos selected and laid out the way I wanted.  I did some tweaking over the next couple of days and then ordered several copies for myself.  About a week later the books showed up and I was blown away.  I was thrilled with the results.

Here is a preview of my book...
(if it doesn't load properly for some reason, here is a direct link: http://blur.by/1eZIi9f)

Now what to do for my next book...

goo, goo g'joob

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The highs and lows of 2012

It's the first day of 2013 and I sit here and ponder how to best wrap-up the past year.  It was a year filled with highs and lows, surprises and challenges.  I guess the best way to do this is take it month by month.

In January my daughter, Emily, and I traveled to Iowa to visit my parents.  It turns out it would be the last time I would see my dad.

In February, after three years of trying, our team from the Sky-Hi News won the Teapot Curling at the Grand Lake Winter Carnival and then I celebrated one of those milestone birthdays.

In March, my son, Erik, returned home following his year-long deployment to Afghanistan.  I can't even begin to explain how much of a relief that was.

In April I said good-bye to my dad.

In May I wrapped up my eighth season of coaching girls soccer at Middle Park HS with the best-ever season for my junior varsity and a gutty, inspirational performance by our varsity as they qualified for the state playoffs again.

The support from the Middle Park soccer family following the loss of my dad was priceless.    Working with these girls is such a treat, it's hard to call it work.

In June I finally took a wildland firefighter class and passed both the class and fitness test.

In July Erik and I were fortunate enough to meet in Baltimore to see Liverpool play in person for the first time.  And I replaced my well-traveled Ford Focus.

In August I finally took my first untethered hot air balloon ride.

In September and October it feels like all I did was work and coach, but that's okay.

In November I took a quick trip back to Iowa to see my mom, friends and shoot the Iowa-Purdue football game.

In December I took a much-needed vacation to Mexico and then returned to celebrate Emily's graduation from the University of Colorado.

I'm sure 2013 will have its highs and lows, surprises and challenges, but I welcome whatever it has in store.  Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

goo, goo g'joob

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My favorite Instagrams from 2012

In 2012 I became almost obsessed with the iPhone app Instagram.  It gave me a different way to look at the world and share those images.  With Instagram's new and then subsequent revision to those new terms of service, I am uncertain how much I will utilize the app in 2013.  So here are some of my favorites from the past year...and they are just that favorites, for one reason or another...

goo, goo g'joob

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Long overdue update

I know, I know...I haven't posted anything since last fall.  I guess we have some catching up to do...

Actually we don't need to talk about winter, there wasn't much snow, so the skiing sucked.  Moving on...

In February I was fortunate enough to pick up three more photo awards in the annual Colorado Press Association contest.  That makes 12 in the past four years, but who's counting?  This photo won first place in sports:

I also picked up third place awards in news and photo essay:

In March my son, Erik, returned from his year-long deployment to Afghanistan.  I had my best night's sleep in a year the night after he got back.

In April my father passed away.  We were somewhat prepared for this, but it was still hard to say goodbye.  Thanks to all of the family and friends who helped make saying goodbye to my easier by providing lodging and food, fond memories, kind words...the list goes on and on.  Thanks to everyone for the thoughts and prayers.

This is the poem read at his service:

He loved to till  the verdant soil and watch his garden grow,
And now he tills another spot--a beautiful spot I know.
He plows where fields are always green
With furrows straight and true,
And where the day is always bright
And life begins anew;
But we shall miss him here on Earth
Until our day is done
When we shall be with him again,
When our rewards are won.

This spring I had the pleasure of coaching an amazing group of girls on the Middle Park HS junior varsity soccer team.

We finished the season 8-2-1, all eight wins were shutouts--a record for our JV program.  We scored 29 goals while only allowing five, and what I am probably most proud of, sixteen of the players scored a goal.  I always look forward to the girls' season, so in case anyone is interested, just 225 days until next season!

Let's get back to talking about photography...sort of.  While I was back in Iowa for my dad's funeral, one of my uncles mentioned to me how much my dad enjoyed seeing my photographs in the paper (my parents had subscribed to our weekly paper ever since they sold their condo in Fraser 10+ years ago).  Apparently he was quite proud of my work, although I don't remember him ever coming out and saying it directly to me.  Hearing that has really had an impact on me in the subsequent months.  I find myself working the situations/events I am at to shoot images that he would be proud of.  These past several months I have had numerous occasions where I have really felt like I was "in the zone" photographically and produced some quality work.  Here are some of my favorites:

After the dry winter, a dry and warm spring has increased the fire danger in my area to the point where Rocky Mountain National Park decided to staff it's only fire lookout tower for the first time in more than 30 years.  At the end of June I made the trek up Shadow Mountain to get some photos for a story for the paper.

If you are interested, you can follow me on Twitter or on Instagram (zbpix).  You will also note I have added a feed of my recent Instagram photos to the right side of this blog.

To close out this rather lengthy update I leave you with a photo I took of my dad for a photo story I did for a photojournalism class at the University of Iowa in either 1983 or 84.

Miss  you dad.

goo, goo g'joob