I just realized it has been several months since I’ve posted anything to my personal blog. This will be a quick photo-essay of my recent trip to Colorado during the week of May 28. My purpose in going was to attend a conference in Boulder titled “Aurora Multimedia Workshop: DSLR Filmmaking for Photographers.” I had recently acquired a Nikon D800 with video capability and wanted to explore the possibilities for creating video projects.
After the conference was finished, I took a personal day and drove up into Rocky Mountain National Park. I’ll show more photos from that day later in this post, but this was one of my favorites, so I’ll feature it here.
On my way from the Denver airport to Boulder I stopped in Westminster to visit my sister, Cheryl Reeder, and family. We had a nice visit and then had dinner at Ted’s Montana Grill, where several of us had various types of buffalo burgers. Here are some photos I took at the Reeders:
Adults: Matthew Reeder, Sariah Ong Reeder, Cheryl Thurston Reeder, Bob Reeder. Children: Samuel Reeder, Gwynneth Reeder, Eric Reeder
Cheryl & Gwynneth
Cheryl & Morrie
The Reeders’ Home
The conference was in Boulder, home of the University of Colorado (the “Buffalos”). It was my first visit to the town. It is always enjoyable to visit a college town and Boulder was no exception. Perhaps it is the nostalgia it brings for one’s college days, or the young feeling one gets when seeing so many college students. Adding to the experience was the weather, which was warm and sunny, but not overly hot.
There were many good things about the conference. One of the highlights for me was listening to Bob Dotson, who is the producer of “American Story,” sort of shorter versions of “This American Life,” which can be seen on the Today Show. Dotson also does hour-long specials for MSNBC and is writer and host for “Bob Dotson’s America,” a series of programs on the Travel Channel. He has won many journalistic awards. He gave several lectures to our conference about the techniques he uses for interviewing and capturing statements that turn a ho-hum segment into a fascinating one.
Another highlight for me was the information presented by Cory Rich, who has done some really great multimedia presentations. Cory was selected to do the video that Nikon used to introduce its new D4 and D800 DSLR cameras. Even more interesting was his “the making of” video called “How of Why,” which can be viewed here.
While I found the conference to be educational, I was not as thrilled as I had been two years ago when I participated in a workshop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, called “Photography at the Summit.” Both workshops were put on by the same organization, headed by Rich Clarkson, but it seems that still photography is more conducive to this sort of learning experience. Video, I discovered, is just a lot more time-consuming and involves a great quantity of equipment and manpower. To do it right, you almost need a “crew.” Editing and putting things together is not something you can do in the space of a few hours. Also, I am not very familiar with film editing programs. Perhaps learning Apple’s Final Cut or Adobe’s Premier would have been useful prerequisites to attending a conference such as this.
Cory Rich showed us some of the equipment he packs and carries to his video shoots around the world. Here he has laid them out, packed in carrying cases and ready to go. Of course, he has a five-person crew to help with everything.
One evening we went from our conference venue (on the University of Colorado campus) to downtown Boulder to try our hand at shooting video. I dutifully shot video, but realized that I hadn’t done very well. Hand-holding an SLR camera produces lots of shake and I didn’t have a video tripod. I also took some still photos of the Boulder shopping district to show what an interesting place it is. These next shots were taken on a street that had been closed to traffic and turned into an outdoor mall.
A good bookstore is a prerequisite to an interesting shopping area and this was an excellent store.
A colorful shoe display
An old bank building had been turned into a “Ben & Jerry’s.”
You can see the sort of places that interested me.
One of the things I most enjoy is shooting candid portraiture. There was an outdoor farmers market nearby and a lot of people were sitting on the grass, enjoying the warm evening and eating food from the food stands in the market.
I thought she made an interesting study. Parking was quite expensive in Boulder and there seemed to be many more bicycles than cars.
Staying with the portraiture theme, here are some more candid shots of instructors and students at the workshop.
I also took a few photos round about Boulder and the college campus.
Finally, as I mentioned at the top of this post, I took Saturday for a drive into Rocky Mountain National Park. The day started off sunny, but soon the clouds rolled in and things changed. Still, I was able to capture some interesting photos in the ever-changing weather.
I picked up a Tilley hat at a gift store to keep the rain and cold at bay. I’ve always wanted one of those.
This was my rental car. The cheapest available, but it worked fine.
The view out my car window when a wet snow started to drop.
This guy was checking out my new D800. Probably hadn’t seen one before.
The final takeaway from my Colorado experience: It was fun to see Cheryl and family, Boulder is a town I would enjoy living in, multimedia is an exciting way to express oneself artistically (though time-consuming and expensive), and I’m a still photographer at heart. If I were younger, just starting out, and looking for a career, I would be drawn to filmmaking.