Here in Minneapolis

And it's quiet.  Let's see how the next four days go.  

DNC: Acceptance

Spent most of the acceptance trying for the Polaroid in the previous post.  The remainder of the photos are split between standard, tight shots of Obama and the crowd behind me watching.  Both my knees ended up pretty swollen at the end of the day after hiding from the Fire Marshall who was busy kicking press out of the aisles and into the distant stadium --not good for shooting Polaroid (they don't make long lenses for those things).  Ended up crouching inside of a crowd of friendly delegates for two hours until the start of the speech when it was easier to sneak back out and down to the stage.  These silly games we play with each other.



Tonight starts the first leg in three days of meandering across middle-America with fellow photographer Luceo David Walter Banks towards the RNC.  Looks like the first few states will be Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa.  Hopefully we won't get to distracted with the in-between; Monday in Minneapolis is promising to be a pretty exciting day.  

DNC: Polaroid Acceptance

Obama & Biden following Obama's acceptance of his party's nomination.

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter during Obama's acceptance of his party's nomination.


DNC: Polaroids

Rep. Barney Frank.
Activist in favor of permitting Washington, D.C. full voting rights in the U.S. Congress.
People's Legal Project attorney preparing for midnight arraignment hearings for arrested protesters.
Virginia Governor Mark Warner on the floor of the Democratic National Convention

Former Reagan security worker inside a mock-up of Air Force One from the same era.
GITMO protester.
At-large self-described "activist" delegate from Colorado.
Hillary delegate from North Carolina.

Day 2: Hillary


For anyone that hasn't been to something like this, every second is choreographed, complete with a roaming staff that hands out placards and section captains to cue the card-waving.  For a photographer, these events really are give-mes.  Perfect lighting, clean, colorful backdrops, and canned moments.  In essence, the default position is to become the party's PR machine.  And don't get me wrong, my distaste for this kind of stuff is bipartisan.  The Republicans do it too. 
Picking up the used messages.


DNC: Day 1 Details

Sam Donaldson and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper
Virginia Governor Mark Warner during Kennedy's speech
Podium cleaning


DNC: The First Wave

Today marks the first real noticeable wave of people into the city.  Spent most of it wandering around to different DNC-related events including a full mock-up of Reagan-era Air Force One, complete with a man who actually worked in Reagan's security detail.  And the Denver Police posing at the door.  

Inside the Plane
A dog at the home of local Hillary supporters.
Boxes for bicycle helmets being distributed along with free loaner bikes during the DNC.
From the Oval Office set used in early Saturday Night Live episodes


DNC: Unveiling the Podium

Love this stuff.  The DNC site allowed limited access to press and residents for the unveiling of the podium.  Kind of anticlimactic, but fun nonetheless.  Gotta fill that news hole with something until Obama announces his running mate (Biden, so say the leaks).

DNC: Quiet Before the Storm

Looks like it might be a full four hours of sleep tonight.  As excited as I am to see this kind of big, political production in my hometown, it's also a bit awkward in the sense that the rest of the world is suddenly upon us trying to define Denver in ways that aren't exactly comfortable or accurate for at least some of us that live here.

But the production itself is the kind of the lens through which I enjoy photographing politics.  These events are hyper-staged, choreographed, and scripted.  Showing that is, to me, one of the most truthful ways to approach politics.  

Anyhow, assuming I get a little sleep this week, I'll try and flesh this idea out a little more.  For the time being, I'll post a few photographs of Denver as it gears up for one of its most historical moments.

Hotel and mural near DNC grounds.
Sidewalk art.
'MLK was a Republican' billboard conspicuously aloft over a mostly Latino neighborhood.
Indy Ink: Silk-screening Obama T-shirts.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Secret Service detail at the Pepsi Center.
Preparing CNN's convention-side building.
The Denver Art Museum near the State Capitol.
Nancy Pelosi and staffers during a pre-convention CNN interview.
'Dr. Suess for President' art exhibit near the DNC grounds.
Indy Ink: The under-side of an Obama silk-screen.


Proud to Announce the Birth of Luceo Images

One year, four plane rides, one filled notebook, multiple drafts of a website, too many emails to count, hundreds of phone calls, and a few slept-on floors later and I'm finally proud to announce the official launch of Luceo Images, a collective of talented photographers who I admire and am honored to be associated with.  Please feel free to share my enthusiasm and have a look at our new site: LuceoImages.Com.

And, of course, the founding members:


Outdoor Life Outtakes

Outtakes from the machine gun shoot I photographed in May appearing in the latest issue of Outdoor Life.  Stopped by their offices a couple weeks ago and had a little Pace Picante Sauce moment --"This stuff's made in New York City."  

Which is only sort of true.  The magazine began in my home-state of Colorado and migrated eastward to join the flock of publishers in the Big Apple.  The content, obviously, is still very rooted outside city limits.


TIME Turns One Day Gig Into Essay

Had a fun assignment for TIME photographing inside of Cheyenne Mountain, a Cold War-era bunker situated inside of a hollowed out mountain west of Colorado Springs.  The facility was originally designed to sustain an air-dropped nuclear bomb and worked to track space and missile launches around the globe.  The advent of nuclear weaponry capable of leveling the mountain rendered the facility somewhat obsolete; its mission has since been moved to an office building on a nearby Air Force Base although the mountain is still staffed as a backup.

Photographing this assignment was a bit of a challenge.  The Major giving the tour laid out an interesting set of rules:

  1. All people wearing name tags cannot be photographed.
  2. All people in the facility, including people touring the facility, must wear name tags.
  3. All photographs will be reviewed for offending material and will be deleted.

People-less photography.  That's pretty much the bottom line of the experience, with exception where mountain-workers had notice to conceal their name tags.  Rather than fight with the rules, I spent the afternoon making clean, empty pictures of a clean, and largely obsolete building.  TIME.com liked it enough to turn it into an essay and I am proud of the result.