Photo-shoot for Oil and Gas Investor Magazine

by Edward C. De Croce

This winter, I was commissioned by Oil and Gas Investor Magazine for a cover story on Colorado Industrial photography and Petroleum.

I’m glad the editors thought highly of my work. In the age of clever-phone-cameras, magazine photography feeds starving pro photographers.

Oh, it’s not that I’ve given up on consumer photography. In fact, my next blog post will feature fabulous family photography created during autumn’s warm-light bath. But of all the photography projects I do, Colorado industrial photography is one of the most fascinating.

 

Colorado oil and gas flare stack at drilling site.

A flare stack at a drilling site in the D-J basin makes for a dramatic image. During post production, I first thought the worker might be out of focus. But the heat waves from the flare is what creates the blur.

Colorado industry photography - ice and truck at drilling rig.

This low angle photography of an oil drilling site was a favorite with the art directors at Oil and Gas Investor Magazine. They used it as the opening two-page spread of the story. For this shot, I used the Nikon D750 and its live-view monitor. In the old days, I would have had to lie on the cold ice to get the shot. And for the duration of the photo-shoot, I would have been a lot chillier. 

 

 

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Colorado Industrial photography

and energy photography is as interesting as it is challenging. I draw from past experiences as a pro photographer. Quick visualization mixed with conceptual ideas lead to compelling images. For projects on Colorado Industry photography, I rely on levels of skills acquired from many photography categories. Here are three:

  1. Photojournalism skills learned under the tutelage of Gunnison newspaper editor Joanne Williams.
  2. Fine art landscape photography honed while guiding whitewater river expeditions.
  3. Business photography Denver. The stuff I do every week.

 

Oil and Gas Investor Magazine is a Hart Energy publication and is published in Houston TX. The story, written by Chris Sheehan centers on lucrative investment opportunities in the Niobrara within the Denver Julesburg (D-J) basin.

The Niobrara is a North American geologic formation that was deposited between 87 and 82 million years ago. Fossil fuels can be found in Niobrara shale. Geologists look between a chalk member overlying a limestone member – at depths of 3,000 to 14,000 feet.

The images in this post came from a drilling site near Platteville Colorado operated by Synergy Resourses. Now I have to say, the folks from Synergy were as hospitable and friendly as can be. Foreman Kenny gave me the freedom I needed while keeping me safe.

With January’s coldest temps (minus 28°F) just two days previous, the brisk wind numbed my distal ends. The cold front hung over the foothills blocking long views of white peaks. So I revisited the area the following week to capture dawn shots.

 

After the Colorado industrial photography shoot was finished I received some rave reviews from the magazine:

“I’d like to start off with saying the photography has been a hot topic of discussion around here and it has been VERY well received by many around here.”

“Wow, these are fantastic. You managed to capture everything I’m looking to illustrate in this cover article. Really great work.”

Robert D. Avila – Art Director – Oil and Gas Investor

art landscape photo

Dawn frost on winter grass offsets Platte River scene in Colorado landscape image.

Fossile fuel wells in Colorado

Weld County in northeastern Colorado. is the heart of the D-J basin with over 4000 wells.

Colorado Petroleum photography

Oil and gas workers photo

worker and sound wall

The structure behind this worker is part of a “sound wall” created to disperse sound and appease neighbors of oil drilling operations.

woman at oil well Denver pro photography - frost on winter grass.

Women Colorado industrial photography workers.

It’s no longer unusual to see women at oil and gas drilling sites.

morning at drilling rig

Although this shot was not used in the article, it was one of my favorite images. Colorado industrial photography meets Colorado agriculture. Dawn breaks on dormant irrigation system near petroleum drilling site.

 

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Photographers, writers and artists often look at the world differently from others. They concentrate on the minutest of details while simultaneously seeing a larger view. Their job, after all, is to record humanity’s travel trough time. And time takes on new meaning to a photographer beyond sixty years old – it shrinks… Suddenly 150 years doesn’t seem like a large block of time. A century and a half of history is not actually a big leap for our minds to grasp. Looking backward in time or projecting into the future 150 years is like gazing at the stars. It gives us perspective.

 

I retrace my mind’s meanderings of that frigid morning when I study the last picture of this post. This is not a particularly interesting image without the following observation. What did the landscape look like in 1867 – before industry? And what will the same spot be in 2167?

 

At first glance, the photograph is a depiction of rural Colorado – a melding of agriculture and the petroleum industry. But what about the elements we take for granted? Dividing the composition in half are giant timbers built to carry our communication wires. How much longer will those be necessary? On the left we see that familiar two lane blacktop as it reaches over the near horizon. Of course roads have existed since the invention of the wheel. But how relevant will roads be to future human travel?

 

The right side of the composition is reason for my making the photograph. Derricks exist for an extremely short time – just a few months. How many years will the resulting well pump crude? And the biggest question: How much longer can humans’ rapid consumption of fossil fuel be maintained?

 

Climate Science, Economics and Politics

 

In the big view of human existence, could it be that we are living at the apex of civilization? During this 150 year span – since 1867, a planetary virus we call Homo sapiens has expanded to every edge of the globe.   Humanity now possesses the means by which its very existence could be terminated. Here are three ways:

Human population growth is a runaway train. At the current rate of one billion added bodies every 12 years, Earth would be home to 20 people billion by 2167.

Nuclear Annihilation is not only possible, it’s probable. How much longer can the nuclear arsenal club of nine nations remain fixed? And the bigger question: How much longer can the nine nations control their own governments?

Climate Change is curious. While the rate of warming is fast by scientific standards, it’s slow enough to lull humans to inaction. Decades of discussion have lead to a general agreement – the planet is warming. But powerful elements of political persuasion deny human culpability.

 

The political divide impacting our little world-view in 2017 seems irreparable. In the USA, the political divisions are so acute that people have stopped exchanging thoughts with those who are not like minded.   Opinions shaped by economics have been outdone only by opinions created by the alternative-fact driven world of right wing media. Does it seem odd that the same scientific methods used to create industry are being ignored by climate deniers? When we ignore science do we become ignorant?  Anti-science thought reigns in 2017.

 

But hypocrisy thrives on all sides of the political spectrum. I saw a “Stop Climate Change” bumper sticker on an SUV toting a trailer of high powered ski-mobiles as it raced up a mountain road in a lower gear at 85 mph. At times, educated lefties seem to be clueless about what fuels their lives of relative ease. On the other hand, factions under the category “urban elite” cannot fathom the global economic chaos caused by sudden reversal of oil consumption.

 

It has often been said that people are sheep. Imagining humanity as a single organism, this statement rings true. If opposing ideologies suddenly arrived at the agreement that human activity is the catapult of global warming, a step would be taken. But can enough individuals truly alter their daily habits to reverse climate change ? Without concerted cooperation between governments, industry and the ruling 1%, ordinary climate activism amounts to nothing more than a mosquito pissing in the ocean.

 

Ironically, an irreparable political divide might be precisely what saves humanity. The trajectory of action set in motion by the 2016 coup, is designed to rip apart long trusted alliances and dismantle institutions. The very institutions that serve to stave off catastrophe are being abolished or minimized.  A new order exists in the vacuum – one of unshackled industrial growth. If this course results in environmental catastrophe, as those on the left believe, it could be the silver lining of an ominous cloud. Perhaps catastrophe is the only impetus strong enough to reshape destiny. In this scenario, floods, super storms, and fires from drought lead to famine which in turn lead to war, creating a shift in human thought and subsequently. . . human evolution.

 

 

 

 

 

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Business Portraits – Denver High Finance at Tokken

I enjoy making business portraits for Denver executives. Every week, I create profile pictures and business portraits. Some of my business photography projects are for magazine stories, but most are done for company websites. Whatever the project is, I design executive portraits that are uncommon. My aim is to create the kind of business portrait that lives its own life – one that is both a reflection of and a window into the personality of the person in my viewfinder.

 

To that end, I try to photograph each client outside the norms. I want them to express a persona in photography that exceeds preconceived stereotypes. Lawyers and executives in banking are often conventional. After all, their jobs demand polish. Bankers especially can be stiff. So when I got a call from a banking firm named Tokken, I expected suits in a glassy tower.
But just moments into our initial conversation, I knew this would be a fun photo-shoot. First, I was intrigued with the unique niche – a banking system designed for the cannabis industry. And second, the folks at Tokken were open to my ideas.

Lamine Zarrad, Tokken CEO and his wife and business partner Jenaya McGowan Zarrad, told me they scoured the internet searching for the right photographer. That they chose DeCroce Photography was not only an honor, but their confidence in me provided the right ambience for me create interesting works. Here are a few of the results

Available window light is as beautiful as it is problematic. The depth of field in this low angle portrait of Lamine was so shallow that I melded two shots together – one for a face in focus and one for a sharp hand. As a federal banking regulator, Lamine Zarrad understood the complexities of marijuana dispensaries when he created Tokken in 2016.

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Executive portrait against red wall

The shared office space at The Shift provided lots of interesting backgrounds. Janaya Zarrad is photographed here against a red wall adjacent to the board room at The Shift.

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Denver business portrait photographers and business photographers in Denver are constantly being introduced to niches they never knew existed. In the world of banking, Tokken is certainly on the cutting edge. And Tokken’s banking innovations for pot dispensaries have garnered an abundance of headlines for the young start-up.

Just a few weeks ago (February 7), Westword writer Kate Mckee Simmons penned an interesting story detailing Zarrad’s company.

Tokken, an app for both customers and dispensaries that was recently named a finalist for the 2017 SXSW Interactive Innovation Award.”

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Tokken’s new website (with my photography) will be live next week. But their current site displays a long list of publications that have taken note of Tokken innovations. The New York Times, InvestopediaForbes, The Boston Globe and many others have written articles about Tokken.

 

To explain the Tokken story, I’ve relied on excerpts from a New York Times story (February 16 2016)  on Tokken.

As Marijuana Sales Grow, Start-Ups Step In for Wary Banks

by NATHANIEL POPPER.

When Lamine Zarrad was not at his job as a federal banking regulator in recent months, he was spending a lot of time at Denver’s marijuana dispensaries.

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As a federal employee, he could not partake of the pot.

 

He was there, instead, to pitch the shops on a start-up he has been working on in his free time and is making official this week after quitting his job as a bank examiner at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a division of the Treasury Department.

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Mr. Zarrad’s start-up, Tokken (pronounced token), is one of several recently created companies looking to solve one of the most vexing problems facing marijuana businesses in Colorado and several other states: the endless flow of dirty, dangerous, hard-to-track cash.

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The State of Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2014, joining several other states where the drug has been decriminalized in some form, but Visa and MasterCard will not process transactions for pot dispensaries and most banks will not open accounts for the businesses — leaving dispensaries dealing with a constant influx of cash, and nowhere good to put it.

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Tokken and others start-ups, with names like Hypur and Kind Financial, have been putting together software that helps banks and dispensaries monitor and record transactions, with the long-term goal of moving transactions away from cash.

variations in lighting techniques

After a conversation the other day with iconic Denver photographer Nicholas DeSciose, I chose to create compositions with distal ends (toes) leading out of the frame. These two business portraits also represent a difference in in lighting technique. The image of Lamine on the left was done with only available light while the photograph of Jenaya in a man pose was lit with a single strobe and soft-box.

 

 

 

Business portraits

I love this composition. Of course, the natural beauty of the subject – Sonya – is what makes this image shine.

business portraits

With the Tokken portrait project, my aim was to create true-to-life business portraits of Denver executives. And I encouraged the executives to have a conversation with “Harvey” off camera. But I also wanted variety in the images. My hope was to make photographs as individual as the personalities being portrayed. This portrait of Israel was made with existing office light mixed with window light.

Denver business portraits

When creating interesting business portraits, one light is sometimes more interesting than two. The trick is to fill the shadows with either reflector light or available light.

 

Business portrait Denver

The giant TV screen on the wall made for an interesting reflection in this business portrait.——————————— Shift Workspaces in Denver offered a wide pallet of background choices for interesting business portraits. But as I view the collection together, I feel that I might have relied to heavily on this cool wall. ———————-

Denver business portrait

  • Mary pencheff - Really really nice work! Beautiful lighting and composition, great conceptual portraits.ReplyCancel

    • Edward DeCroce - Thank you Mary. And you have beautiful work! Wouldn’t it be fun to photograph each other sometime?ReplyCancel

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Denver Professional Photographers at deCroce post 2016 Images

Snow and trees professional photography

A recent snowfall in Denver 2016.

 

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by Edward C. DeCroce

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As 2016 become history, we reflect back on images from (based in Denver) professional photographers at DeCroce. We’re proud of the quality as well as the variety of works. This is a lengthy article.

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We thank the thousands of long-time clients who have supported and recommended us. Our inspiration is intensified by loyal commitment you – who call on DeCroce year after year. Denver professional photographers rely on the kind of unspoken promise that renews business relationships with fresh photo-opps. Year after years we aim to reward our long standing supporters with the kind of uncommon imagery that they’ve come to expect.

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In 2016, professional photographers in Denver at DeCroce devoted their creative ingenuity to a myriad of commercial photography projects in Colorado and across the USA. We enjoyed industrial photography assignments Texas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and many other locations. We volunteered our expertise to youth sports groups and medical research projects. As in other years, executive portrait photography and business photography in Denver framed the foundation of our Denver professional photographers business.

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But this year was not a smooth ride. More than many others, 2016 was a year of consternation and double whammies. Denver professional photographers rely on a longstanding client base – they also need new clients. As much as we depend on old clients recommending new clients, Denver professional photographers need internet exposure. There is no magic plateau from which an entrepreneur can rest on past achievements. Not in the computer age.

In January, we were shocked to learn that search engines like Google had suddenly demoted DeCroce Photography Dot Com from the top spots to lower pages – overnight. Keyword phrases like “Denver professional photographers”, “executive portrait photographers Denver” or “Colorado commercial photographers” had previously displayed DeCroce at the top of the organic search list. But all at once, we were relegated to the caboose. No one scrolls to page 10 to find Denver professional photographers. The problem was either new algorithms from Google or abandonment from our host server Livebooks. It might well have been a combination of both.

The result was humiliating. Professional photography studios in Denver who had been in business for less than a year had suddenly commandeered top billing. Despite showing work that depicted genres unrelated to the accompanying keywords, new professional photographers leapfrogged over longtime Denver professional photographers.

Websites are no longer built for a computer. They are built to look good on a clever phone. The astounding statistic is that 90% of searches for “Denver professional photographers” are on a phone. This makes older websites (older that three years) obsolete.  The days of flash websites for photography are rapidly coming to a close. That so many viewers now see our work on a phone is distressing news to professional photographers and artists of all sorts. Choosing a pro photographer is not the same as deciding on Chinese take-out.  Imagine visiting a museum which displays only miniature works.

If you’re viewing this post on a phone, please consider reentering the web address on a computer with a decent sized monitor –– at least a pad.

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Twenty sixteen was year of inventing new professional photography assignments.

 

 

boy sledding in winter

From January 2016, “boy sledding” was created for a sports eyeglass marketing project by Denver professional photographers.

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Nature Photography

In August, I posted Pissing Hummingbirds. In it I describe how this tiny creatures completely captured my attention. I could not stop myself from making more and more exposures. Here are a few.

Denver Photographer of Gossamer Beauty

This gossamer beauty comes from a self-assignment of hummingbirds in flight.

Denver photographer DeCroce did not see the Hummingbird pissing in real-time. It was only when the images were downloaded to the computer that the piss was discovered.

 

 

 

Colorado photographers

                                         On this one, I did some “painting” and other artistic enhancements.

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Executive Portrait Photography – Heart of… Denver Professional Photographers At DeCroce

 

We’ll never grow tired of creating unique portraits for business people, writers, musicians, artists and entrepreneurs. Our aim is to see beyond the veneer. Our curiosity unveils the people we photograph.  Edward Angelo DeCroce said it best when he wrote in a 1978 article for professional photographers: “A superficial interest of a person will result in a superficial portrait.”

Many other business profiles can be seen on our main website. And a recent article on this blog Inside Executive Portrait Photographers describes how Denver professional photographers put together an executive portrait photoshoot.

two portraits of attorneys in Denver

Attorney portraits from Kelly and Walker are among top all-time favorite business portraits.

Denver photographers

Sports writer Jonah Keri at Coors Field – from “Portraits of a Baseball Writer”  ( April 2016 ).

Denver professional photographers from DeCroce create variety in style for business head-shot photography.

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In late 2015, I was reintroduced to my reliable friend –– the 20mm lens. This one is rectilinear.

 

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Youth Baseball Sports Photography

Capturing my favorite subject is always a top passion. This season, I obsessed over getting great action shots of each player. Levi (same last name) has loved playing baseball since age 5. He was nominated to the all star teem several times but his teams sucked – finishing in the cellar every year. 2016 was a special year under coach Mike Thurman and assistant coaches. The Reds went 15-1 beating the Bluejays in the championship game.

 

red and blue baseball caps tossed into the air

After years of losing seasons, the Reds won the championship for 12 year olds of SE Denver baseball. This is a blog post still waiting to be written.

Two youth sports baseball photos.

The fun part of youth sports photography is catching these awesome expressions.
Here are some shots of my favorite subject. Levi was 12 during the baseball season. Capturing youth sports action shots is almost as much fun as playing the game.

I wanted to make an uncommon youth baseball team picture. With the aid of Denver fine art photographer Zach Singer as my assistant, I’m happy with this result. The flip mount of the LCD screen on the Nikon D750 was also a big plus. I didn’t have to lay on the ground to get the shot. It was shot at dusk with three Alien B strobe lights and one Nikon SB900.

                      ”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

 

This fine art photography depiction of Denver tower reflections is by Denver Photographer Edwards DeCroce.

Fine art photography “Tower Reflections” was created by Denver professional photographer Edward DeCroce during a lawyer portrait photo-shoot.

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This was captured in the lobby outside the Goldman law Firm in February 2016.

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Professional photographers in Denver at DeCroce create dramatic industrial photography.

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…………Three Broken Feet in One Year………….

Boys who play hard sometimes get hurt. Levi broke his foot three times in 2016. Luckily, it was the left foot made from multi layers of carbon fiber.

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Business Photography for Moser Aviation

 

 

Marty and Sara Moser of Moser Aviation.

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Interior Photography

 

Professional photographers from DeCroce focus on people most of the time. But we also create inanimate compositions like interiors. This was done for Maxx Properties.

Black and white photo of roughnecks at work

Roughneck” ( July2017 ) was written as a tribute to to the workers of the Energy business. It was also an attempt to practice prose.

B&W portrait of Energy photography Forman

Energy foreman in West Virginia.

A yearly project to photograph the City Lax gala keeps honed our event photography skills in Denver. The mission of Denver City Lax “is to create educational and enrichment opportunities for youth in underserved Denver neighborhoods through the sport of lacrosse.” ………………………………………………………………….. In this editorial photography image, we see Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrisee engaged in conversation.

business meeting photo

Editorial photography in Denver was part of the conversation in “Denver Commercial Photographers Rock” ( April 2016 ). And the image was also used in DeCroce Blog article ( January 2016 ) on the Denver professional photographers’ work for ESP Settlements.

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Executive portrait photography:

Executive Portrait Photographers

 

This article is written for business executives who want to look good in their portrait photography photo-shoot. It’s also written for executive portrait photographers. Writing advice for both sides of the camera lens in one article might seem like a reach. But any professional photo-shoot is a shared experience between the photographer and the subject. And what compels executive portrait photographers is the opportunity to create inspired portraiture of women and men at the top of their profession.

Professional photographers at DeCroce have a long tradition of making innovative executive portraits in Denver. And we travel to cities across the USA for corporate executive portrait photography. We have been for over 50 years. Advertising agencies and corporate marketing professionals call on us when they’re looking for innovation.
Denver executive portrait photography in downtown Denver location.

This executive man portrait photography with downtown cityscape for JE Dunn Construction was captured  just moments before a deluge rainfall turned 17th downtown Denver into a river. Suzanne Blons did the make-up for this executive portrait.

Denver lawyer in woman executive portrait photography with light and shadow background

As professional executive portrait photographers, we look for subtle but graphically interesting backgrounds. Sometimes a simple pattern of light and shadow augments the composition. Make-up by the sublime talent –– Suzanne Blons.

 

Executive woman portrait photo on stairs

Executive woman portrait photography of Misty Lynes-Orzech was done as part of a marketing photography project of the Dallas based executive for Optis.

 

 

Based Denver Executive Portrait Photographers

Executive portrait photographers from deCroce in Denver traveled to Pittsburgh Pa for corporate photo-shoots. The business photography project for WPX included both industry field photography and corporate executive portrait photography. When traveling to other cities, professional business photographers streamline their camera and lighting gear. Depending on the nature and expectations of the assignment, photography pros will often seek out local assistants as I did for this photo-shoot.

Executive portrait photographers

Stay tuned for more…

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Tonya deCroce is currently traveling the globe in an effort to bring back to life the works and the stories of her grandfather –

Denver portrait photographer Edward Angelo deCroce.

She met with the curators of the Photography International Hall of Fame in St. Louis Mo. last week. She meets with Hassleblad in Gothenburg Sweden today and she’ll travel to Italian photographer Marcello Nitti next week.

Locally she’s talked with iconic photographers such as Nicholas DeSciose and Denver photo-lab pioneer Bob Reed.

If anyone would like to share some stories with Tonya, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  

Today, she shared a letter received from the founder of Brooks Institute.

 Your Magnificent Grandfather

Dear Tonya, I was delighted and excited when I had met Edward Angelo DeCroce on the Brooks Institute campus in that summer of 1980. When the West Coast School of Professional Photographers conducted seminars, we had so much to share in our lives.
First was the use of the early Hasselblad camera system..we both shared Victor Hasselblad’s vision of the 70mm format for the highest quality. Edward chose the “out-of-doors with natural light to build his studio and in doing so enthralled so many photographers to switch to his natural lighting and incredible use of the natural environment. I chose to do the same in my underwater World with the camera that Victor himself presented me in 1961.
The style of outdoor photography that Edward Angelo Decroce presented …won the hearts of the entire photographic profession.
My best wishes on your journey Tonya.

………..with Love, Ernie Brooks

 

Denver Portrait Photographer

Touch Of A Hand ©1971 Edward Angelo DeCroce – was a hugely successful outdoor portrait for its time. A large 30″x30″ framed print was hung at the opening of the Epcot Center in Florida in 1982. Portrayed in “Touch Of A Hand are Edward’s daughter Olivia and granddaughter Tonya.

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Archiving Past Works

The Work of Denver portrait photographer Edward Angelo deCroce

Denver portrait photographer Edward Angelo DeCroce dreamed big.

Shaped by the desperation of pre-WWII America, his life (1919-1983) was a quest to succeed. The hard times of his teen years forged in him a sprit that would ultimately precipitate his unique contribution to the world of photography.

What makes the acclaim of DeCroce most remarkable is that his reputation was built not by creating glamour images of Hollywood stars, but by making portraits of ordinary people. Aside from a few accomplished symphony conductors, deCroce’s subjects were not famous. And his Denver photography studio was located in a part of town more known for the oldest profession than the heartfelt portrait photography that would define his life.

To judge art of the past through the eyes of the present can be a misleading endeavor. Tours of the Sistine Chapel, for example, begin by displaying artists’ work before 1500. So when viewers are finally shown the work of Michelangelo, they are in awe. They can grasp the concept that Michelangelo’s work was a giant leap.

Photography of the 20th century saw remarkable advancements in technology every decade. And innovative photographers reflected the changing times with new styles and ideas. In this way, Edward Angelo DeCroce was a true pioneer of professional photography. His work reflected society and influenced professional photographers around the world.

The Denver photographers .

Early Innovation – Color & The Slim Line

As the Beat Generation morphed into the pre-hippie era of the early 1960s, DeCroce offered a style of portraits that fit the time. Always shot on white seamless, the slim-line portrait was made for baby boomers who donned ski clothes, penny loafers or capris. These portraits were made into unusually narrow vertical or horizontal prints – hence the name “slim-line”.

Color photography had existed for decades but mostly as an anomaly.  For professional photographers, color remained on the horizon until the 60s. And even then, the sole color lab in the city (Bri Tone) catered to the amateur market. DeCroce dove deep into color photography creating his own lab in the basement of his studio. At first with “basket” technology, DeCroce Studio offered its customers color portraits years before they became the standard. When Dunning Photo came out with the Kreonite processor, deCroce invested in the giant 32″ version. The studio’s color printer, Carol Small, devoted herself to becoming an unparalleled expert. And by the mid 70s she had acquired a steady national clientele of pro photographers.

The Renaissance Portrait

Edward Angelo DeCroce continually strived for new techniques that would free him from the cliche. Influenced by Dutch painters like Vermeer and Rembrandt, DeCroce often photographed with just one light. He utilized very slow shutter speeds to capture ambient light and bounced a small light off  ceiling or walls to augment ambient fill light. Studio lighting by deCroce was elegant in its simplicity. And to complete the aura of a photographic painting, DeCroce used oil paints on top photographs. Works were then finished with brush strokes of clear lacquer. With his color lab and finishing techniques, the studio offered large format prints in ornate frames not unlike museum portraits. He called these works The Renaissance.

 

Outdoor Portraiture & The Hasselblad – f4 @ 1/60

Simultaneously, DeCroce yearned to create works that reflected turbulent changes in American society. Working outside to capture a photojournalistic style of portraiture was not happening with the 4×5 format. And 35mm format was not substantial enough to create wall portraits with regularity. So in the 1960s deCroce traded one of his 4×5 cameras with a high school boy named Robert Penny in return for a Hasselblad 1000F. With the 70mm (2 1/4″ x 2 1/4″) Hasselblad, deCroce was free to create unique sets of portraits under (as he said) “God’s light”. Edward refused the notion of bringing his studio outdoors. He opted instead to work very simply without strobes or reflectors.

In photography, we adjust our exposures for any given light condition. But DeCroce reversed that formula. He sought light that would fit his exposure. The constants were always the same: 150mm lens wide open @f4, film speed @100 ASA (now referred to as ISO). For photographers steeped in the digital age, f4 is roughly equivalent to f2.0 on 35mm. With the two variables taken out of the equation, only shutter speed remained to control exposure. The use of monopods or tripods was often necessary.

 

DeCroce minimized the mechanics of photography for one simple reason. The Denver portrait photographer’s goal was to make a connection with the people in his images. DeCroce felt that continual tinkering with cameras and lights interrupts the flow and the mood of a portrait session. “A superficial interest in people results in superficial pictures.” He wrote.

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Denver photographer

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Portrait Photographer Denver

In Violinist With Cosmos 1977, Denver Symphony violinist Lee Yeignst plays during photo-session of portraiture by Edward A. DeCroce. As the Denver portrait photographer delved into his “self assignment” for the DSO, he surmised that his images became more vibrant when the musicians played their instruments.The addition of listeners added yet another element of design and realism to his works. The composition was created in the home of DeCroce’s longtime friend and internationally recognized painter Pawel Kontney. The giant painting entitled “Cosmos” hung in the entry room to Kontney’s home becoming the background of this composition. Pawel’s wife Imgard Kontney is the listener.

 

 

 

Denver Portrait photographers

Gaetano Delogu was musical director of the DSO in 1979 when Denver portrait photographer Eward Angelo deCroce made this studio portrait. Delogu went on to conduct the Prague symphony until 1998.

 

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The list of merits and accomplishments of Edward Angelo DeCroce is outstanding. He taught photography seminars and gave photography lectures in the USA, Canada, England, Australia and Denmark. He headed courses in contemporary photography at the West Coast School of Photography at The Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara Ca., and was on the faculty as a photography professor at The Colorado Institute of Art when he died in 1983.

Four of Mr. DeCroce’s works were selected for exhibition in the International Photography Hall of Fame when it was located in Santa Barbra Ca. He was awarded a Master of Photography PPA degree in 1966 and a Photographic Craftsman degree in 1970. He received the coveted American Society of Photographers (ASP) Fellowship Award in June 1978. In the 1960s he served as president for Professional Photographers of America (PPA) regionally. And he later served as national judge for the Loan Collection and PPA judging panels. Edward Angelo deCroce won the Kodak Academy Awards and had works included in the opening ceremonies at the Epcot Center in 1982.

 

From the 1960s until 1983, DeCroce’s works and his philosophy were published in photography magazines including Rangefinder, Studio Light, and The Professional Photographer. In 1972, Hasselblad Magazine published the first of three articles on the life and photographic works of Edward Angelo deCroce.

In “The Tide Changes” (Hasselblad 1972), DeCroce wrote: [For me] “There is no area of endeavor which is more personal nor more intimate than the photography of the human entity. No area of photography is more stimulating, challenging, demanding and rewarding than the photography of people.”

The Symphony Series by Edward A. DeCroce was debuted in its entirety by Hasselblad Magazine in 1978. And in 1982, deCroce was selected by Hasselblad Gallery as one of the top 10 photographers worldwide to represent the exquisite camera maker at Photokina 1982. Other notable photographers selected by Hasselblad that year were Americans Ansel Adams and photojournalist Judy Olausen along with science photographer Lennart Nilsson who first photographed an embryo in the womb.

The exhibit which included 10 works by each photographer traveled to museums and galleries internationally.  It was just after DeCroce’s passing when the exhibit in the fall of 1983 arrived in Denver.

Denver portrait photographer DeCroce embarked in 1977 on a “self assignment” –– a photographic essay in portraits of the Denver Symphony Orchestra. With no commission from the DSO, DeCroce was free to explore. DeCroce wrote in “The Professional Photographer” (October 1979)  “I was not compelled to please symphony management nor any individual musician. The challenge that faced me was how to imaginatively create a composition of each musician that was strikingly different than anything I had seen before.” Portrait works of the Denver Symphony were made into very large prints by Carol Small at the DeCroce lab, framed elegantly by Signe G. DeCroce and bequeathed to the DSO where they hung for decades in Boettcher Hall . The symphony series by DeCroce helped to garner world-wide recognition for the Denver Orchestra.

Hasselblad writer Evald Karlsten in September 1982 likened deCroce’s photographic portraits to Rembrandt.  Karlsten wrote: “The thing that turned my thoughts to a past which is so remote and yet so near was seeing a series of color photographs taken by distinguished American photographer Edward Angelo deCroce.  There is a Rembrandt touch about them, pictures depicting musicians in their work environments.”

Forty years earlier in 1942, Edward’s first taste of photography came during WWII. Trained as an aerial photographer in the south Pacific, his job was to create both oblique and mosaic images for mapmaking. After the war, he opened his first portrait studio in his home town near Pittsburgh Pa before moving his family to Denver Colorado in 1957. Before opening his Denver studio in 1960, he worked for Kurt Jafay in the historic D&F Tower –– now referred to as the clock tower.

Denver people photographer

 

Denver portrait photographer Edward Angelo deCroce embarked on a monumental photographic series when he began the Symphony Series in 1977. "Bassist " ©1977 was composed in the photographer

Denver portrait photographer Edward Angelo DeCroce embarked on a monumental photographic series when he began the Symphony Series in 1977. “Bassist ” ©1977 was composed in the photographer’s home. A neighbor lady posed as the listener.

Denver Photographers

As the Denver portrait photographer progressed in the photo-essay of the Denver Symphony Orchestra, he began to include other art forms in his images like sculpture, dance, and painting

people Photographers Denver

Soon after the Denver photographer began the Denver Symphony Series, he chose to add a listener to his compositions

Soon after the Denver photographer began the Denver Symphony Series, he chose to add a listener to his compositions

Denver Photographers Denver photographers Denver Photographer

As a young man in the mid 1930s and with is six siblings and mother

As a young man in the mid 1930s and with his six siblings and mother.

EA in studio1950s

Denver photographer

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  • Arthur Rosenblum - Thank you, thank you, thank you, Eddie. What memories you’ve stirred up. I plan to spend quite a bit of time with your blog. Your parents would be so proud of you for both the tributes you pay them, and for the artistry and technical quality of your photography. This made my day. — ArthurReplyCancel

  • Lynn Schriner - What an amazing legacy! Seeing your fathers work again…remembering the portraits in the window of his studio as we walked by. His work was art in it’s highest form. I remember the son, with a camera, always a camera. The son had an eye for beauty and captured light in ways that inspired me. I am honored to call you friend. From a very young age till now, your work delights and challenges! The apple didn’t fall far from the tree Edward! Amazing!ReplyCancel

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