A Finnish friend of a friend has a funny expression. Its used when our actions seem insignificant and inconsequential. Instead of the tired old line “like a drop in the bucket” her Finnish phrase makes me laugh out loud. She says “Its like a mosquito pissing in the ocean” Well –– this story is about pissing hummingbirds.

Colorado photographers

On this one, I did some “painting” and other artistic enhancements. All the others are true photographic representations.
Like in a theatrical ballet production, the tiny performer seems to be asking for applause.




For me, the funniest part of “a mosquito pissing in the ocean” is conjuring up the mental image of what that would look like. And how big of a drop would that be anyway. I picture a tiny mosquito flying over a vast sea toward the setting sun dropping its liquid load. Is it possible that even one living creature would notice? Could I possibly photograph the event?

Then I picture that tiny drop descending down down into the Pacific (I’m more familiar with the Pacific than other oceans). When it finally joins its obese relative, there is no parade – no welcoming committee – no splash at all.

Whoa, is that not the epitome of insignificant?

Photographing hummingbirds last week was a real exercise in patience. I’ve always loved hummingbirds — I let their air-show capture me — I surrender to their hypnotic spell.

While studying painting in college, I drew a lady hummingbird in her nest keeping warm her eggs. Every day after class, I’d make a new draft of my friend and her offspring-to-be. It was a sad day when one of those nasty squawking crows ate the eggs and halted my art project.

And I’ve photographed hummingbirds too. I’ve shot them on film and captured their flight with earlier digital cameras. But up until now, I never saw them pissing. Fact is, I still haven’t seen them pissing. Their movement is so abrupt that my total concentration was spent on getting them in sharp focus. I didn’t notice any piss when I reviewed images on the camera’s LCD screen. But I did notice an unusual number of failed attempts: delete-delete-delete. It was back in my light-lab at the computer screen that I was first wowed by hummingbird piss. Scroll down through the artistic ones to witness miniature foul urine.


Denver Hummingbird photographers

As the light level was low, I used two SB900 Speed-lights to illuminate the hummingbird. One light mounted on the camera was bounced off of a reflective surface while the other light, held by my top notch assistant and sister Sandee was aimed directly at the hummingbird.

Hummingbird Denver Photography



It was refreshing to get away from work for a few days. My son Levi and I visited a place I first saw when I was about his age — my sister and brother-in-law’s mountain cabin. Sandee and Tom lost the original Swanson family retreat in the 1996 Buffalo Creak Fire. And now, 20 years later, their new self-built cabin is a quiet paradise. For them, the fire had a fortunate outcome. In the olden days, an endless parade of dust-making campers trucks and other vehicles passing by. But now, the Buffalo Creak Road is now open only to mountain bikers. I’d like to do a complete article on their cabin called “Castleview” in the future. But this story is about hummingbirds.

Yes, This story is dedicated to gossamer elegance. This post is about a tiny creature that migrates all the way to Central America during our winter. And then comes back to the same homes and cabins visited during the previous year.

Unlike many articles posted on this blog, readers won’t read boring paragraphs devoted to search engine optimization (SEO). This story is devoid of the typical word phrases like executive portrait, people photographer, or commercial photographers in Colorado. There won’t be any descriptions of corporate photographers, industrial photographers or fashion photographers in Denver. Readers of this blog will find it refreshing to know that they won’t have to read lengthy diatribes the true meaning of commercial photography or advertising photography.

But this story, of course is all about pissing hummingbirds. So lets get back to the pictures.


Denver hummingbird photographers

The strong detail of the previously posted images was in-part due to electronic strobe light.
But starting with this one, the remaining photographs were made with available light only. My aim was to capture the translucent wings.

Denver Photographer Portfolio

Notice the narrow depth of field on this one. Focus is dissolving on both wings. With a shutter speed of 1/8000 second and the ISO dialed up to 10,000, the aperture was f2.0.

Denver Photographer of birds bird photographer in Denver Denver Photographer of Birds Colorado Bird Photographer 11_Hummingbird110

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.

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

Pissing Hummingbird Photographers

“Pissing Hummingbird In Flight” was captured by Denver photographer DeCroce. Who knew that capturing photographs of pissing hummingbirds could be so much fun.


Fighting Hummingbird Photographers in Denver

After hours of photographing Hummingbirds, I was finally fortunate to film a fight in flight. The red neck hummingbird was the aggressor. He’s also the one who makes that purring sound.

From the hundreds of good shots, selecting the final images to post was tedious. What makes this one interesting is the injuries on this hummingbird

From the hundreds of good shots, selecting the final images to post was tedious. What makes this one interesting is the injuries on this hummingbird’s beak —presumably due to confrontations with that mean red neck hummingbird.
A more scientific possibility is reprinted here from Wikipedia. “Upon maturity, males of one species, Phaethornis longirostris, the long-billed hermit, appear to be evolving a dagger-like weapon on the beak tip as a secondary sexual trait to defend mating areas.”

Denver Photographer of Gossamer Beauty

This gossamer beauty is my favorite.









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Marketing Photographers Tools And Usage In Denver


Owners of small businesses have their arms full with a multiplicity of hourly chores and projects. And marketing-photographers marketing themselves (after aiding other businesses in marketing) often fall short. There’s a finite amount of time in one hour – usually about 60 minutes. And marketing-photographers (and other small business people) are left with the 59th and 60th minutes to devote to their own marketing.

Edward DeCroce

So what to do?

The easiest solution is to hire and pay a professional marketing photographer to market your unique brand. The creation and usage of well executed professional photography cannot be overstated. The best photographers are always the ones who charge the most. Everyone knows that.


Imagine that we lived in the day when brick & mortar business was our only business option. Imagine that your business location is right in the heart of the quaintest part of town on the quaintest street (outside of a Hollywood film studio). Your business neighbors diligently paint the facades of their shops with the most avant-garde colors. They’ve created cute readable signage. And they proudly arrange their wares behind shiny glass windows. But in order to save money, you hired a 14 year old cousin to design your storefront. And your single small window hasn’t been cleaned since Harry met Sally.

Brick and mortar business live in the age of cyber circulation too. And every business person should remember that superior uncommon imagery is an invitation to buy and hire.

Signage =  Headline.

Paint = Photography

Your your personal portrait = The window to your shop.



Engage a professional photographer to create, explore and inspire. Make the process of a professional entrepreneur or an executive photo-shoot fun. Be patient and allow original conceptions to evolve. Collaborate with your marketing-photographer marketing you. Rely on your joint decisions.

This example of marketing-photographers marketing themselves is a 6×8 card printed by 4BY6.


A Fulcrum Trio – Marketing Photographers Marketing Your Image


Once superior images are in place, the question persists – what to do?

  1. Treat your clients right! When we meet professionals, we expect a friendly handshake. We like to be looked squarely in the eye. We trust a soft smile.  Our professional portrait is no different. Our photograph is our introduction. It launches relationships and sets forth a path that can lead to a lifetime of mutual achievement. Create a collection of varied professional portraits and editorial – action images that can be published in print and on the web.
  2.  The era of print is not over. Introduce yourself to new business with well designed printed material. Send it by mail, hand it out personally and use it in magazines and newspapers. The tactile feel of beautifully presented photography will always impress.
  3. Pay homage to the lord engines of cyber heaven. Small business and marketing photographers alike, must explore and impress cyber robots. Without online exposure, your business gas-tank is empty.



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A hard working roughneck offers much to photograph. And capturing their essence in single frame images was

part of my assignment in recent industrial photography and energy photography photo-shoots.

I hope the photographs here represent the character and dignity I encountered. 


 Roughneck At Work

Oil and gas Photographers

                                                  Roughnecks work on completion well in southern Texas



The hottest song on the charts that summer was “Satisfaction”. The hook (that enduring guitar riff) made you want more. The drums drove a hard beat (for its time) as Jagger’s smooth voice told us “he can’t be a man cause he doesn’t smoke the same cigarettes as me.”

As I rode through the night on a Continental Trailways bus, the song was my mantra keeping rhythm with a droning bus engine and whirring tires on black asphalt below. An older kid (a teenager) must have had a cassette player, or maybe a transistor radio. And he’d turn heavy volume (for its time) when “Satisfaction” was played. It seemed to go on and on all night spurring my fixation on returning to my Denver home. I was ten.

Like other summers before and after, the season was anchored at my aunt’s farm on the plains of northern Montana. We called it a farm, but it seemed more like a ranch. They raised cattle, chickens, a few milk cows, horses, and lots of tadpoles and snakes down by the river. I learned how to drive a tractor, ride horses, shoot a rifle and crap in the outhouse. My annual summer adventure was so cool and I loved it. My cousins were always welcoming but none of them were my age. I got lonely and was ready to go home.

Sixteen hours is a long time for a kid to sit – felt like sixteen days. On my first solo trip, satisfaction was not coming easily. So I devised a game to ease the time. I imagined myself as different characters from history, like Native Americans from the Old West or bone-weary homesteaders of the pre-industrial age. Through the eyes of borrowed minds, I saw my experience anew. A lone farmhouse light in the distance – a passing freight train – became extrinsic objects.  I listened to “Satisfaction” through old dead ears and my boredom morphed into intrigue.

South of Cheyenne the darkness outside my window grew more and more lambent as the city drew nearer. My fantasy shifted. Now I was borrowing minds of the future – from a time when starlight is diminished by the glow of a global city, and busses travel at sound-speed propelled by air.

So what’s all this got to do with photographs of roughnecks? Hang on for a potential connection.

Roughneck Detail..

. Roughneck4..

. Oil & Gas Photography Roughneck Portrait Gaze




Roughneck On Scaffold Roughneck Action Photography.

. Roughneck Feet



Ever since I invented that game on the bus to numb time, I’ve used it often. And I know others do too. In fact, I suspect that everyone time-travels in their own mind on occasion. Why not? It’s free. I even do it when I work.

I make photographs every day. I photograph executives in glassy offices. I capture editorial pictures of business people in board-room meetings. And, as showcased here, I endeavor to create real-to-life images of roughnecks in the grit of cast-iron industry.


. A Roughneck Portrait

Roughneck portraits and oil and gas photography were captured for for Mana Resources in Texas.
Roughnecks on Rig Oil & Gas Photographers

A roughneck connects drilling pipe as photographer gets sprayed.

A roughneck connects drilling pipe as photographer gets sprayed.

Roughneck Portrait laughing.

. Roughnecks At Work Roughneck Close Portraits.

. Roughneck Portrait.

. Roughneck Team Roughnecks Repairing



Photographing a Roughneck


My father was also a photographer. In fact, his renown was world-wide – being featured in Hassleblad Magazine three times. Since his departure over 30 years ago, photography has evolved in incredible ways. For one thing, its so much more instant – we don’t use film anymore. When I listen, I hear his words of amazement and I feel his excitement. Because our combined negative file dates back over 70 years, I’ve seen firsthand the effect our photographs have had on the lives of the people we portray. So when I make a picture, I consider how this particular image –  this precise moment – will be interpreted by my grandkids’ generation.

Making these photographs of roughnecks (both the portraits and the editorial ones), sparked in me a premonition of sorts. When I look at the pictures, I can’t help but look through the eyes of future humans. What I see, is a chronology of the end of an era – a slow dissolve of the industrial epoch which made possible our comfortable lifestyle.

June 2016 was the hottest June of recorded time. We’re talking global temperatures here.  And that follows 14 consecutive months of all-time record breaking heat theguardian.com.  Roughnecks read the facts of science like the rest of us. And they know climate change not a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese as presidential candidate Trump contends.

The roughnecks in these portrayals are good men – some of the most diligent workers I’ve seen. In the summer heat of south Texas, they have no need to pay dues to a work-out gym. Their hard sweat and dedication to their craft produce the lifeblood of modern times. They drive pickups and live in towns that don’t offer recycling. They’re remarkably innovative and relatively self sufficient.

An awkward transition will likely follow. And the livelihood of countless millions are at risk. But rather than standing idly by waiting for an impending catastrophe to reshape our global human path, action is vital.

Conversation sparks action.

. Roughneck Gloves


  • Alfy Sommers - Great stuff Ed. Keep on snappin down the road 📸ReplyCancel

  • Mike Thurman - You could easily have been a writer with your thoughtful ability to describe or portray any situation with your keyboard as well as you do with your lens. These are every bit as good as I had imagined them to be. Great work Edward!ReplyCancel

  • Sheri Small - Your stories make as incredible an image as your camera lens.Very much enjoy your blog Ed.ReplyCancel

  • Pam Blaney - Great pictures Edward!ReplyCancel

  • Eric Lombardi - Holy smokes- such amazing acuity! And I love the B&W’s! The industrial world is rich with humanity…great stuff as usual.ReplyCancel

  • Anne Mckinnon - Most incredible..,ReplyCancel

  • Denver Professional Photographers – DeCroce 2016 Selection ~ DeCroce Blog of Photography - […] “Roughneck” (July2017) was written as a tribute to to the workers of the Energy business. It was also an attempt to practice prose and push the conversation of climate science. […]ReplyCancel

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Santa Fe Street Photography Art in Denver

The cool jazz band played out front of the Gallery at 8th otherwise known as The Design Garage.

Street photography of the cool jazz band played out front of the Gallery at 8th otherwise known as The Gallery at Design Garage. With a steady hand, a pro photographer can slow the shutter speed to capture movement on the street while keeping still the subject.



Mural Artist

Street photography has a way of opening up new unplanned experiences.  One shot, or series of shots can lead to a conversation that in turn leads to a new unique set of images. It had been a while since I visited the art galleries on Sante fe Street in Denver. So when I was invited to attend a gallery opening on 1st Friday, I invited my friend – a 20 mm rectilinear lens named Ataboy. Of course that meant I needed a camera body, so I chose the Nikon D750. Now what I like best about the d750 compared to the d810 or other Nikon bodies is the tilting LCD screen. No longer do I have to I lie on my belly for low angle perspectives. Although lying prone – eye pressed to viewfinder can be a dramatic effect to impress clients.

Of course, most of what you see here can only loosely be referred to as “street photography”. Real street photography should be gritty, grimy and grainy. And it usually starts with a negative (old school reference) that is properly under exposed. In the old film days the use of infrared film was in vogue for photography projects of all sorts, especially to capture the kind of hip underbelly of a city. Infrared was tricky to process. Hours in the darkroom taught me just the right number of agitation points for a perfect negative. A slightly under exposed infrared frame was far more likely to render the kind of magic we looked for.


Here’s a loose attempt at digitally replicating the effects of infrared film from a bygone era.


Kai, Proprietor Disign GarageMy intent with this self assigned project was not really to rehash old film techniques, I just wanted to showcase a few galleries. And if I have time, I might do the same thing next month. I started with the Gallery on 8th Ave (The Gallery at Design Garage) where I met proprietor Kai. I love the space  and am considering creating an office for deCroce Photography closer to downtown Denver. The Gallery at Design Garage, is an artist community that offers business space, studios and gallery exhibitions.

I hung around that gallery for a time, sipping wine, viewing art and making new acquaintances. In fact I invited two interesting looking onlookers for a complimentary photo-shoot at some future date.

DEC_7831©DeCroce Photography




 The Gallery at Design Garage during 1st Friday opening art-walk.

                                                      The Gallery at Design Garage during 1st Friday opening art-walk.                                                                                                                                                  

Longtime Denver artist John Passaro opperates the Alpine Art Gallery at 8th and Sante Fe in Denver. Proceeds from the violin duo (the tip jar) were donated to the Samaritan house in Denver.

Longtime Denver artist John Passaro opperates the Alpine Art Gallery at 8th and Santa Fe in Denver. Proceeds from the violin duo (the tip jar) were donated to the Samaritan house in Denver.


I meandered through the crowds as I admired more art before landing at The Alpine Gallery on Santa Fe Street. John Passaro, owner of The Alpine is a longtime successful Denver artist.

DEC_7901©DeCroce Photography

Interesting Street photography looks for grit, unusual color and uncommon composition.


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It’s my extreme pleasure to photograph youth sport photography. This year I followed my own son’s Southeast Denver Baseball team creating exciting action shots, behind the scene photojournalism and this team picture.

I wanted to make an uncommon team picture using umbrella lighting.

Youth Sports Photogrraphy

Youth Team Picture

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  • TLD - I just read about the ‘umbrella’ technology that your father pioneered in the 70s. He said that he didn’t need a lot of fancy tools to get the right light effect; he just needed his umbrella, or nothing, just the natural light. I love this photo! I’m sure the team loves it, too. Well done, Edward.ReplyCancel

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