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 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

Back to top|Contact me|Subscribe to deCroce Blog|Email this post to a friend|Share on Facebook|Share it

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.


Back to top|Contact me|Subscribe to deCroce Blog|Email this post to a friend|Share on Facebook|Share it

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

  • 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

Back to top|Contact me|Subscribe to deCroce Blog|Email this post to a friend|Share on Facebook|Share it

 Middle School Students Tour Gates BioManufacturing Facility


Editorial photography and photojournalism have always been a passion of mine. And doing editorial photojournalism of Bell Middle School students as they toured the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology was a treat.


Editorial Photography for Educators

Students from Bell Middle School peer into cutting-edge Gates Center facility.


I love editorial photography. It’s been my pleasure to photograph various projects at The Gates Biomanufacturing Facility (GBF) over the past several years. I’ve created professional business style portraits for the directors as well as the Advisory Board of The Gates Center. I’ve done editorial photography of GBF tours back in 2013 when it was still under construction and we’ve had fun coming up with unique ideas for various group shots.  Many images in The Gates Center 2014 and 2015 Annual Reports were done by DeCroce Photography. So when the request came to cover the first middle school field trip to The Gates Center, I jumped on it. Having a 6th grade son at McAuliffe International School in Denver, I was eager to see how kids of that age respond to both the science of and the philosophy behind modern biology. I was left with a thorough appreciation for how the message was delivered to the young scientists by Gates Center personnel. And I was equally impressed with the educators at Bell Middle School. These kids are on the road to brilliance.

Now, to answer the predominant question on the minds of readers unfamiliar with modern biology research. Embryonic stem cells are NOT used in research at The Gates Center. When one of the young students opened discussion by questioning the use of embryonic cells, Patrick Gaines, Director of The Gates Center, seized the opportunity. He posed hypothetical and thought-provoking scenarios which face modern biologists that awakened the kids’ budding philosophical judgement. “How long should a human cell live?” he pondered aloud. Patrick emphasized  leaps made by science in the past 30 years as he roused the teenagers to envision their own careers. Scientists of tomorrow may face daunting decisions regarding human immortality.

Bell Middle School Tour Gates Biomanufacturing Facility

Director of The Gates Center Patrick Gaines talks with budding scientists regarding the fundamental role of biology now and in the future

Editorial photography for Gates Center Tour


School education editorial photographers

Students dressing in lab coats and protective glasses while on a field trip to the Gates Center For Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology.

Young students ponder big biology questions while on tour of the Gates Center at CU.

Young students ponder big biology questions while on tour of the Gates Center at CU.

Educational photojournalism

Director of The Gates Center patrick Gaines talks with middle school students during tour.

Lead Engineer and Director of Quality Assurance, Gabe Orosco talks with middle school students during tour.



The section below is from The Colorado University newsletter called CU Anschutz Today written by Steven Barcus.

Steven Barcus
University Communications
May 10, 2016

The future of medicine is happening at the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility (GBF), and engineers are already working to hand it down to the next generation. The GBF hosted 30 seventh and eighth graders from Bell Middle School (BMS) to introduce them to drug treatments and cellular therapies produced through research in regenerative medicine and stem cell biology. 

A field trip to a cutting-edge facility that translates the discoveries of clinical and commercial investigators into clinical-grade products might sound a bit advanced for middle school students. However, Patrick Gaines, executive director of the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine, knew they would be able to understand the basic concepts and could use the trip to potentially inspire careers in science.

Touring the future

The tour included a preliminary discussion about the facility led by Lead Engineer and Director of Quality Gabe Orosco. Orosco discussed the work being done at the GBF and rapid growth of the field. He also emphasized how the students were already preparing for potential careers as researchers and scientists.

“Science isn’t just about the facts, it’s about the people who do it,” Orosco said. “Your ability to solve problems, ask questions, collaborate with your classmates and imagine new ideas is prepping you for actual scientific knowledge and for being able to do what I do.”

The tour included clean rooms, a “miniature hospital,” and development facilities and equipment such as microbial cell fermenters. Along the way Orosco and Gaines took questions about the current uses of stem cells and discussed the implications of their growing prominence in medicine.

“Manipulating adult stem cells and returning them to their embryonic-like state is a great power,” said Gaines. “It is important that these kids understand the potential uses and leave with a broad imagination about the kind of problems they can solve one day.”

The section above was written by Steven Barcus for Colorado University.

To see the entire story by Steve Barcus, please visit CU Anschutz Today


Denver Editorial Photography




Editorial Photography for Educators

Patrick Gaines leads middle school tour of The Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology.



Please visit DeCroce photography to see other interesting works.





Back to top|Contact me|Subscribe to deCroce Blog|Email this post to a friend|Share on Facebook|Share it

Denver People Photographers Capture Sports Writer’s Stance at Ballpark



As Denver people photographers, we portray a full spectrum of the city’s recognizable faces.

I’ve been photographing the famous, and the ordinary folks of Denver for several decades now.

And before that, my renowned father, Edward A. DeCroce, filled his days creating exquisite

images of Denver’s applauded personalities. We’ve worked in offices, homes, boardrooms and lofts.

We’ve sought out interesting visual surroundings in symphony halls, courthouses, airports and back alleys.

And we’ve been invited to shoot behind the scenes in the wings of theaters and in private judicial chambers.

But I had never done a Denver-people-photography-portrait-session in a ballpark.

The professional photo-shoot was a blast and the results were exceptional.


; ; ;

Jonah Keri portrait

I love the diversity of this strong B&W portrait of sports writer Jonah Keri, compared to other softer portraits.



“Life is a Game, Baseball is Serious.” For baseball writer Jonah Keri, baseball is life.

He’s written books about baseball, starting with Up Up and Away, and followed by The 2% and

Baseball – Between The Numbers. Jonah is a regular analyst on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

And he writes about baseball for Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports.

Denver Portrait photographers

Uncommon Denver portrait photography of sports writer Jonah Keri at the ballpark.



We met at the ballpark long before the game started. With ambient light glancing off thin clouds above,

shadows were illuminated the way a giant soft-box would do. The quality of light was perfect – almost.

Photo-student Natasha Braegger assisted with adding just a touch of supplementary light.


Jonah’s sensitivity to brightness limited our choices. Broad lit shots, with Jonah looking up

toward the light source, were problematic. His expressions seemed unnatural in those compositions,

so I ruled out that perspective as an option. But angling my composition slightly up

allowed Jonah to look down onto the playing field. With glare diminished, his presence returned with natural ease.

Many of the shots displayed here showing the side-angle of the stadium were done with

the aid of a large reflector. And towards the end of the photo-shoot, I bounced

SB-900 strobe light off the reflector positioned by Natasha.


Denver people photographers

Sports writer Jonah Keri at Coors Field.

Denver portrait photography

Baseball announcer in ballpark

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to top|Contact me|Subscribe to deCroce Blog|Email this post to a friend|Share on Facebook|Share it