Tag Archives: colorado

Best of 2015

January is flying by! I meant to post this earlier in the new year, but got caught up with breaking news coverage and designing and preparing a magazine for print single-highhandedly. It’s been a year of changes and introspection for me. I’ve felt isolated as a photojournalist and I’ve been shedding layers of my identity to find what’s at my core. Changing means growth, but it can be hard. I’ve found myself bursting into tears for no known reason, yet still pushing my physical and mental limits. I think I’ve found a lot of solace in the past by associating with other photographers, dancers, outdoor adventurers, and I still do. Yet I’m learning, slowly and surely, that those things are what I do, not who I am.

Check out some of my favorite images from 2015 in a grid! (Because why not make more art out of my primary medium?)

BESTOFGRID-2015-small

And here’s some highlights from 2015, including personal adventures and career developments. I’m grateful for all the people and experiences I encountered in 2015.

  • Spent many weekends backcountry skiing, fully embracing the chill of winter and snuggling with fluffy huskies post ski.
  • Took the Amtrak train to San Francisco, and a Chinese tour bus back home, to photograph a travel story.
  • Danced through a winter bluegrass concert with my best friend.
  • Skied under the full moon on the largest flat top mountain in the U.S.
  • Performed to live piano music written by Debussy, an innovative French composer.
  • Mountain biked at night, for the first time, in Sedona, Arizona.
  • Danced and modeled chainmail in the annual Paonia, Colorado fashion show.
  • Backpacked through Canyonlands National Park in Utah.
  • Taught dance and watched young girls get more comfortable with their bodies.
  • Shoveled 700 pounds of coal in just over 2 min!
  • Trekked in the Weminuche wilderness in Colorado, stopping to swim in every alpine lake along the way! We also met a herd of mountain goats!
  • Ran the four pass loop in the Maroon Bells wilderness of Colorado, finished multiple trail races, and my first trail marathon!
  • Attended NPPA’s Women in Photojournalism conference, Geekfest, Summit Workshops for Adventure Photography, and Mountain Workshops in Kentucky, meeting many passionate photographers and visual journalists along the way.
  • Built a bed and storage in the back of my Subaru Outback.
  • Spent my birthday and Thanksgiving climbing sandstone cliffs in Indian Creek, Utah with my whole family
  • Met my partner’s family in Oregon for Christmas, climbing and skiing in the midst of the chaos.
  • Completed a personal portrait challenge, taking someone’s portrait every day for a month.
  • Moved into a beautiful farmhouse with 13 fabulous folks, where we create, share delicious meals, and have spontaneous dance parties.
  • Worked on multiple photo stories throughout the West, helped redefine print and web design elements, and developed a more robust data visualization system for High Country News.

 

Advertisements

Hunt like a girl

A 3:30 am wakeup. A rumbling drive up a dirt road. A silent walk to a predetermined outlook, then a frigid hour or so watching light creep across the sky and land. This is at the core of hunting, when you take out the guns and animals and meat processing.

I spent a few days with Laura Palmisano and Katie Richman during the fourth elk rifle hunting season in Colorado. Richman is a seasoned ungulate hunter, and this was Laura’s second year with an elk tag. Although the animals didn’t show up where they expected, they did bring some firewood home.

Laura Palmisano and Katie Richman dress for a sub-zero morning trudging to a lookout spot at 4 a.m.

Laura Palmisano and Katie Richman layer up for a sub-zero morning trudging to and waiting for elk in a meadow in unit 521 on Grand Mesa in Colorado.

Laura Palmisano and Katie Richman hunt for a bull and cow elk on private land during the fourth season in 2015. Richman talks to Ryan Strand, who owns 100 acres, about the elk they found that morning that had been dead for weeks.

Katie Richman talks to Ryan Strand, who owns 100 acres of land in unit 521, about the dead elk they found that morning that had been decomposing.

Katie Richman and Laura Palmisano head out for an evening of hunting on private land on Grand Mesa in Colorado.

Katie Richman and Laura Palmisano head out for an evening of hunting on private land on Grand Mesa in Colorado.

Laura Palmisano adjusts her grip on her rifle while waiting for dusk, the time when elk are most active.

Laura Palmisano adjusts her grip on her rifle while waiting for dusk, the time when elk are most active.

Katie Richman points in the direction she expects the elk to walk from when the sun sets.

Katie Richman points in the direction she expects elk to walk from when the sun sets.

Laura Palmisano looks across the landscape while hunting on Grand Mesa.

Laura Palmisano looks across the landscape while hunting on Grand Mesa.

Gateways

I’ve been shooting a few assignments for High Country News where I work primarily as a designer and photo editor. I shot a story about a tiny speck on the map in Western Colorado back in October. That speck is called Gateway and with a population so small only 30 K-12 students attend the school, it’s hard to notice as you pass through the canyon. But what many people do notice is a huge resort, number one in Colorado and twelve in the world, that boasts a car museum, rafting, horseback riding, and romping around on gnarly roads.

I visited the place with Maureen Neal, who wrote an essay about watching the town of Gateway disappear for High Country News. She taught at the then one-room schoolhouse in 1985. We walked through the resort-owned land surrounding Gateway to visit the ancient cemetery that overlooks the town and spent the afternoon chatting with Aggie Wareham, 83, who has lived in Gateway almost her entire life. There were no commercial buildings not affiliated with the resort, and the old Vanadium mine that used to fuel the town economy in the 70s has turned into a site full of wrecked and rusting equipment.

The resort, out of sight from the town, is a huge complex of adobe buildings and green lawns with sprinklers spewing across the lawns. In October the place seemed empty, only a few cars in the lot, but apparently they get busy and fully booked during some seasons. Which is why they are building an employee housing complex to house all the workers that tend to visitors at the resort. I suspect the resort’s population exceeds the town’s during high season, maybe even year round.

Here are some shots from the area, including some I didn’t include in the magazine edit:

A construction worker from Grand Junction works on infrastructure for employee housing at Gateway Canyons Resort that will include a pool, a gym and more.

A construction worker from Grand Junction works on infrastructure for employee housing at Gateway Canyons Resort that will include a pool, a gym and more. Brooke Warren/High Country News

10.6-Gateway-BrookeWarren080

Buck Talbert works on a Baja racing vehicle at Gateway Canyons resort. For the past eight years he has commuted over an hour from Grand Junction to work as the resort off-road vehicle mechanic. Brooke Warren/High Country News

Aggie Wareham, 83, looks through old photo albums, remembering her lifetime spent in Gateway, Colorado.

Aggie Wareham, 83, looks through old photo albums, remembering her lifetime spent in Gateway, Colorado. Brooke Warren/ High Country News

10.6-Gateway-BrookeWarren247

Bighorn sheep stand roadside on Hwy 141 on the route to Gateway, Colorado. Brooke Warren/High Country News

On Track(s)

Last week I traveled from Colorado to California by train to catch a bus to Las Vegas for a photo assignment. I know, complicated. But it worked. Riding the train was an interesting way to see the West and learn about the historic route. The section between Denver and Salt Lake City is said to be one of the most scenic routes on the rail. Still, the most interesting sights on the train to me were the people.

A passenger reads in an Amtrak train at the Grand Junction station on Feb. 15, 2015.

A passenger reads in an Amtrak train at the Grand Junction station on Feb. 15, 2015.

Conductor Tom Rawlings has worked the scenic route between Grand Junction and Salt Lake City, where he lives, for 2 years. Before working for Amtrak, he spent 30 years as an engineer on historic steam engines.

Conductor Tom Rawlings has worked the scenic route between Grand Junction and Salt Lake City, where he lives, for 2 years. Before working for Amtrak, he spent 30 years as an engineer on historic steam engines.

Passengers disembark the Amtrak train on Feb. 16, 2015.

Passengers disembark the Amtrak train on Feb. 16, 2015.

Passengers focus on their electronic devices while riding the train.

Amtrak passengers focus on their electronic devices.

Memories from 2014

Like many people I looked back through all the pictures I’ve collected in 2014 and sifted and sorted to find photo’s that sparked a special memory or spoke to a new style. These aren’t necessarily my best pictures of 2014–although some of them are favorites–but they each tell a story.

They tell stories of courage, travels, new friends, exploration and beginnings.

Girls twirl in their wool polleras in the village of Perka, Peru on the shore of Lake Titicaca.

Girls twirl in their wool polleras in the village of Perka, Peru on the shore of Lake Titicaca on June 24, 2014. Each village or region has a different style, which is influenced by indigenous and Spanish colonial clothing.

Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer perform on top of a haystack in Paonia, Colo.

Cahalen Morrison &; Country Hammer perform on top of a haystack in Paonia, Colo.

Fiery leaves rise above Aspens that have already shed their fronds on Kebler Pass in Colorado.

Fiery leaves rise above Aspens that have already shed their fronds on Kebler Pass in Colorado.

Morgan Foster

Morgan Foster in the snow in Bellingham, Wash.

Steve capes a buck dear for a wall mount.

Steve Kossler capes a buck deer for a wall mount in Paonia, Colo. “Some people don’t like hunting,” he says. “but it’s just part of the West.”

Climbing trip in Indian Creek brings people out to crush cracks and get high.

Michelle Brugiere starts a climb in Indian Creek, Utah while Jeff Montgomery dons his festive pimp hat.

IndianCreek 3.2014-BrookeWarren1385

Morgan Foster approaches South Six Shooter on the morning of March 28, 2014. South Six Shooter and North Six Shooter, in the background, are two solitary towers that stand northwest of the cragging buttresses in Indian Creek, Utah.

Brian Calvert searches for elk in the West Elks wilderness. This was the first time he has gone out hunting since childhood.

Brian Calvert rests while tracking elk in the West Elks Wilderness. This was the first time he has hunted since childhood.

On his 90th birthday, Gerald Warren reads The Economist. He reads the magazine cover to cover every time it arrives at his doorstep. When asked about what he read he says, "I don't remember, but I know it was good."

On his 90th birthday, Dec. 21, 2014, Gerald Warren reads The Economist. He reads the magazine cover to cover every time it arrives at his doorstep. When asked about what he read he says, “I don’t remember, but I know it was good.”

Victor Ayma Qoyso plays the harp. Brooke Warren 2014

Atop a mountain 13,000 feet above sea level near Maracuay, Peru, Victor Ayma Qoyso, 71, gently strums his harp and sings a high pitched melody in Quechua that extends across the hills. The harp came to the Andes of Peru during the Spanish colonization and has become part of the sound of the Andes.

The costumes come out….

…and the treats accumulate!

It’s been a whirlwind of life changes over the past few months. I graduated from Western Washington University, guided and photographed for Rustic Pathways in Peru for the summer (blog posts to come!), returned to Bellingham, Washington to grab my belongings, catch up with friends, and try to buy a car, then rolled over to Paonia, Colorado to work for High Country News as their new Associate Designer.

Halloween and the start of a new month seemed like perfect timing to show off some pictures. I captured the antics of trick-or-treating in a small town, which I remember fondly from childhood. The night progressed from little toddlers shuffling up to doorways, with their parents in tow, to pre-teens crashing through fallen leaves to knock on as many front doors as possible and collect as much candy as they could. My 8-year-old friend Ellie gave me the “in” and let me trick-or-treat with her while I took pictures of the holiday tradition.

Ellie Feder eats candy on her way to another trick-or-treating destination on Oct. 31, 2014 in Paonia, Colo.

Ellie Feder eats candy on her way to another trick-or-treating destination on Oct. 31, 2014 in Paonia, Colo.

Halloween2014-BrookeWarren039

Parents accompany their children while they roam the streets and trick-or-treat on Oct. 31, 2014 in Paonia, Colo.

Halloween2014-BrookeWarren077

A front walkway gets a lot of costumed foot traffic as kids come to the front door for candy on Oct. 31, 2014 in Paonia, Colo.

Halloween2014-BrookeWarren113

Ellie Feder spilled her candy at the end of the night, but managed to salvage it from the leaf-covered ground on Oct. 31, 2014 in Paonia, Colo.

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

August 21 brought hordes of people, cars and bikes to Crested Butte, Colorado for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Crested Butte was a host town in the second stage of the week-long cycling race extending across the rocky mountains of Colorado. What impressed me most about the race was the amount of vehicles required to support the racers, the course and the fans. From cameras in helicopters and motorcycles to broadcast the race to the world, to support vans carrying backup bikes to semis hauling stages and tents to each host city, the amount of fuel required for the human-powered race was must have been enormous.

But despite my awe at the amount of cars, the speed of the racers was even more amazing. They zoom down mountain passes at more than sixty mph and I barely snapped my shutter a few times before the racers were out of my sight and on to the finish. Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team won the second stage of the race that ran through Crested Butte.

The frontrunners begin the last climb to the stage 2 finish after biking 99.2 miles from Montrose, Colorado.

Fans watched from the roadside and motorbikes with video cameras followed the racers. The winner of Stage 2 finished in 3:52.24.

The “peloton” or main group of bikers rides below Mt. Crested Butte.

The total climb between Montrose and Crested Butte measured 8042 feet. Here the bikers begin “The Last Steep,” the final climb before the finish.

Along with the caravan comes the wild fans. Dore Holte, also known as “Raging Stag,” was cheering on his favorite riders. This is his second USA Pro he has attended.