An Abridged (and somewhat accurate) Tale of My Photography Career.

DenverCool photography Steve Eckes

Around 1977 I bought my first camera, an Olympus OM1n.  I bought it to connect to my telescope for astrophotography.  My thought at the time was that the photography can't be that hard.  Getting a telescope to track accurately for a hours at a time.  Little did I know.  This was in the days of film photography so there were a whole new set of complications.  Everything from which film to use for which photos to film fogging over on long exposures or high temperatures.  I would be mucking about in this realm for several years until I started grad school.  This was the beginning of a long interval of hibernation for what would become my photography interest. 

 After grad school I moved to Boulder Colorado.  I started a career and started to haul my camera out into the field on hikes and bike trips.  With the mountains in the background there are very few compositions which are completely bad.  Toss in the "boring Colorado sunsets" and Colorado quickly becomes a beginning photographers dream.  As I progressed in my career I careened into another of those photographic deserts that pepper my life.  The boom took me over.  No time for photography, or almost anything else.  I did start a hobby of collecting domain names, like any self-respecting tech geek.  Eventually this resulted in my purchasing the  A name which would become used as this web sites domain. 

 After the bust I would spend my time divided between business and my family.  I got married, had two wonderful daughters and got divorced.  After the divorce I found myself with time to spare.  Photography had gone digital during this time.  The idea of being able to create photos, process them and print them all from "MY" computer was viewed as wonderous buy me.  I didn't have a lot of money but I managed to scrape together enough cash to purchase a Canon 60Da and a couple of kit lenses.  Photography became a form of relaxation and therapy for me.  By this time I had moved to Denver and was spending many hours hiking around Denver and Colorado practicing photographing nature at its finest and most intimate. 

 During this time my oldest daughter found out that her mother's smart phone could take pictures.  Her enthusiasm would spur me on in my photography adventures. Shortly after this I started taking my daughters on road trips around the western United States.  During these trips my oldest daughter and I would share my phone and camera.  After one particular trip, upon reviewing the images I had taken, it dawned on me that my photography had improved a great deal and some of the photos were at a professional level.  This thought would percolate around in my mind for the next few years. 

 Realizing the quality of my photographs was improving I became more excited to continue learning the art of photography.  By this time my daughter had acquired her own camera, also a Canon so we could share lenses.  Her view of the world as seen through the camera lens would spur my on to practicing my kraft ever more diligently.  Her young mind had a completely different and unexpected, perception of reality.  Thus ends the first chapter of career.

 Life continued like this for a few years.  I started printing my photos with my cheap Epson office printer.  The photos had a max size of 85.x14 (legal size) and I was not overly impressed with the effect.  I kept trying and after a second printer and two sets of print heads I sprung for a "real" photo printer, a Canon ImageProGraf Pro 1000.  I could print up to 17"x25" photos.  My blasé attitude to printing was immediately changed.  To the end of my days I will maintain that no photo can have its full emotional effect until printed at large scale.  As is evident the art of photography took a quantum leap in my  life. 

 It would be another couple of years before my life and career trajectory would receive another quantum leap.  That was when I met my wife.  We met in the photography book section of a used, antique bookstore.  We were both reaching for the same book entitled "A Treasury of American Prints".  This led to some talking which lead to coffee which, eventually led to dinner and very eventually to a wedding.  The book actually had nothing to do with photography, it was about sketches and etchings.  My future wife however, was a photographer and had her own business and, ultimately, studio. It was with her help and encouragement that I started  That brings me up to my current state of being with my life and my business.  As I continue growing down this path you, my dear reader, can follow along by returning to this site to see what products I have to offer and to see my story unfold in this blog as well as following Denver.Cool on Instagram and Facebook.  I also work with Monique on a youtube channel called Cattail Chronicles. 

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