Denver’s RiNo District

A while back I found myself being driven to Mile High Stadium, which is now known as Sports Authority Field, but which I will continue to call Mile High Stadium.  My company had rented out the entire building for the roughly 600 guests of our conference (we barely fit).  It was a wonderful chance to shoot a nearly empty NFL stadium.

You may notice that there are no goal posts in the image above.  Upon further inspection you may notice other details that are inconsistent with an American Football venue.  My opportunity to shoot this came in the off-season, and the field was setup for a lacrosse match.

That aspect was a little disappointing, but still, how many times will a person get to do something like this?  Not many, and the Broncos were even the Super Bowl champs at the time.  In spite of the field setup and the rainy weather, it was still a pretty awesome experience.

But this isn’t a story about getting to shoot Mile High Stadium.  This is about the car ride over there.  We were being driven by the event coordinator, and she knew a few things about the city of Denver.  Admittedly I wasn’t super excited to take pictures around Denver.  We wouldn’t really have time to get out of the city to see the natural wonders, and I didn’t think Denver offered too many things worth taking a picture of.  I asked our driver about photo opportunities and ended up being totally wrong about sites to see within the city.  One of the places she recommended was the RiNo District.

This is the River North Art District, and you can follow the link to read more about it.  What piqued my interest was mention of graffiti.  My buddy Arif and I hopped on a pedi-cab and told our driver, Eden, to take us to the RiNo District graffiti.  She wasn’t sure exactly where we should go and dropped us off in the vicinity of what she thought we wanted.  After just a few minutes of wandering around, we found what we supposed is the main alley for street artwork.

It was incredible.  There was block after block of the most amazing graffiti I’d ever seen.  I’m a little torn about posting these images I made of other people’s artwork because I only took the pictures; I didn’t make the art.  So I hope you visit Denver’s RiNo District some day yourself.  It’s hard for pictures to do it justice.  Here’s Arif trying to get in a scene.

It was a totally immersive experience.  We felt like we were on a different planet while we walked along the alley.

I gather this is some kind of urban revitalization project.  The buildings we walked past were apartments, restaurants, music venues and, of course, art galleries.  We even heard a spin class taking place on the other side of one of the walls.  This wall, as a matter of fact:

And these were tight places.  Without a somewhat wide-angle lens, there’d be absolutely no chance of taking in an entire scene.  Remember, this is an alley, not a street, so there’s very little room to compose.

If you’re not planning a trip to Denver any time soon, I really hope you’ll visit my Urban Decoration gallery and check out more images from this area.  Right now, that gallery is almost entirely made up of pictures from this one place.

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