Having To Go Back a 2nd Time Isn’t Always Bad

When I arrived in Denver last Sunday to visit my future wife Heidi, I became fascinated by the white ladder-like sculpture at the Denver Tech Center. I like cool modern art and this was pretty cool looking, especially against the Colorado sky.

The white spine of the DTC Identity Monument stands out starkly against the Colorado blue sky. Using a polarizer increased the contrast and saturated the blue of the sky.

The structure’s real name is the “DTC Identity Monument.” It’s a sculpture meant to resemble the skeletal steel of buildings. If it were on the coast, it could almost represent the skeletal remains of a whale. With the sculpture being 100 feet tall, it seemed to force itself into the Colorado sky. Its base is situated in the Raymond A. Bullock Park at the Denver Technololgy Center.

On the day Heidi and I were there, the flags encircling the park were all the state flag of Colorado. There was one U.S. flag. Not to worry, the sky was deep blue with a smattering of puffy white clouds.

As we were pulling in to  photograph it, the one thing I thought to myself was how beautiful the contrast was between the sculpture and the sky. And I knew from experience that a polarizing filter at this time of day would be very effective.

So we got ourselves and gear out of the car. I grabbed my two bodies, one with a wide zoom and the other a telephoto zoom. I put the polarizing filter on the wide angle and proceeded to photograph the sculpture.The waning crescent Moon can be seen between the ribs of the DTC Identity Monument.

But unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to have a nice calm day. The visual potential seemed almost lost as the flags hung flaccid. The clouds seemed to dissipate rapidly and although the white against the deep blue was beautiful, it seemed almost boring.

U.S. flags fly in the breeze at the base of the DTC Identity Monument along I-25 at the Denver Technology Center.

We continued to shoot in the mid-morning light. The polarizing filter made the stark white structure pop out against the extremely deep blue of the sky. As if the contrast wasn’t enough, the waning crescent Moon could be seen through the sculpture. But without the wind, the ingredient for some nice images was missing: wind.

As we were leaving, one of the grounds keepers arrived and opened all the lock boxes that held the hoists for the flags. We didn’t think anything of it as we packed and then left. However, as we drove north on I-25, we passed the sculpture and all the flags were replaced with new U.S. flags. Beautiful. But we were in a bit of a hurry so we decided to return the following day.

And returning the next day worked out beautifully. The sun was out, the sky was clear, the new flags were beautiful, and the wind was out. And Heidi also brought her polarizing filters to capture some beautiful images.

Having to go back a 2nd time isn’t always bad.

Thank you for reading. If you would like to purchase prints of these images, visit my galleries at www.paulconrad.photography

Paul Conrad

Paul Conrad Photography


  1. Yup, Pablo,
    There are some places that have the compositional possibilities that you know are there, but things aren’t quite right, just yet! Keep coming back, to borrow a phrase!


    1. Thanks George.

      After years of working at papers with a very rare chance to go back the second time, it is a nice change of pace to have that opportunity.

      Thanks for the comment George.


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