Wings of Spontaneity

It was all so spontaneous.

Unpredictable.

Violating the sacred boundaries of my comfort zone.

I finished up some work on the computer and snapped my laptop shut.

I threw on my leather jacket to keep warm, laced up my Gore-Tex boots to keep my feet dry, and wandered out of my apartment into the frigid embrace of the brisk night, my camera swinging gently from my neck.

Street_Night - Peace

My boots hit the sidewalk without direction or purpose as I began searching for whatever it was I was looking for.

Street_Night - Light Reflected

Listless.

Lost.

Alive.

Street_Night - Wall Art

I quickly discovered the city had been waiting patiently for me, slowly revealing its secrets with each shot as I meandered my way through the scurry of passing cars, couples with interlocked gloved hands, a drunk stumbling while singing some forgotten, archaic tune.

Street_Night - Pete's

And every time I raised my camera to my eye and heard the shutter go “click,” I thought to myself how lucky I was to be dragged out of my place by the swift wings of spontaneity.

Street_Night - Circle of Light

 

Photographs and Prose copyright Mike Yost 2016

Derelict Dreams

I took these photos inside several abandoned homes, and I was fascinated by the messages and artwork throughout the houses.

Echoes of the past.

Words that perhaps outlived their own scribes.

I experimented a little in post-production to reflect the decay I felt and experienced just walking through those deserted rooms.

Walls that once cradled happy (or not-so-happy) memories now housing empty spaces—spaces that followed me weeks after the shoot.

Tolland - get out of my house

Tolland - I hate the future

Tolland - Forever yours

Tolland - do not open!

Photographs copyright Mike Yost 2015

Cultivating Illumination

Greetings fellow humans!

I don’t really celebrate Christmas, but I absolutely LOVE Christmas lights.  (And there’s a slight color of irony here, as I usually take black & white photos.)

DBG - Xmas1

So, I wanted to share my jaunt through the Denver Botanic Gardens.

DBG - Xmas2

They set up some incredible light displays every year, lights that never fail to kindle the kid in me.

DBG - Xmas3

If you live in the Denver area, take a night out of your busy schedule and check it out.

DBG - Xmas4

These displays even managed to fascinate and elate a cold-blooded heathen like myself!

DBG - Xmas5

With that said:  Merry Christmas, Good Yule, Merry Mythmass, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, and happy whatever else you believe in or don’t believe in.

Let’s just all agree that these lights are freaking awesome!

Photographs copyright Mike Yost 2015

日本

Japan - storefront

I recently had the opportunity to visit Japan. An amazing country populated with some of the most kind and generous people I’ve ever met.

Japan - temple 1

And the Nigiri! I’ll forever be spoiled, as I don’t think I’ll ever taste Nigiri as good as it was in Tokyo.

Japan - woman

I plan on adding more photographs soon (still fighting jet lag), and I look forward to sharing my travel experiences, illuminating the diverse and eclectic global community we happen to be a part of.

We are more connected than we know!

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

Red Death

Skull_wm

“And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”
—Edgar Allen Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death”

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

Littleton Cemetery

Littleton Cemetery sign V2

Halloween is almost upon us!

I shot some photos in historic Littleton Cemetery for a local nonprofit. The cemetery’s records date clear back to 1869, with bodies buried on the same grounds long before there was any official cemetery.

Perhaps the cemetery’s most famous (or infamous) resident is that of Alfred Packer, better known as the Colorado Cannibal.  He consumed the flesh of his travel companions to survive a harsh winter in the Colorado Mountains.

Packer

You can learn more about Packer and his ghoulish dining habits in an article I wrote up for a local Colorado LGBT publication:  outfrontonline.com/news/the-gruseome-taste-of-colorado-alfred-packer-the-colorado-cannibal

Sky

Statue

Jones

I’ve always felt a sense of peace in cemeteries, a quietude that I rarely experience in any other environment.

Photographs copyright Mike Yost 2015

Silent Spaces

Tolland Abandoned Home - living room

 

Tolland Back of Abandoned Home

I took these at some abandoned houses in the Colorado Mountains.  There’s something fascinating to me about derelict buildings, these silent spaces where maybe children once giggled at the dinner table over a plate of uneaten carrots,  where perhaps a father or a mother wept alone in the shower over the loss of their own parents, where entire families once slept soundly beneath a vast canopy of timeless stars.

These silent spaces now an echo of lives lived, their home slowly retreating into the Earth.

Photographs copyright Mike Yost 2015

Right-of-Way

Tolland Double Rail

I took this near Tolland, Colorado.  The rail eventually runs under the Continental Divide through the Moffat Tunnel, linking Denver with Salt Lake City.  It’s intriguing to imagine the first train passing through the tunnel in 1928 on railroad lines still used today by Union Pacific.

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

Cementerio de la Recoleta

ARG Cemetery

I have a group of awesome friends in Buenos Aires who took me to the historic Cementerio de la Recoleta.  The cemetery dates back to the 1700s and is home to many exceptional Argentinians such as Eva Perón.  Beautiful and haunting, I could have spent an entire week there taking pictures.

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

Rocks of Light

Rocks of light_wm

There are days when I get a little more than agoraphobic.  I keep my curtains closed, turn off my cell phone, and shoot in my apartment.  Sometimes this results in objects fostering creative qualities I never saw before.

The above photo is a close-up of a clay lamp filled with sandstones which diffuse the light from a bulb buried beneath.  It’s one of my favorite hermit photos.  Maybe I should hide away from the world more often!

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

 

Arc

Sydney Opera House
Experimenting with black and white textures using this iconic Australian landmark.  The opera house was fun to shoot, as some buildings are basically photo porn for photographers.

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015

Antiquity / Modernity

Louvre_wm

I took this in February of last year. It was a crisp and gorgeous morning waiting to get into the Louvre. I’m certainly not the first to capture the juxtaposition of old and new architecture, but the contrast is so visually striking!

Photograph copyright Mike Yost 2015