In January 2015, the University of Colorado Denver offered this challenge to engineering and photography students: Can you show us how water fits into Denver’s urban landscape? Now, we are pleased to present the winners of this first-ever Green Denver Photography Competition.
With funding from the Shoemaker Research Fund, this photography competition was organized jointly by the Hydrology and Hydraulics Program of the Department of Civil Engineering and the Photography Area of the Department of Visual Arts. Eight teams, each comprising one engineering student and one photography student, submitted prints.
Photographs were required to feature the natural or engineered water environment along rivers, creeks, canals, parks, or greenbelts within metropolitan Denver. A panel of judges comprised of representatives from the two organizing departments, the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, the Greenway Foundation and the CU Foundation reviewed the entries. Submissions were evaluated for concept, hydrology, composition, technique and presentation.
The winning teams include Bobby Jones (photography) and Prince Appiah (CVEN), Yu (Kathy) Hua (photography) and Ryan Tigera (CVEN), and Alex Tomme (photography) and Omer Karaketir (CVEN).
Each winning print received a cash prize of $300, split evenly between the engineering and photography students. Here are the winning images, in no order of preference. (Click on the image for a high-resolution file.)
Bobby Jones and Prince Appiah
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Photographer’s Statement: While searching for a location to photograph how engineering is used in our local waterway systems, I found it hard to find the perfect place to take a photo. It wasn’t until I was on a bike ride on the Cherry creek trail in Denver Colorado that I had found the perfect spot. I almost always carry my camera with me and had it as I was biking next to the Platte Park River. It was just before sunset and something about the glow of the city lights reflecting off the water is what caught my attention. I took notice of the beautiful architecture that surrounded the river and how the city lights reflected off the water. I saw many people out and about enjoying what turned out to be a nice clear night and thought to myself, this is the shot that I’ve been looking for. The lighting for the photo was perfect because it allowed me to use a slower shutter speed, which gives the water a milky flow to it. I waited a little longer for the sun to set and was able to capture a beautiful blue sky with a few of the Denver skyscrapers in the background. I am proud of the photos that I have submitted because I feel it shows the natural beauty that we get to experience here in Denver, Colorado every day.
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Yu (Kathy) Hua and Ryan Tigera
Photographer’s Statement: This photo was chosen as one of Team 6’s submissions because it demonstrates how civil engineering can create an environment that is both aesthetically pleasing and safe for a variety of uses. Taken from the Market Street and Speer intersection looking north, the engineered waterfall in the center of the photo is used to dissipate some of the energy flowing down Cherry Creek. As the creek continues to flow north, the photo displays two other small weirs that help to further reduce the energy created when straightening Cherry Creek. Riprap has been installed beneath the river as it moves over the waterfall as well as on the bank to reduce erosion. By having the trails below Speer Boulevard, the Cherry Creek trail provides a quieter atmosphere for recreation use as well as an increase in the capacity for storm water removal during a large rain event.
Alex Tomme and Omer Karaketir
Photographer’s Statement: The image of this rectangular weir was captured along the full flowing waters of Bear Creek in Morrison, Colorado early April 2015. The photograph was of the few selected by Ms. Alexandria Tomme and Mr. Omer Karaketir for submission because of the way it captures the nature of the hydraulic interaction between the creek and the engineered structure. The flow of the nappe over the rectangular structure is an excellent example of the working hydraulics and hydrology of engineering in our natural world—truly an image that shows how water fits in Denver’s urban infrastructure.