Startup Meetup, VR Edition

I Am Boulder Business | StartUp Meetup | 1724 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado

Photography by Kenneth Wajda.

A room full of entrepreneurs.  Dreamers.  Visionaries.  And open to ideas on how to bring those ideas to fruition.  That’s the purpose of the StartUp Meetup.

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Bob Ottinger, owner of Reality Garage, speaks at the StartUp Meetup.

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The February StartUp Meetup, which happened on Wednesday night in Boulder, featured two pitch presentations, the first one by Bob Ottinger, who opened the Reality Garage last month at  1320 Pearl Street, downstairs off the Pearl Street Mall. Meaning you can go and experience virtual reality.  Like anytime (well, that they’re open.)

The business model has a three pronged approach of related activities and goals:

• VR Lounge / Experience Space: walk-in or by appointment, individuals or groups (e.g. team building, parties)

• VR Maker Space with equipment, software, workshops / boot camps, open collaboration.

• VR Production: Content and Applications: Documentaries, mixed computer model generated with 360+180 / 3d videos.

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GRAND OPENING THIS WEEKEND

The Reality Garage is open to the public and you can go visit and try out the VR experience, and there’s a Grand Opening Friday and Saturday, February 10 and 11. More information: 720.598.2888 – Hours


The second presenter was Romain Vakilitabar, a filmmaker with a virtual reality film, My Beautiful Home, which will be screening during the Boulder International Film Festival, inside the VR Pavillion, March 2-5.

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Romain Vakilitabar introduces MY BEAUTIFUL HOME during his presentation.

Synopsis:  Kenya’s Kibera is Africa’s biggest slum, and one of the world’s poorest neighborhoods. Most of those living in Kibera live in absolute poverty – making less than a dollar a day. But they are not asking for sympathy, they are asking for admiration.

His company Pathos VR‘s goal is to create empathy based virtual reality experiences to accelerate global understanding.

Vakilitabar explained how we often see news photos of strife and suffering in other countries, but while we can imagine it, we haven’t experienced it, and we need both imagination and experience to create empathy for those faraway people.  His intention is to bring an experience via Virtual Reality, and to use it to work to solve world problems.

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5 ways you can support Boulder Viewfinder

And help create more photojournalism coverage of local happenings and people:

  1. A Small Monthly Donation as a Patron – A few bucks helps!

  2. A One-Time Contribution – Thank you!

  3. Advertise your Business on our Site + Support Our Advertisers

  4. Buy a Reprint of a Photograph (Delivered To Your Door)

  5. Share the Site with Friends – Copy the link

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Town Hall Forum Done Right

Lyons knows how to get a turnout for a Town Hall forum.  Bring State Representative Jonathan Singer and State Senator Steve Fenberg to the local pub, Oskar Blues in Lyons, and throw a bash, with live music and refreshments.

It was a packed house, with all ages in attendance, and residents could ask questions, and they did, from local issues to national politics.  The event was presented by the Lyons Economic Development Commission.

Photography by Kenneth Wajda.

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Colorado State Representative Jonathan Singer and State Senator Steve Fenberg on the Oskar Blues stage.

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Open mic for questions.

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Attendees of all ages listen to Representative Singer and Senator Fenberg.

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5 ways you can support Boulder Viewfinder

And help create more photojournalism coverage of local happenings and people:

  1. A Small Monthly Donation as a Patron – A few bucks helps!

  2. A One-Time Contribution – Thank you!

  3. Advertise your Business on our Site + Support Our Advertisers

  4. Buy a Reprint of a Photograph (Delivered To Your Door)

  5. Share the Site with Friends – Copy the link

Longmont Represented at Women’s March in Denver

During the presidential campaign of 2016 Donald Trump promised that he would unite the people of the United States. On Saturday, January 21st, that promise came true. He united not only the U.S. but the rest of the world, to stand together in a unifying global Women’s March to support human rights.

A group e traveled by bus from Longmont to The Women’s March on Denver to be part of that global proclamation that violation of anyone’s human rights will not be tolerated.

The Women’s March was an effort to send a message of peace, love, and unity to all that would listen. In Denver, it’s estimated that over 100,000 people participated in the peaceful march. WomensMarch.com estimates that over four million women, children, and men took part in peaceful marches across all 7 continents.

The marches in the U.S. were part of a global change that began yesterday. Some are calling it the start of a revolution but everyone is saying that it’s time for people to join together and fight for human rights for everyone.

Women, men, children, immigrants, Native Americans, Muslims, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and members of the LGBT community, and people of all ages and classes came together peacefully and loudly stating that they’ve had enough — they’re going to fight for everyone’s human rights.

Story by Denise Milligan.

Photography by Al Milligan.

5 ways you can support Boulder Viewfinder

And help create more photojournalism coverage of local happenings and people:

  1. A Small Monthly Donation as a Patron – A few bucks helps!

  2. A One-Time Contribution – Thank you!

  3. Advertise your Business on our Site + Support Our Advertisers

  4. Buy a Reprint of a Photograph (Delivered To Your Door)

  5. Share the Site with Friends – Copy the link

Agile Little (and Big) Dogs!

Hoops, tunnels, barriers, ramps, and vertical posts to pass through.  And it’s all set up for the dogs.

The Front Range Agility Club is holding a dog agility event this weekend at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, and what a treat to see these speedy dogs (and their equally speedy handlers) running the course.  Want to check it out?  The competition continues Sunday, 1/19, from 8:00-5:00 at the fairgrounds in Longmont, and admission is free for spectators.

Photography by Kenneth Wajda.

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A Glamorous Photo Studio at your Wedding

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5 ways you can support Boulder Viewfinder

And help create more photojournalism coverage of local happenings and people:

  1. A Small Monthly Donation as a Patron – A few bucks helps!

  2. A One-Time Contribution – Thank you!

  3. Advertise your Business on our Site + Support Our Advertisers

  4. Buy a Reprint of a Photograph (Delivered To Your Door)

  5. Share the Site with Friends – Copy the link

A Viewfinder for Boulder Photo Stories, Created by Professional Photojournalists

I love being a photojournalist. When people hear I live in Colorado, the first thing they often say is, “You must love it out there being a photographer.” To which I reply, “Yes, there are a lot of people here, and so many great stories to cover.”

As many of you know, from the mid-80’s to early 2000, I worked as a staff photographer for a daily newspaper in New Jersey, shooting everything from the NY Giants, NY Jets, and Philadelphia Eagles, to covering Presidential visits, NJ Governor news, and protests at the NJ State House. I photographed food stories, house fires, car accidents, and plenty of business portraits.

With more and more newspapers closing their doors or laying off their staffs—the newspaper I worked for, The Trenton Times, is down to one staff photographer—it’s difficult to make a living as a photojournalist. Newspapers editors who have laid off their photography staffs now expect their reporters to shoot pictures with their phones, or rely on the public to send them photos to use for free.

And the ones who don’t get to cover the stories are the real photographers, the seasoned photojournalists.

And the stories that are missed are the ones like Don’s, a 99-year-old from Lyons, sharing Thanksgiving morning with friends.  [Order Reprints]

I still long to photograph and document local moments and events like I did when I was a press photographer.  These stories continue to this day, but they are not getting documented like they used to by working photojournalists.

screenSo, that being the case, I am excited for 2017 to create a venue to shoot and publish more photo stories. Those are the stories I live for—real human stories with great emotional qualities.

Only they won’t be seen on Facebook, but rather on Boulder Viewfinder, where we will have multiple photographers documenting life in Boulder County.

With a team of top quality photographers, I want to create more amazing stories on people and events in our local community, but there has to be a model to make a few dollars and pay bills to keep it going, cover equipment costs, and pay the studio rent.

So, I’m building a group of professional photojournalists to cover local Boulder stories—Lyons, Longmont, Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette, Nederland, Niwot, Erie—and will be regularly posting them on the BoulderViewfinder.com Web site.  And there will be a place for viewers to support the photographers of each story with contributions or subscriptions, and a way to purchase reprints of the photographs seen in the galleries.

That way, the stories will grow, the coverage will increase, and photojournalists will have the ability to get paid for their work, which will encourage more stories being made.

Will you please consider supporting local photojournalists?

The five ways to support Boulder Viewfinder:

  1. a Small Monthly Donation as a Patron
  2. a One-Time Contribution
  3. Advertise your Business on our Site
  4. Buy a Reprint of a Photo
  5. Share the Site with Friends

Are you a local news agency–newspaper, magazine, Web site–that would like to license some of the photos for your publication? They will be available to you.

Are you an advertiser who could support our photographers by placing an ad on our Boulder Viewfinder site? We want to hear from you.

Do you have any STORY LEADS?  We want to document the happy to the bittersweet, if it will work for a photo package.  Send story leads to info@boulderviewfinder.com.

Think of this as LIFE MAGAZINE for Boulder, a picture publication.

Are you or do you know a photojournalist who would like to photograph for Boulder Viewfinder? I am seeking experienced professional photographers with photojournalism experience who can seek out and deliver timely photo stories.  Send an email to the editor of Boulder Viewfinder, to schedule a portfolio review.

The goal is to create Viewfinder sites for towns and cities across the world, with photographers creating quality photo stories of the people and happenings in their town, and being able to make a living doing so.  And it starts in Boulder, Colorado.

The Visit – Don Colard’s 99th Thanksgiving with Friends

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Don Colard is a vibrant 99-year-old in Lyons, Colorado. He was recently mistakenly thought to have suffered an injury, which turned out to be untrue.  So, the local community made up a Happy Thanksgiving sign and brought some gifts to Don to remind him how much he means to the community.  Some stayed with him to spend a little time on Thanksgiving morning with him.  He welcomed the friends with coffee and stories from his life. [Order Reprints]

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Photography by Kenneth Wajda, photojournalist.

Support local photojournalism and stories like this with a donation.

Are you a professional photographer with photojournalism experience?  Interested in covering local events in Boulder County?  Send an email to the editor of Boulder Viewfinder to schedule a portfolio review.

The goal is to create Viewfinder sites for towns and cities across the world, with photojournalists creating quality photo stories of the people and happenings in their town, and being able to make a living doing so.

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