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Postcards from Barcelona – Under the Sagrada

La Sagrada de Familia overlooks the city of Barcelona with the old Plaza de Toros in the foreground.

Around two million people annually visit Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece. Since many of Gaudi’s plans for the structure were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, teams of architects have been continually tinkering with the elusive structure since his death in 1926. Because Gaudi seemingly didn’t use regular or repeating forms–relying instead on color, light and organic sculptural motifs–architects working on the completion of La Sagrada Familia have faced many daunting design problems. Though slated for completion by 2007, the building is still very much under construction with the completion date having been pushed back many times. As the structure is dedicated to the holy family, Gaudi would often joke, “The patron of this project is not in a hurry.”

One projection anticipates construction completion around 2026, the centennial of Gaudí’s death

[Video] Postcards from Barcelona – Stepping into La Sagrada de Familia

A very short clip of what it’s like walking into one of the most famous and iconic building in the world – La Sagrada de Familia in Barcelona.

Gaudí intended that a visitor standing at the main entrance be able to see all three the vaults built into the ceiling at once creating a sense of standing in a massive space (the main vault reaches 215ft high) The columns of the interior are unique Gaudí’s design and resembles a forrest of pillars culminating together in a canopy above. None of the interior surfaces are flat – which consists in large part of abstract shapes full of symbolism and significance. Even detail-level work such as the iron railings for balconies and stairways are full of elaboration until reaching the ceiling. When we visited this place, I thought I’d had enough of seeing cathedrals in Europe, but because of the vision, heard and soul of Gaudi, it’s a one of a kind artwork no to be missed! Go, and get lost in it.

Postcards from Barcelona – Gaudi’s Grandeur

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Looking up can get disorienting – good thing there’s a saint to point the way.

Vivid and vibrant colors paint the floor and pillar in the morning sun shine.

The Nativity Scene Facade entrance spares no inch in detail.

 

Gaudi’s Doorway to God

Intricate details of the main doors to the La Sagrada de Familia show off the achievements and knowledge of man.

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Gaudi’s basilica has three facades filled with precise symbolism: the Passion Facade on the west; the Nativity Facade on the east; and the Glory Facade on the south. Each façade has three portals representing the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love. The Passion Facade, dedicated to the suffering and death of Christ, is nearly complete and has the main entrance to the building.

There were hundreds of hidden images and religious items – sacred coins, ancient scripts and holy symbols. One of the most important secret messages placed around the Cathedral is the magic square. A magic square is a 4×4 square of non-duplicating numbers, that when added up in any direction, the constant number equals 33; the age of Jesus at the time of the Passion.

Subirach’s cryptogram mounted on the façade of the main door surrounded by carved verses and repeating words.

La Sangrada de Familia – Gaudi’s 150 Year Vision

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Antoni Gaudi, one of the most visionary architects the world has ever seen, was also one of the most prolific of the 19th and 20th centuries. So much so that UNESCO has designated seven of his buildings as World Heritage Sites in and around Barcelona. And La Sagrada de Familia, which has been under construction for the last 150 years, is considered the finest achievement of all. . This images with the chandelier (with Christ as the center piece) hanging over the altar in the main central vault looks like you are standing in a forest of light and color. No matter who you are and what you believe, there is a mysteriousness and wonder to this place that is hard not to feel.

To give you a sense of space, this image is a stitched panorama of four images put together from a wide angle lens. A few months back I got to visit this place in person and will revisit it this week with a series of  postcards uploaded everyday. Stay tuned!

Working the room – Denver’s Top 25 Most Influential

A packed house at the Mile High Station with 500 guests for the awards ceremony hosted by Regis University, gnXYZ, Coloradobiz, and the Denver Young Professionals club.

Denver’s Top 25 Influential Young Professionals award winner…a rowdy bunch stirring things up this year in Denver. Congrats to the winners!

 

Fall Football Swing

Football season is in full swing right now and that makes me happy because it’s one of my favorite sports to shoot. This, combined with the recent news of Husker legend Dr. Tom Osborne retiring, I thought I would share a few shots from my assignment shoot last week at the Hastings College 130th homecoming football game. After decades of service to the UNL sports program, Dr. Tom announced today that he is retiring; I felt lucky last week to finally meet him at his alma mater. We both visited the College as they celebrated their 130th Homecoming and the inauguration of a new president, Dr. Dennis Trotter. Here are a few selects from the weekend – and of course, the football game.

Hastings College president Dennis Trotter gets a bit of help with his robe from HC alum and former Nebraska Athletic Director and football coach Tom Osborne.

Hastings College running back Keenen Anderson (#21) makes a break for the goal line against Concordia College late in the first half.

Nothing more American than college football and marching bands on Saturday morning.

Do one thing everyday that scares you – there’s nothing to loose.

“Do one thing everyday that scares you” – that’s what is driving me to my next life endeavor next week. I managed to convince myself (along with the encouragement of serial marathoner Craig Martinosky) to sign up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon ….yes the FULL MARATHON! Since running the 5K in Chicago last year and the continued inspiration from my bad ass cousin Mary Snocker (another serial marathoner) I have kept this goal as a distant dream that I didn’t really think would happen. After riding a century on my borrowed 20 year old Schwinn last summer I found a spark of inspiration and a bit of enjoyment in the pain of endurance sports. It gave me just enough push to become more and more confident in my ability – both mentally and physically.

But this weekend – with only a 2 months of serious training & yet to break the 20mi mark- I’ll be pushing my limits to a point I haven’t been to yet so naturally there’s a bit of nervousness and healthy fear. But I feel like I have nothing to lose if I fail at finishing (except the $120 sign-up fee!) Whatever amount I run is farther than I ever thought I would/could run in the past – so for me, pushing my mind and body towards this goal is an accomplishment I can be proud of and will be a true test of how far I really can go. Hopefully it will end with us crossing the finish line (beers to follow) with thousands of other runners in downtown Denver!!

If you’re in the area I would love to see you along the way. Life isn’t anything but a series of scary/amazing experiences and I’m asking for it next weekend…wish me luck!

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UPDATE: (2 days later)

“Still a little sore and achy with a very bruised toe but overall feeling great.” That’s what I keep telling family and friends who check in with me every once in a while to see how I’m doing. Still in shock of how well the day went. Start to finish I pretty much felt great – much better than I did during my training long runs, and I owe it 100% to my old friend Craig and his wife Lacey for their encouragement and running knowledge. We finished slower than most (5:19:08….a 12:15 mile pace) but what we lacked in speed we made up for in amusement along the way as we posed for the cameras, caught up about life, and chatted with other marathoners. With so many random things that could have gone right or wrong (hydration, cramping, weather, gear etc etc) I’m lucky to have had a great coach and fantastic support team – otherwise it may have turned out with a very different outcome.

I set out to learn about myself and push something that I’d previously thought was impossible. Two more things that hit me as I was finishing that day. The decisions we make today will direct our destiny tomorrow. If you have a dream, act on it now, only then will it happen (perhaps tomorrow). The other, maybe more meaningful thing that I realized, is that you never know who will come into your life to help you out at the right moment when you need it – and all you can do is let it happen. For me, Craig and I had lost touch over the years and got back contact because I asked him for advice on running. Now, we’ve reconnected, got to spend some quality time together, and ran a marathon from start to finish. It opens my eyes to people from my past that I can rekindle the relationship and encourage them in some way. 

This entire experience will encourage me for a very long time and a memory I’ll never forget. This marathon will deffinately not be the last!

Here are a few shots from the day:

 

US Pro Cycling Challenge – Stage 7 – Denver, Co

After a week of tough racing over the Rocky Mountains, the tour finished in Denver with an individual test of speed. With more than a few turns the course will provided a challenge for the riders and fantastic viewing opportunity for race fans.  The athletes started at one minute intervals in the middle of Civic Center Park near the State Capitol Building, down some of the cities most iconic streets – Speer Boulevard and Colfax Avenue with a finish along Broadway St. Here are a few of my shots from the last Stage of the 2012 US Pro Cycling Challenge!

RadioShack/Nissan/Trek team racer Ben King pushes out of the gate in Denver’s Civic Center Park

Colombian Andrés Díaz get a view of everyone in the waiting area before his time trail for team Exergy

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US Pro Cycling Challenge – Colorado Springs, Co

The Colorado Springs stage seemed more like a festival than a race. There were considerably more booths and bars involved than in previous mountain towns. And I know the athletes noticed the bump in spectator support! Here are a few selects from Stage 5 of the ’12 US Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado Springs…

We are always seeing images of the top riders of the race so I thought I would post one of the middle of the pack. Here, the tight knit group of riders following the riders in the Break (aka the Peloton) make their way through downtown Colorado Springs.

After the finish and awards the second race of the day begins. Teams from local bars & restaurants compete in a (we can assume) drunken relay race in downtown.

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