Seven Stories: Chris Klausner
Photographer: Chris Klausner
Based in: Denver, CO
Horse Shoe Trail
The major driving force for me first getting into photography was my love for hiking in the rocky mountains. Every fall for four years, I would hike Horse Shoe trail in Golden Gate State Park in attempts to capture a perfect picture of an aspen grove with the changing fall colors. However, it is always a hit or miss – either I hike the trail two weeks too early, where most of the leaves are still green, or I wait too long, and all the leaves have fallen off the trees. There is only a small window during which the leaves have changed to a perfect autumn orange and are still on the trees, and this year I was finally able to make it up to the trail at the right time of the year without missing out on changing of the colors.
I’m currently attending a small Jesuit University in Denver. The university is located in a more urban area of the city, but the campus is classified under an arbitrium, which creates such a unique atmosphere of nature and Gothic/Renaissance inspired art and architecture all across the campus. One of my main focal points when shooting photography on campus is this statue of the Virgin Mary, which is tucked away behind trees, creating a grotto. I love to shoot pictures of this little shrine due to the trees and plants around this this shrine changing with the seasons – yet it seems that the whiteness and detail of the statue never changes and holds firm.
Twist and Shout
The rooftop of one of my favorite local record shops has a perfect view of the Denver skyline. The record shop resides on western Colfax, which is one of the most congested sites for traffic in Denver. It has always been fascinating to see the transformation of Denver from this angle. Colfax is currently one of the focal points of gentrification in the city, being one of the most iconic parts of Denver. So, from this angle of the city, it’s crazy to see all the gas stations I use to loiter at with my friends after school be converted into luxury apartments, as well as seeing the skyline of expand more and more each year.
Most of my free time I’ve found myself hanging on Federal attending hardcore punk shows at a DIY music venue called Seventh Circle Music Collective. Driving from Northside Denver to Seventh and Feds, I always come across this awesome view of the city skyline. After shooting some concert photography at this venue, I started heading back home around 2am, and I could not miss this opportunity to take this shot of the Denver skyline. After spending a solid 20 minutes taking pictures around the Invesco Field parking lot, I came to really appreciate how beautiful my city is, and how lucky that this single street has so much to offer.
One of my all time favorite bands to photograph is a local hardcore band called Combat Force that is on Youth Attack Records. This band has brought back the traditional sound of old school OI and has incorporated it with the force of hardcore punk. There has never been a band like it in Denver, and it is so awesome to see bands make music which they love, and not do what’s trending in the scene.
Out in East Aurora, there is a bridge said to be haunted – but in reality it’s just an excuse for high school kids to travel to the middle of nowhere and cause ruckus. My senior year of high school, me and my friends drove an hour east of Denver to see what the hype was about, and after spending a couple hours out there, I became convinced that the bridge was actually haunted. Whether or not my mind was playing tricks on me, there was a very subtle uneasiness of the stillness of the countryside, with only a breeze to break the quiet. The only light you can see is the glowing brown cloud of pollution that lingers over Denver, and the light of the stars. Though this isn’t the best picture I’ve ever taken, due to the shakiness of my hands caused by the anxiety I had being there, this picture brings a sensation of unsettledness which is imprinted in the image.
I took this picture when me and some friends were j-chilling on Colfax trying to do a photoshoot for my friends’ rap group. It was just an awesome time climbing on top of buildings and goofing around, all the while carrying a boombox blasting Frank Ocean’s new album Blonde.