By Mike Rosso
Readers sometimes ask how we come up with our cover art. There’s not one particular method for this. Often we seek out the artwork, scouring the Internet for photographs or other mediums by the many talented artists who live and work in Central Colorado. Sometimes it’s luck: we run across a striking image in a gallery or on a website, or meet an artist who offers their work to us. On rare occasions, folks submit artwork for consideration, but those rarely end up on the cover.
Back in April I was checking Facebook, which I confess is hard to resist when I have some downtime, when I saw a post featuring the photograph on page three with the caption: the Sangre De Cristo Mountains. I was captivated. It had all the right elements for an awesome cover; it was regional, well-executed and had enough breathing room at the top to allow for a masthead.
I contacted the person who posted the photo and she directed me to a Facebook page called “Lovely Colorado,” which features photographs taken here in the state, mostly landscapes, mixed in with various posts for Colorado bling featuring the state flag emblazoned on it.
I began searching that page, hoping to find the photo and determine its origin. After quite a bit of scrolling, I finally found the image but not a photo credit. This made me even more determined, so I downloaded the photo onto my computer and began examining it more closely. Sure enough, there on the bottom left-hand side was a watermarked copyright giving credit to Alexander Nerozya.
I then did a Google search for this name and found a Facebook page for a gentleman of the same name in Krasnoyarsk, Russia who is a photographer. Using the Facebook message function, I sent him a note in English asking permission to use the photo on our magazine.
After several weeks I had not yet heard back, so I decided to resend the message in Russian. Since I don’t know that language, I used an online translating program and sent a message translated into Russian. Sure enough, the next day I received a response in Russian from Alexander, which, after translating into English, informed me I was welcome to use the photo. We continued our communication via email and after he sent me a large version of the photo, I began to get very excited about the prospect of featuring a Russian photographer on the cover, depicting a great mountain range right here in my backyard.
It was after I requested that he send a biography and a description of the photo that my excitement turned to disappointment. On March 31, I received the following note from Alexander: “Mike, I think we have some misunderstanding. I never been in USA. This photo made in Altay region, Russia.”
Naturally, this excluded the use of the photo on the cover, a letdown to both myself and Alexander, who was gracious enough to thank me for considering his photo for the cover. His work can be seen at www.500px.com/horimono.
This now left me without a cover for the May issue, but fate presented itself a few weeks later at the Buena Vista Trade Show, where I met Coleen Swanson, a photographer who had relocated to Buena Vista from Colorado Springs several months back.
Coleen specializes in recreation and outdoor portraits and had a whole host of lovely images to choose from on her website. When I approached her about using one for the May issue, she gladly offered the photograph which graces the cover of this issue.
We’re going to ship some copies of this issue to Alexander, possibly to tempt him to travel to the U.S. to see, experience and photograph our mountains here in the Rockies.