Kim Allen is a Denver photographer who has spent over 30 years documenting the changing scenery in Denver. His photographs are mostly taken around lower downtown, known as LoDo. The area that is now filled with trendy restaurants and micro breweries as far as the eye can see, once had a fully different personality as documented by Allen. In the 1980s the lower downtown area was filled with abandoned factories, railroad tracks, and sparsely frequented bars all tucked under crumbling viaducts. In the images included in the exhibit currently on display in the Western History gallery, Kim Allen tactfully documented the personality found in lower downtown as well as the changes that were being made over the years. Some of his photographs include the people who were part of the changing face of Denver including a young John Hickenlooper and other co-owners of the now famous Denver Wynkoop Brewery.
At a talk Kim Allen gave the Western History/Genealogy staff, we were able to learn some of his techniques and gain some insight into how he was able to capture such interesting photographs. Dedicated to traditional techniques, Allen highlighted the joy he had gained over the years from processing photos in a dark room and pouring over negatives on a light table, all the while enjoying a beer. Although he admits that he is moving toward working with digital images, his passion for the ritual of traditional photographic process is clear.
His excitement for finding the perfect shot is also clear. He shoots alone, finding joy in getting into and onto buildings and spaces, as well as finding a perspective that the average bystander couldn't see. On his website he describes his images, "I tried my best to find a great balance in my image. Composition is artistic and educational, it came easy for me. My love of Denver was curiosity and fascination to document Denver superbly and make great images."
The Kim Allen Photographic Retrospective will be on display in the Denver Public Library, Western Art Gallery, September 13, 2015 - December 31, 2015.
To find out more about the photography of Kim Allen or to purchase prints please visit his website at www.denverphotoarchives.com