Saturday, January 30, 2010

Standing up Stanford

"BYU's Robb Stowell (13) shows his emotion after scoring a point in game three against Stanford at the Smith Fieldhouse, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010. The fifth-ranked Cougars rewarded the energetic, packed house with a huge win, dropping No. 3 Stanford 22-30, 34-32, 30-25, 32-30."

Yeah, this was my reaction when I hit big last night at MGM. Not... I am currently in Vegas (wishing I was looking like this) and having a blast.

So not much to write today since I'll be out exploring and winning losing more money. Although, I am still up right now.

Anyways, enjoy the weekend. I'll return next week when I am back in the cold, Salty Lake.

It's going to be hard to leave here. Free hotel, free flight, warm weather and lots of interesting people.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


"Jones Lewis,6, of Spanish Fork stares into the camera before posing with his siblings as they showoff their mother's homemade donuts at his home, Monday, Jan.18, 2010. The foursome raised $500 by selling donuts and hot cocoa and will donate the proceeds to Haiti."

Sometimes all it takes is one person to brighten your day.

Last minute, I was sent down to Spanish Fork to take a portrait of a brother and sister foursome that raised $500 by selling donuts and hot cocoa. Who cares, right? Well they donated the proceeds to Haiti.

Pretty cool if you ask me.

Well, they were a fun bunch, but the youngest Jones, 6, was an absolute riot. There are some kids who just try too hard to be funny and get annoying very quick. But Jones was flat out silly to begin with.

While he didn't follow direction very well, he did help put a smile on my face with some of the stuff he said and did.

Thanks, Jones.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Making a splash

"Provo High School swimmer Rhett Prestwich started swimming to help with his cystic fibrosis and now competes. Prestwich launches out of the pool as he poses for a portrait at Provo High School, Wednesday, Jan.20, 2010."

Sportraits - sport plus portrait - simple enough.

To this day, I've only photographed one swim meet and exactly zero portraits of swimmers - until last week.

Every time I get sportrait, my first thought is, "F%&*, how would Roth blow this up?"

That's the good thing about having awesome, face melting photographers as friends - Continual inspiration.

Anyways, I wanted to do something with this swimmer that obviously included the water. I looked on archive at work to see if anyone had do anything like I was thinking and didn't see too much exciting.

So going into the shoot, I had an idea but then changed my mind last minute. And then
with that idea, I changed my lighting, too.

The above is what I ended up with. I felt a bit rushed and only fired 50 frames during the quick assignment.

I'll keep my original idea in my back-pocket for my next swimmer portrait. In addition, there is a lot I'd change about this image, but I then again, there is always something I wish I could change about all my pictures.

So tomorrow, I'll continue to chase the perfect picture.

Monday, January 25, 2010

BYU breakdown

"Brigham Young's Lamont Morgan, Jr. dances with teammates before taking on Wyoming in an NCAA basketball game at the Marriott Center, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2009, in Provo, Utah. BYU won, 81-66."

This month I've shot a lot of sports which I love. But I've been shooting a lot of the same teams at the same venues and I've been trying to keep my eye fresh.

Whether I am shooting from a new location or shooting at times I usually don't, they all keep me wanting to go back to try and top it.

The other night was typical night at BYU for the men's basketball game: get there early, setup, shoot the intro, sit on the baseline, shoot the game, transmit, and leave.

Although I've been shooting the same introductions all season, I've been trying to work two certain points of the pregame fun.

One being the game roundup...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Please stand on the "X"

"Matt Reichman stands in for a photo during a portrait session on XGR Ethics in the Provo Daily Herald studio, Wednesday, Jan.20, 2010."

I wouldn't consider myself much of a "studio photographer."

No, it's not that I don't know my way around lights of all kinds, or don't know how to engage a subject one-on-one, it's that I just don't spend that much time in studios. It's simply that most of my lighting experiences have always been on location.

With that said, I can light just about anything and anyone with ease. Lighting was ironically one of the first things I dabbled into when I started shooting. That's thanks in large part to meeting David Hobby personally on assignment around the time he launched his famous Strobist blog.

I thought I could learn what he was teaching with ease, and aside from him and the other photojournalists in Baltimore at the time, I didn't know any students really lighting at the time.

Since then, I've sort have bailed on lighting subjects. I used to light everything. But I broke away from that when I moved away from shooting a lot of portraits and wanted to branch out my work.

So nowadays I only break out my small Nikon SB light kit maybe once a month? Maybe less? And as for the studio? I think I've used the Provo Daily Herald studio maybe twice since I've been here.

One being the other day...

Friday, January 22, 2010


"Condensation illuminated by his head lamp, Chris Detrick mixes ingredients for a milk stout beer at Kensington Ave. Brewery, otherwise known as his Salt Lake City home, Monday, Jan. 11, 2010. (CLICK PHOTO FOR VIDEO)."

Friend and Salt Lake Tribune photographer Chris Detrick of Salt Lake City is a brew master. He can brew just about any beer with perfection.

Every Monday night one can find him stirring over a large metal pot as he creates yet another mouth-watering beverage.

I decided to play around with my (at the time) new Nikon D3S and document the journey. There are obvious flaws in the video shooting with an HD digital SLR for the first time, but it all worked out in the end.

Still witnessing, working around some banding issues, but other than that, impressed with this camera.

The video is more or less a demo reel of what's to come of this fun, personal project. What I am trying to say is, I was just getting a feel for things and this will turn into something better in the future.

Click here for the video

Thursday, January 21, 2010


"This composite picture shows the inversion and the view from Eagle Mountain looking east on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010 (above) and Monday, Jan.11, 2010 (below) from the same standpoint."

Most days it's beautiful here in Utah. But as the days pass, the pollution builds in the valley.

I don't know the scientific reasons of way pollution gets trapped in the valley only in the winter months, but I do know it's nasty.

Last week, it was really bad. I needed to find a photo showing that, too.

I was reminded of a composite Ashley did years ago and thought I'd go back to large hill I had been at a week early to do the same type of thing.

It didn't turn out that amazing, but helps give the idea of the gross air. Not to mention, Bryan Jones nailed it showing us the inversion from a plane. And, in addition, I've been here a couple months and I still cannot stop starring at the mountains.

When is spring, again? I can't stand this snow and dirty air.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quarantined: outside looking in

"Women, who changed from street clothes to scrubs, text and dial as they remain quarantined inside Intermountain Saratoga Springs Clinic after a man who visited the clinic later died from from inhaling a toxic chemical, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010. IHC Instacare was locked down with 24 people inside while multiple fire crews tried to determine the risk to individuals on the scene."

I haven't witnessed nor even chased down much breaking, spot news here in Utah. Back home it seemed like I was always chasing something or somebody down with a reporter.

While chasing the breaking story doesn't always lend itself to being very visual, it's fun trying to get what you can from certain situations while keeping up with transmitting roadside frequently.

Last night, I was supposed to cover D-League basketball, aka, NBA developmental hoops. But then things changed.

I was sent out to Saratoga Springs where a 30-year-old man died a couple hours prior, likely after exposure to a toxic chemical.

What made the story more prominent is that the Instacare where the man checked into Tuesday evening was then locked down after his death. Those inside, including employees, were decontaminated as a precaution.

All 24 people who were in the building at the time were detained for examination, but only eight were decontaminated. Five of those employees were sent to American Fork Hospital later Tuesday night for a final medical clearance.

So I sat shooting frames of people from the outside looking in - ironically - as they sat inside looking out. Not the most fun ever, but gets the adrenaline flowing, and it's always nice when another photog, friend is there to talk to.

I took lots of frames, ran up and down the side walk, but being patient finally paid off when a couple women, who had changed into scrubs, started looking out the window as they texted and dialed, probably to their loved ones.

I can't even to begin what they were thinking. I would have been terrified, and knowing that I am a bit of a hypochondriac when it comes to illnesses, I would have been freaking out. I am glad everyone eventually made it out OK and cannot do anything but feel remorse for the man who lost his life.

Monday, January 18, 2010 my eyes

"BYU’s Kevin Sagers (11), Robby Stowell (13), Reed Chilton (3), Futi Tavana (17), and BJ Hiapo celebrate the Cougars’ set-winning point in set No. 2 against Pacific at the Smith Fieldhouse on Friday, Jan. 15, 2009. BYU swept the Tigers to win in the Cougars’ 2010 home opener."

I hate shooting volleyball - literally hate it with a passion. But there is something about shooting BYU men's volleyball that makes it fun.

One would think a faster paced game would be harder to shoot, but I never "tagged" so many images during a volleyball game...ever. I cannot wait to get back that's for sure.

What can I say? They have great light, great, fast packed action, exciting jubes, and different angles galore.

I shot the entire game with a 300mm in hopes to break of of my comfort zone. and then broke out the 24-70mm for the final couple plays of set No. 2. I loved the shot above after the set-winning point in set No. 2, but sometimes all it takes is one thing to ruin a photo.

In this case, I thought everything lined up nicely except for that huge hand-blob in the middle, left of the frame. Ugh.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Not quite spotlit

"Uintah's Damon Mele ties up with Millard's Dakoa Payne during the 140-weight bout at the All-Star Wrestling Dual at the McKay Center on the campus of UVU, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010."

Last year I shot spotlit wrestling once. I fell in love instantly.

Since then I've been dying to shoot another match where the only thing illuminating the wrestlers is a huge, direct overhead spotlight.

Last week, I got done working on my multimedia, so I went to shoot spotlit wrestling with our intern. However, when we got there it was at a different venue, which wasn't close, nor spotlit.

Fast forward to earlier this week. I was given a wrestling tournament, all-star event. I was excited because I was told during the state tournament this arena spotlights the matches.

During the warm up all the lights were on. I was sad. But then the music started pumping and the lights went down. It was spotlit despite there being three rings side-by-side.

But that didn't last long. The direct light overhead (as seen in one picture above) was then changed to lights on each side of the mat. Not quite spotlit, but helped eliminate cluttered the background.

I didn't have my best time shooting either. I was shooting for our paper and our sister paper and wrestling is already tough to begin with when it comes to tracking names. But I felt as if all the action went away from me and the matches I shot the wrestlers didn't exert a lot of pain.

Oh, well. Until the next event, here is what I came up with. Most of these didn't even get moved because they featured no one I needed either.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oh, say can you see...

"A young fan holds his hand over his heart during The Star Spangled Banner before the start of the All-Star Wrestling Dual at the McKay Center on the campus of UVU, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010."

I am never really sure what to do during The Star Spangled Banner when I am working.

In any other circumstance, I would simply place my hand over my heart or lower my hands respectfully at my waist.

But when I am working a sporting event, I am not sure if I should do the same or shoot pictures.

I never really do the latter. I feel if that someone is watching me and then would call me anti-American. But what do I care what others think of me? Especially those I don't know or will never know?

Last night before shooting a wrestling tournament, all-star event, I decided to shoot pictures. That's my job, right?

I couldn't help but to abuse the light on the wall and the perfectly placed kid, fan honoring his county during the The Star Spangled Banner.

Now I ask, what do you do during The Star Spangled Banner while working?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Close Up: My Craft

"Eyes closely focused on a piece of thread, Diana Kleyensteuber continues sewing at the Humanitarian Center, otherwise known as, the American Fork East LDS Stake Center, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010. Each Wednesday for the past five years she has gotten up early to donate and share her abilities."

A new year, a new month - a new Monday Close Up.

Unfortunately, my first month to find and produce a story (written and visually) was disappointing. No, not because of the story I worked on, but because my first go-to stories were canceled last minute. I was crushed.

Usually, I get virtually as much time as needed. In most cases, I work on my stories for a week, more if needed.

In this case, since I had nothing to go to by Tuesday night I resorted to begging.

I beg and pleaded to my editor and co-workers to give up a source and story for me to work on. Thankfully, Mark willingly responded to my request and gave me a great story. I owe him big time and I am still not sure why he gave up such an awesome story.

In four hours total, I shot and interviewed American Fork resident Diana Kleyensteuber. And the next day for another couple hours, I toned, captioned, wrote, and produced my story.

She is a well-known sewer, regular at the Humanitarian Center, otherwise known as, the American Fork East LDS Stake Center. Each Wednesday for the past five years she has been getting up early in the morning to donate and share her abilities.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

First standalone of 2010

"Tube and sled in-hand, Caleb Nokes, 10, (center) and Blake Newbold (left) climb to the summit of a very large hill off of West Cedar Fort Rd., in Eagle Mountain, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010. "We drove by a couple days ago and thought it would be a perfect hill for the kids to sled on," Jeff Nokes, Caleb's father said."

I can't help it. Everything this month is in one way or another going to relate to the new year. I apologize.

Anyways, last weekend I got up early and headed out to the west side of the lake. It's about an hour drive south west. Fairly boring, too.

It was my only assignment for the day and a simple standalone of a historical event that helps educate children.

Go figure. I show up. Zero cars out front. You should know where this is going, right?

I walk in, introduce myself and state why I am there. "Oh, I am sorry pal, they canceled that even because not enough people signed up. But feel free to walk through the museum," a volunteer said.

While I wanted to, I declined knowing my day would now be spent searching for a standalone on my own.

On the way back toward the office I spotted some folk on top of a very big, yet random, hill sledding.

I whipped a U-turn, or as people say out here, "I flipped a tit."

Then I sat in my car for a good five minutes debating whether or not to shoot it. We've shot sledding before. But I needed something.

After trekking through knee deep snow, I started shooting, but concentrated on the kids climbing the very, very steep hill. Although I liked this frame too.

Alas, this is what I came up with. No one complained it was sledding, so I guess it was effective as A1.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Out of their hands

"Lehi warms up before the third quarter against Mountain View at Lehi High School, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010. Lehi won, 56-43."

I hate when I pull up to an assignment and get the feeling that nothing is happening.

This happen last night as I got to Lone Peak High School for a girl's basketball game. The parking lot was empty, I saw no school buses, the doors were locked, and no one was in the gym.

No one really had any idea what was going on. The sports desk was just as confused as me and said to call the reporter. Reporter wasn't to the school yet, was perplexed, and put me on hold while she made a call. Photo editor was in same boat as me, and off for the night, and said she'd call me back.

It was literally out of all of our hands at this point. We just needed to figure out what the art for sports was going to be.

So after shooting pictures of a random kid in the parking lot waiting to be picked up I then got three calls from all that I dialed all telling me the same thing - the game was being played at a different school out of our coverage area.

Plan B - head back south to a different school, Lehi, and shoot that game. Fair enough.

During half time I walked around hoping to find something rather than basketball to catch my eye, but not much did. Then I decided to shoot the second half from the loft the gym had and worked the scene of the team warming up.

Reminds me of those photo composites of basketball games of one player I've seen a couple of friends, photographers do in the past. But in this case, I did it in one frame. Maybe that's why I like it.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

China, Utah

"As a steady snow falls, a passerby navigates on the side walk on 100 South in Provo, Dec. 29, 2009. According to, temperatures hovered in the low-20s and dumped more than three inches on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Provo and Utah County is expected to see one to three inches of snow."

Still playing catch up from assignments from December although we're already in the new year.

Last week, it was nasty here - Gross. Disgusting. What have you.

Utah Valley had the most polluted air in the nation, prompting one group to call for an emergency air quality summit.

You can read about it in the Daily Herald. The article is here.

I simply was sent out to find a standalone while another shooter went to shoot the inversion, aka, the air pollution that gets trapped in the valley.

Anyways, I always feel a bit strange, health wise, after a week or more of the inversion. I just don't feel 100 percent and I assume that's because I am breathing in horrible quality air.

I thought I moved to Utah, not China.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Sundancing skiers

"Shredding through the snow, a snowboarder descends toward the base of the mountain at Sundance Ski Resort in Utah, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009."

Don't color me ugly, I love Matt Mallams' work - He is totally the cats pajamas.

However, when people shoot overexposed frames, like Mallams so often does, they then credit him and it confuses me.

Sure, he does it well. Actually really, really well. Almost too perfect in most cases.

But it's like claiming shooting perfectly exposed photos on purpose is shooting, umm, "Strazzante style." I love Scott's work, too. One of my favorites.

As for shooting overexposed pictures on purpose, I personally credit every starting photographer who has ever picked up their Dad's Nikon F2 and later wondered why after all that time in the dark room resulted in his or her photo paper still being all white; maybe except for, let's say the dog that was sitting under a shady tree, in the picture.

With all that, that's not to say I wasn't thinking about Mallams when I decided to shoot skiers at Sundance - I totally was.

After being sent up the Sundance to shoot pictures of a speaker inside by the warm fire, I lasted about 10 minutes before I then ventured outside.

I decided to plant my feet in one spot, overexpose the snow and shoot everything with my 70-200. The above was my outcome.

Nothing stands out in my mind, but it's something I might continue to explore. I am thinking of going skiing, not to ski, but to shoot photos.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


"With air temperature hovering in the single digits, (from left to right) Nyles Alder, Jake Fillmore, Vaun Christensen, and Devin Cammack emerge from the icy water during the first annual polar bear plunge at Deer Creek reservoir, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009. Their goal was to raise more than $5,000."

Now back to the regularly (now old) posting...

I mentioned it the other day, but it gets cold here, but even more frigid up the canyon.

The other day I drove up Provo canyon to shoot a polar bear plunge. The concept is simple if you never heard of it: jump into freezing cold water for donations.

They had something similar back in Baltimore, but now that I think about it, it was anything but a real polar bear plunge.

Here is how I determined that:

The temperature: Utah wins. It was a blistering 8 degrees. I'm sure their hands and toes were frozen solid. Back in Baltimore is was always close or above freezing.

The water: Utah wins. Water was probably much colder. I saw ice chunks floating.

The ground: Utah wins. Walking barefoot in snow beats barefoot in sand.

People: Maryland wins, by far. But that's because this version in Utah was it's first time ever. They had more than 50 signed up, but only four plunged.

Aftermath: Utah wins. Instead of running into large heated tents with warming blankets, these guys ran through the snow to their cars.

So obviously it was way more extreme here, but I guess when it comes down to it, it's always a fun shoot despite the amount of people and temperature and always for a good cause.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Best of 2009: Abroad

"Dragging on a cigarette, a women relaxes at a cafe on Van Baerlestrat in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on June 22, 2009. The cafe is in the museum district near the world renowned Van Gogh Museum."

I was very lucky to be able to do a lot of traveling this year.

Started the year in Japan. It was my second time visiting the country and I cannot wait to get back. I absolutely love it over there.

Once back in the U.S., I traveled to Niagara Falls and up to Canada. That was an amazing sight, and Toronto was another city I'd like to spend more time in.

As summer arrived, I again departed and roamed Europe for a couple weeks. While I didn't get to see every country I wanted, but it was a blast seeing different cultures in a small window of time.

From there, I ventured to Aruba, again being my second visit back the country. Warm, lovely and quiet.

Alas, I landed my feet in the soil of Utah. Now really abroad, but now my new home.

Here are some of my favorite images from these destinations. I certainly will not be traveling in 2010 as much as I did in 2009. But I'd love to go abroad for my vacation that's for sure.

That wraps it up for my favorites from 2009. Here is to 2010 being just as great if not better! Happy New Year!!!