Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday Close Up: Shooting for sanctioning

"A Timpanogos club lacrosse player wait to enter a drill at Timpanogos High School, Tuesday, March 23, 2010. Each afternoon, players strap on pads, lace lacrosse sticks and slap on helmets as they gear up for another successful season of the fastest growing sport in the United States."

We have a small staff here at Provo Daily Herald. We run a tight ship.

It's even tighter and more hectic with no photo intern. We are currently in the transition period between the old intern and the new intern, so we're are super busy.

With that, I had about half, if that, of the time to do my Monday Close Up. So I was urged to maybe pick something I knew a little about and that would be easy to shoot.

I thought that would be a good idea so that I wouldn't rush through a story I'd really like to spend time doing.

So I decided to focus on lacrosse. This sport is something that I grew up playing and that is huge back east. However, out here in Utah it's still a small time sport and growing.

After finding a local high school club team I went to town.

Despite not having that much time to work on it, I thought it turned out well and hopefully informed people of Utah County about the sport.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Holi experience

"A festival reveler dances to music after throwing bags of colored chalk during Holi, the Festival of Colors at Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah, Saturday, March 27, 2010."

I was told if I do one thing while in Utah, it was to attend the Holi, the Festival of Colors at Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork.

To those unfamiliar, people in India and other countries with large Hindu populations celebrate Holi, the Festival of Colors. It celebrates the arrival of spring and the passing of winter.

Here in Utah, an event was created a couple years ago to resemble and celebrate the same tradition. The event continues to rapidly grow as bags of colored chalk, all made of organic, edible maize, litter the temple grounds annually.

I had the day off so I ventured down. Mark and Djamila where also down there working on the clock. It was a blast, because honestly, nothing beats a great day of shooting along side good friends.

It was a bit terrifying knowing I'd be shooting in a battle-zone where the powder, dust could potentially ruin my camera. But several layers of plastic sandwich bags and gaffers tape saved me from worrying.

The entire event was pretty mind-blowing. Pretty much a sensory overload to sum it up.

I had a blast, despite not being able to: chimp all day. Alas, it was a challenge and I walked away pretty messy, but with a clean camera and lot of frames I like. So there are lots of frames above as I try to finish up a tighter edit of it all.

Enjoy. Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cliche cowboy

"Holding the U.S. flag, a rider circles the ring during the national anthem at the Amberley Snyder Benefit Rodeo at the Heber City Rodeo Grounds, Saturday, March 20, 2010."

Last weekend, Mark invited me to come shoot a rodeo with him.

I had the day off and was really bored, so I opted to ride shotgun up to Heber with him and Brit as he shot on the clock.

Although bored most of the day before meeting up, and being excited to attend my first rodeo, I really wasn't in the mood to shoot.

After getting to Heber, we both went our separate ways to make frames. Mark shot pictures for work, I made some for myself.

Most of my time I spent behind the scenes in the pit, or whatever it's called, where all the cowboys hangout before riding horses and bulls.

I felt a bit out of place at first, which didn't help me with my willingness to want to shoot pictures and put my camera in a strangers face.

Alas, I quickly fit in. My natural potty mouth had me connecting with these cowboys and getting to know them a little better. After getting the personal OK to start firing away, I couldn't stay away from the cowboy cliche. You know, shooting every frame with a cowboy hat.

While I didn't shoot a whole bunch (I spent a lot of time talking and taking in the sights and sounds of my first rodeo, and dodging poop), and the light was horrible (it was indoors), I came away with very few frames I thought I'd share.

Maybe it was because I was forcing myself to see different. I shot the entire night with one lens and didn't think too hard of what I was doing or framing up (aside from cowboy hats).

Whatever the case, I had fun. Thanks, Mark.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cracks in runway funding

"From an aerial view from Utah Helicopter, planes rest near hangers at the Spanish Fork-Springville Airport, Tuesday, March 15, 2010."

The other day, I headed down to the Spanish Fork-Springville Airport for a fairly routine assignment.

My task was to simply make something of the airport. The story was about trying to shift the runways, but there are obvious cracks in the budget, so things are up in the air.

I had to call ahead to get a tour guide per say, as I wasn't allowed to freely roam the airport alone.

My guide was very helpful and offered to get me up into a helicopter for some aerials. He scratched my back, I scratched his.

He put me up in Utah Helicopter with a great pilot who knew his stuff. Apparently they do a lot of training which may make for a cool story later on.

Anyways, we roamed the airways for a short period of time before we landed. I had a blast and cannot thank Utah Helicopter and those who put me up for a couple minutes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

932 Payson

"Looking at his neighbors playing in the yard, a child looks out the window in Payson, Thursday, March 18, 2010."

Driving back from an assignment with a reporter I made him stop abruptly.

As he made a turn on a side street, this child caught my eye and I wanted to make a frame. The reporter was eager to stop the car. He seemed excited. Actually, he was really amped.

However, as I rushed down the block, I realized I still had a wide angle on.

I wish I would have had my 70-200, but I was afraid he would no longer be there if I turned my back.

Not sure why I like it, but I do.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Everybody dance

"Contestants swing, spin and tap on the floor as they dance, compete in the U.S. National Amateur Dance Sport Championships at the Marriott Center in Provo, Friday, March 12, 2010."

Before the weekend, I worked a late Friday night shift.

The day was slow and I really didn't have anything to do aside from archive.

My co-worker Mark came back raving about this dance competition he had just shot and told me to check it out. Since I had some company time to burn, I thought what better way then shooting, sharpening my skills.

Mark came back with a bunch of awesome frames, but for some reason I really wanted to make a photo from afar. I wanted to capture the crowded dance floor.

After shooting from all around the dance competition and shooting some video, I made my way to the top of the arena.

Unfortunately, by the time I trekked to the top, the fashionable-latin-sexy dancers were exiting the floor, and the conservative-American-umm-censored-student dancers were entering.

Alas, I didn't make that many photos of the latter dancers. But I did like the above.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Stylish rain

"Avery White tries to stay dry as her friends play outside in the rain at 1120 South in Provo, Tuesday, March 9, 2010. Several residents want a park in their neighborhood and are trying to get one because their children don't have any good places to play."

It doesn't rain in Utah much. Well, since I moved here anyways. When it does, it's usually light showers and doesn't stick around long.

I can remember when I moved out here last summer it would rain, and before you knew it, the ground and would already be dry. I assume that's because there really is no humidity out here - it's so dry.

Whatever the case, a couple weeks ago I was sent to shoot some kids playing at their apartment complex. The story was about the children not having a real safe place to play. In addition, the closest playground was not in walking distance. So obviously the parents were upset.

I simply had to make pictures of these little kiddos playing with one another. But it had been pouring - I mean hard rain - all day long.

Despite the rain, I was still sent to shoot them playing inside. Drats!

However, with my luck, they were playing outside when I finally arrive (I got lost...a couple times).

I enjoyed myself thoroughly, although I was drenched afterward. This picture made the "photos of the week" at work, but I was partial to the above. It fit my cliche-umbrella-fetish. And I guess the latter didn't the story.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Race to first

"BYU's Dane Nielsen (16) attempts to outrun the ball as he sprints to first base against Washington at Miller Field on the campus of BYU, Thursday, March 11, 2010."

Just another baseball frame I liked from the other day.

I was always told growing up, you cannot outrun the ball. That goes for any sport you play. One simply cannot be faster than the ball.

With that, I cannot believe baseball season is just starting. It's going to be a long season of sitting.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Infield snag

"Washington shortstop David Bentrott (1) leaps for a infield shot against BYU at Miller Field on the campus of BYU, Thursday, March 11, 2010. Washington fell short, losing, 10 - 4."

I was never much of a baseball shooter. I think that's fine because I have never been much of a baseball fan either.

Thankfully I haven't shot that many games in my lifetime, so I don't have many memories of games or photos I've made. If anything, I only remember belching up the countless free hot dogs I devoured at Orioles games.

But things change. This week I've shot two games and I see way more games in my future. I thought I'd change up my style and hope for the best.

How did I change? Listen to music.

It's one thing I could never do. I feel so out of the moment and feel as if I'll miss something. But I needed to get pumped up for baseball and I thought good tunes would be the perfect cure.

During game one I came out with a couple of frames I really liked. What I should say is pictures I am not used to getting during games.

Call it luck. Call it irony. Call it whatever you want. But I was pumped I nailed this.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

45 days behind the desk

"Rep. Michael T. Morley laughs as he and others on the House of Representatives floor work on a bill during the final day of the 58th Utah State Legislature at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Thursday, March 11, 2010."

It's the one thing that is always talked about - not the weather - politics.

The general session of the Utah Legislature is 45 days long, and I found myself at the state capitol three times - Once for the start, once somewhere in the middle, and yep, you guessed it, once for the commencement.

While I have my own stance on politics, I have never found myself genuinely, deeply interested. I am not totally sure why, maybe because political discussion generally results with no positive resoultion for either party.

So to say I was excited to get up to the hill (yes, the capitol is actually on a hill here in Utah) these past three times would be an overstatement.

Conversely, it was a challenge that I enjoyed. Whether it was studying closely what was going on, trying to make legislators look eye-catching as they merely sat behind desks, or attempting to burn five hours waiting for a session to start, I relished my time there.

With the last day, I need to get a laundry list of images of representatives from our coverage area. In addition, I had to capture whatever else our beat XGR reporter needed.

But my main task I knew, without being told, was to make A1 art.

While our reporter cracked the big story before it really happen, I stomped around trying to make something visual. There were a lot of "moments" but many of which weren't of my "people," a la, representatives from Utah County.

So I looked around for something graphic. In my hunt, I noticed a reflection in a pillar and ran with it. I worked it for a good 25 minutes. I was satisfied.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Goin' dancing

"BYU gets fired up before taking on TCU during an NCAA basketball game at the Marriott Center on BYU campus, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010, in Provo. The Cougars will play Florida in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday in Oklahoma City."

Sometimes I forget what I shoot and what I turn in. Thus was the case this morning when I sat down at my desk.

While no secret that I shot the BYU introduction, I lost track of this frame. There is something inside my brain that drives me to shoot the introduction each game. No idea why. I've shot every intro of every home game I've covered, and have posted a couple here.

With that, I only think one has run. But I always like to put images into the system for future use. So needless to say, I am pumped the sports desk ran this one today. I think it fit perfectly for the story. In addition, I was told they'd been waiting to use it. Sweet.

Now I have to hope BYU's first-round matchup against Florida goes well on Thursday night in Oklahoma City, Okla. But I'll have to wish a bit more because they would also have to get through the second-round before making it back to Salt Lake for their sweet sixteen.

It's a long shot because BYU hasn't advanced past the first round since 1993. Let's see if basketball season is really over for me or not...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just like football

"Timpview's Eli Robison (44) shares a moment with friend Gabe Davids after defeating Mountain Crest, 55-43, in the UHSAA 4A men's basketball state championship at the Dee Events Center on the campus of Weber St., Saturday, March 6, 2010. Robison scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Timpview to their sixth boys basketball title and first since 2003."

That was the chant - just like football - as Timpview won yet another championship this school year.

I've been in sort of a slump. No real idea why. Maybe it was my recent shoulder injury. Whatever the reason, things are back on the up swing.

Last week, I traveled up to Ogden to cover the conclusion of the high school men's basketball championship.

Since living in Utah I haven't made it that far north - it was a nice change of pace.

The scenery change I think it helped with my rut, not to mention, I was surrounded by a bunch of good friends, shooters at the game that helped lift my spirits.

The action was OK, nothing amazing or any plays that really stood out aside from a couple big points and diving for loose balls.

As for the celebration, I liked a couple of frames, so I've included them above.

I think my favorites are the non-traditional jubes. There is something about the quieter moments that show their joy that make them different to me. Mostly the post seniors praying (since religion is so prominent out here) and the post game hug.


Saturday, March 13, 2010


"Skiers and snowboarders make their way down the terrain park at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010."

I forgot to post this from February.

Between shooting portraits of winter Olympians at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, I found myself pointing my lens out the window at skiers and snowboarders as they made their way down the terrain park.

I could never really jump on skis, so I am always amazed watching people in the "jib park."

This is also an extension of my blown out snow project I've been trying to work on despite the quickly approaching warm weather.

Friday, March 12, 2010


"Kindergartner Clay Lyman waits to parade around the Salem Elementary with classmates during the Kindy 500 on Friday, March 5, 2010. The three kindergarten classes made cardboard cars and got to visit various patriotic symbols along the way."

I was sent to shoot a standalone the other day at an elementary school. While I wasn't too excited, it seemed like a cute assignment.

Children got to make cardboard cars and parade around Salem Elementary with classmates during what was called the "Kindy 500."

The three kindergarten classes made cardboard cars and got to visit various patriotic symbols along the way.

The annual event has been ongoing for the past 10 years, and is what many said to be a great way for teachers to promote patriotism in a hands-on and meaningful way.

I showed up early with hope to get something different than the actual parade. While most of the children were just waiting in line before walking around the school, I ended up liking the the above more than the mini car accident frame I made as they trekked around the halls.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

One hand climb

"Ryan Johnson, of Salem, looks for a new hold as he climbs a wall at the Quarry Indoor Climbing Center in Provo, on Tuesday. “We come down here every day during lunch since we both work in Orem,” said Chad Hall, of Springville, who was spotting Johnson. The Quarry is open every day, except Sundays, when it is only open for members. Although warmer temperatures have begun to hit the valley, the Quarry offers an alternative to outdoor climbing during winter months."

Sore. No, not them from climbing.

Me. From separating my shoulder.

No, not from me climbing.

The night before work, I was crushed (read: cheap shot) during my indoor soccer game and was in death-like pain throughout the night. In the morning I knew something was wrong, so decided to go to the ER.

However, I couldn't get out of work, so I shot two assignments with one hand. And boy was that fun.

Despite feeling miserable, I thought this was sort of memorizing, and well, not to shabby for being in pain and shooting with one arm, hand.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In like a lion...

"A student attempts to stay warm and dry as she makes her way down snowy steps on the campus of BYU, Thursday, March 4, 2010. Snow and rain entered Utah County early Thursday afternoon and continued dumping through the night. The weekend will be cloudy, but warm with temperatures near 50. There is a chance of precipitation on Sunday."

Oddly enough, the weather here in Utah has been great. Everyday for the past month I feel like my temperature gauge in my car has displayed in the lower to mid 50s.

But now it's March.

The saying goes, "In like a lion, out like a lamb" and that's holding true. The other day, out of the blue, it began snowing. And snowing. And, well, snowing.

My day was slow and I thought I'd go make a standalone video. But after the desk decided my traffic art (third one this month!) wasn't worthy of the center piece, I was sent out to find a feature.

I thought it was funny. Here I was excited to go out on my own and spend an hour or so making a visual video for our Web site. I was eager to get out there.

The snowflakes were huge, and it was really coming down. Not to mention, I've been dying to make a new multimedia piece.

But after being assigned to shoot a real standalone, my moral lowered and I felt pressured. There was an added weight on my shoulders. Why I then felt that way I have no idea.

Alas, I've been meaning to play around with the "huge stairs" on the campus of BYU, and stood there in the dying light, cold blowing snow for 35 minutes before walking back to the office and heading to my next assignment.

Now where is this lamb?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Love or leave it

"Eyeing up branches that need to be trimmed, Genaldio Rodriguez prunes cherry trees at 200 S and 1050 E in Pleasant Grove, Friday, Feb.26, 2010."

Love it or hate it, we all do it - we all shoot silhouettes.

To me, if the light lends itself to one, I'll shoot it to either get it out of my system, see if it works or just open my mind creatively.

With that, it seems as if the light was always lending itself to them last month. So what did I do? I shot them.

While I may not always turn them in, I have been throwing them into the system. Not as my top frame, but at the end of my edit, in case an editor wants something artsy.

And of late, maybe one has run in print. All the rest, typically online.

So when I was out searching for a standalone the other day, and stumbled across this tree pruner, I forced myself not to shoot a silhouette - but I did anyways.

I couldn't pass up the cool tress and thought if anything, this standing alone on the page would be nice eye candy.

And while I was forced to turn in other frames, it still ran in the paper.

But I finally got called out: "No silhouettes for three weeks."

Sunday, March 07, 2010

From Haiti with love

"Tia Simpson shares affection with Collin, her newly adopted 22-month-old son from Haiti, at her Lehi home, Wednesday, Feb.17, 2010. Simpson is one of small number of families in Utah County that have recently adopted children from Haiti following the tragic earthquake."

As previously mentioned, Heidi Toth and I have been working on a package, series on a group of families in Utah County who have recently adopted babies from Haiti.

I had fun getting to hang out with these pair of families, while they enjoyed the new ways of life with a new family memeber.

Although one family declined to be interviewed and photographed for the story, we still made with the time we had. I wish I could have shot these two families more than just a couple hours, but I am happy with what came out of it.

Not much more to say. But you can read the article here.


Saturday, March 06, 2010


"Springville guard Nicole Ramon (center) celebrates with teammates after defeating Timpanogos, 62-49, in the UHSAA 4A women's basketball state championship at Salt Lake Community College, Saturday, Feb.27, 2010. With the win, Springville capped a perfect, 23-0, season by surviving a spirited contest with Timpanogos."

Last weekend I sat baseline as I covered back-to-back women's high school basketball championships.

Not much to write home about, despite having some great arena lighting and a little balcony to make for some nice overhead frames.

However, the action in both games was lackluster, or maybe I just didn't put myself in the right places at the correct times? Alas, I didn't walk away smiling.

I was frustrated, possibly because I love and couldn't stop thinking, not only my jube shot from last season in Maryland, but the story that went behind it, too.

Anyways, I liked the above more than the more literal frame that ended up on A1. In addition, I liked it a hell of a lot more then the "trophy shot" (that the sports desk loves to remind me countless times to get every championship game) that landed on the sports front page.

Hopefully I will be able to focus on nailing the real emotion (win or loss) instead of worrying about a phony-emotioned "trophy shot" as I head up to Ogden to shoot the conclusion on the men's season today.

God speed.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Puppy love

"Lori Rosenlof's newly adopted Haitian son, Nathan, shares a kiss with the family dog, Divot, at their home in Lehi, Thursday, Feb.18, 2010. Rosenlof is one of small number of families in Utah County that have recently adopted children from Haiti following the tragic earthquake."

A reporter and I have been working on a package, series on a group of families in Utah County who have recently adopted babies from Haiti. We were suppose to follow three families around, but the last family bailed: twice.

So we ended up sticking with only two families.

It's been endearing to see how these kids act in a world they are not used to. It's also, without a doubt, amazing what these families are doing for the children.

Anyways, this little boy, Nathan, kept making out with the family dog. As in literally, opened mouth, dog licking inside his mouth. Gross, yet cute.

The first time it happen I snapped away (above picture). The second time I tried to nail it, but the Mom got upset, pushing the dogs away. The third time it happen, as we all laughed, she put the dogs in a different room.

They were awesome people, very open and friendly. They understood I was doing my job and that it was funny, but I think the mother grew to be upset that I was shooting the photo. The father on the other hand thought it was hilarious.

With that, I completely understand why they wouldn't want someone abusing the reoccurring moment, and I respected that, although I really wanted to make the picture again as it continued to happen throughout the night.

Alas, I really wanted to nail it because it was so comical, and doubt I'll see something that ridiculous for a while. Of the couple frames I witnessed this occurrence, I didn't have a great angle or timing with all of them. This is my best of the moment.

I highly doubt it will even fit in the story edit, which is due to run this weekend, but wanted to share the moment.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Shred the gnar

"A snowboarder makes their way down Amy's Ridge trail at Sundance Ski Resort in Utah, Sunday, Feb.28, 2010."

I finally hit the slopes for the first time since moving to Utah.

It’s been more than five years since I’ve skied in Colorado and was terrified that maybe I had forgotten how to get down the mountain.

Halfway through my first run I realized I was golden.

Thanks to co-worker Mark for the encouragement to not only come out to ski with him, but to hit the back bowls at Sundance. I had a blast and can’t wait to get back out on the mountain. My wallet on the other hand is not looking forward it! Renting and lift passes aren’t cheap.

Here is one of about 10 snaps (and another) I shot with my Canon G9 while on the mountain.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Red eye back to Baltimore

"With morning sunlight seeping through the blinds, Kate lays in bed Monday, Feb.22, 2010."

Kate surprised me with a visit the other weekend.

It was a fun, but too short of a visit. While we didn't do too much "touristy" type of stuff, we still had a blast eating some new foods and hanging out.

Until next visit...