Friday, May 28, 2010

Utah, European championship

"Lehi defender Kyler Fisher (38) hugs goalkeeper Riley Anderson after defeating Bonneville, 4-1, in the UHSAA 4A Boy's Soccer Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, Thursday, May 20, 2010."

Sorry for the lack of posts. I just got a new laptop, so the past couple days has been a whirlwind of transferring data and software, along with clearing the old machine.

Last week, I switched from baseball for a day to cover the UHSAA 4A Boy's Soccer Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.

For some reason, boy's high school soccer doesn't seem as popular or get as much coverage as girl's soccer out here.

I only thought could be that there seems to be a Title IX thing out here for soccer. Such is the case at BYU.

So instead of covering almost every game like I did for Lehi girl's soccer, I only shot two games of Lehi boy's; their semifinal and final match.

The championship game was pretty entertaining. That is aside from every player trying to look like a European soccer player with their crazy haircuts and anything-but-black shoes.

This match-up included a fair share of excellent jukes, shots, and celebrations. Even some celebrating that include fake champagne.

In the end I thought I had a lot of good looking pictures, but this quieter jube, moment kept me coming back for another look.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


"American Fork's Jeremy Reynolds consoles his teammate, pitcher Aaron Hill (22) as he crouches dejected after hitting a batter which brought in the game-winning run for Skyline in the bottom of the seventh-inning during second-round of the 5A UHSAA Baseball Championships at Brent Brown Ballpark, Monday, May 17, 2010. Hill hit three batters in the inning, and American Fork was eliminated from the tournament, 1-0."

If you haven't noticed already, I have been shooting baseball almost daily for the past month.

From regular season to the playoffs - college to high school.

Yet I didn't get to cover either of the championships game because of my shift. Working weekday nights.

I cannot think of a good enough analogy, but it sucked. A lot of hard work for nothing. But I guess I couldn't help that with the way my schedule was setup this month.

So this game was the closest thing I got to a great game and good dejection, jubilation.

It was a an awesome game. Mixed-emotions on both sides of the ball, back and forth like a see-saw, all the way until the last inning.

After hitting two batters in the bottom of the seventh-inning, the bases were loaded for Skyline. But things got worse really quick, when the American Fork pitcher lost control of yet another pitch.

The ball beaned the batter and brought in a run for Skyline to advance.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

More diving

"Pleasant Grove outfielder Stephen Rockhill (28) tries to grab a shot to center in the third-inning against Northridge during second-round of the 5A UHSAA Baseball Championships at Brent Brown Ballpark on the campus of UVU, Monday, May 17, 2010."

A lot of the baseball I've been shooting recently has been at Utah Valley University.

The ballpark there isn't state of the art per say, but probably one of the nicer places I've shot baseball here in Utah.

Everytime there, I find myself shooting super tight and from above. Well, I guess it isn't really direct overhead rather than from an elevated position.

The outfield walls are littered with advertisements, so shooting from there helps keep the diving shots, the plays at short and slides clean...for the game between Northridge and Pleasant Grove that is.

I don't think I'd want it any other way.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spanish dive

"Spanish Fork outfielder Andrew Perkins leaps out for a deep shot to right field in the fourth-inning against Stansbury at Spanish Fork Baseball Fields, Thursday, May 13, 2010. Despite Perkins missing the catch, Spanish Fork won, 4-1."

I've been shooting baseball for the past two weeks. It has been almost daily.

While it has been painful, as I continue to mention, it has actually been nice.

However, this game in Spanish Fork last week was anything but that. From the bitter cold temperature in May to the ugly, busy backgrounds, I found myself struggling.

Yet by the end of the game, my game, and Spanish Fork's game, seemed to collide and come together.

While this outfielder almost made the catch, and it looks like he almost did in this frame, he did miss.

Alas, they came out on top after a solid, almost no-hitter from the pitcher.

Much, much, much (and much more) baseball to come.

Friday, May 21, 2010

No ball, no roster

"BYU forward Brady Marshall (21) takes a kick to the head from an U21 Mexican National Team defender during the first half at The Stadium at South Field on the campus of BYU, Wednesday, May 12, 2010. The game resulted in a 2-2 tie."

One would think that such a highly publicized match between the BYU men's soccer team and the U21 Mexican National Team there would be rosters.

Guess again.

Not only did BYU not supply rosters to media (or to the fans) for the U21 Mexican National Team, but there is nothing online for the team either. Fantastic.

Despite the lack of names, the game was fairly entertaining.

BYU took an early lead in which they acted like they just won the World Cup as they taunted fans by shaking their jersey and piling up in front of the crowd.

With the emotion and action running high, I made some good frames during the match.

It's just too bad I miscalculated the above. My frames per second and timing wasn't quick enough to capture the ball in this frame.

Or maybe I was just too tight. Oops!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Here comes the tone

"A bridesmaid smiles out of the window as the King wedding party arrives to St.Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Parkville, Md., Saturday, May 15, 2010."

This past weekend, I flew back to Baltimore to shoot an assignment.

Obviously, it was not Preakness. It was a lovely wedding.

I shoot maybe five weddings a year (more if you are looking for a photographer) and it's always a pleasure to document a couple's special day.

This time around, I was honored to document Maria and Stu's wedding day; and it was absolutely beautiful.

Thanks again to my good friend Drew for the second shooting. As per usual, he made me look good, kept me laughing throughout the day and melted some faces with his insane pictures. Real talk.

With that, I am in toning state of mind. Liked this one so far. But more images to come. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monday Close Up: Carving a new career

"Mike Hayward takes a break as he leans against his lathe at his Payson home garage, Monday, May 11, 2010. In his garage, he works about 12 hours a day to teach himself more about working with wood. He had never used a lathe before receiving it as a gift."

In case you forgot, every month we photographers are given the opportunity to go out into the community and find a story on whatever we want - we call it the Monday Close Up.

For the most part, we do a photo essay on our subject. But we also have to write an article, too.

Some months the written story is better than the photos. Other times, the latter stands out more. And with me, sometimes my multimedia trumps them all.

This month wasn't much better at first. I had nothing. I worked very hard to do one on a certain subject, but after days on days of calling and talking to countless people and contacts, it wasn't going to happen.

So I opted to do a story on a man who was told to us by a message left on my editor's voice mail. I was going to shoot it as a standalone one day, but saved it.

Eventually I made the call. I was going to do the story. And I wasn't too excited. To be honest, it sounded boring.

But after meeting and hanging out with Mike Hayward for two days, I loved it.

He wasn't afraid to be himself and say whatever or do whatever he pleased. We connected, shared stories and had a good time. He understood what I needed to do for work and he didn't hesitate to just do his own thing every day as if I wasn't there.

Glad I got to meet Hayward and hope to bump into him again.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Face-full of out

"Timpanogos' Ryan Hamilton (9) slides face first into home and the dirt in the third-inning against Bountiful during the class 4A baseball first-round playoffs at Timpanogos High School, Tuesday, May 11, 2010. Despite Hamilton being called out on the play, Timpanogos won, 10-1."

I am really finding it hard to talk about all these baseball photos I've been making of late.

To this date I've never shot so many consecutive baseball games. In addition, I've never made this many baseball photos I've liked either.

Maybe I am growing to appreciate the game and finding ways to make it fun rather than mundane.

The other day I climbed a fence to get on top of the visiting team's dugout. I am finding that getting to an elevated position helps shooting the game and helps eliminate the gaudy advertisements that litter the outfield walls.

I am also shooting very, very tight. In most cases I am using work's Canon 1D Mark II N with a 1.4x and a 400mm. However, in this instance I was using a Nikon D3 with a 300mm because of my distance to home plate from the dugout.

Way more sports to come. Its been that kind of month. But I'll break it up with my recent Monday Close Up story.

Stay tuned.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Roadside cowboy

"With dark clouds approaching from the west and a light drizzle falling, John Mecham, of Spanish Fork, circles around on his horse, Tipover, as they ride alongside 8000 South in Spanish Fork on Monday afternoon. Rain rolled into the valley on Monday night. The forecast is calling for rain and possibly thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday with high temperatures in the 40s and 50s. Sun and gradually rising temperatures will make their way into Utah by the weekend."

Last week, I got a call to find a feature on my way back from the south. Rain was supposed to make its way into the valley, so we needed something weather related, although it wasn't storming yet.

I drove around for a bit before I passed this cowboy riding his horse on the side of the road. I passed him and shot a couple frames out of the window. I thought it wasn't anything spectacular, but I quickly changed my mind and pulled a U-turn.

I hopped out of my car and introduced myself. I instantly felt hostility.

I loved it. I've been seeking hostility since moving to Utah. There isn't any out here or so I have yet to find.

Despite his rash remarks and blunt personality, which I am used to on the east coast, I got a couple minutes to work the scene as he trained, rode his horse named Tipover.

Before I knew it, he was riding away in the distance, probably cussing me.

I was happy I had something for the day and happy to have gotten his information to go along with it.

The best part though was getting an e-mail from an editor of a small community paper in Spanish Fork that we own. She thought it was down right amazing that I got Mecham's name and information, not to mention picture, as she knows exactly how he is and acts. I got a laugh out of the e-mail.

I just hope to run into some more stories, folk, even Mecham again, down in Spanish Fork as I am totally intrigued by their culture and way of life.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lizzy's sneakers

"Lizzy Ann Carrick of Orem shows off her clashing outfit, sneakers in Provo, Utah, Sunday, May 9, 2010."

I'm heading home to Maryland for the weekend for an assignment. Actually sitting in the airport now trying not to fall asleep considering my flight is at 7:30 a.m.

So I will not be posting for the next few days while back east as I will be fairly busy shooting and catching up with family, friends.

But I wanted to leave you with this lovely-awesome outfit I encountered last weekend. Nothing says fashion like a pair of beat up chucks and bright white skirt.

I couldn't help myself but to grab a photo.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


"A Mountain View player warms-up before the third set against Timpview during the 4A Section Boys Tennis Meet, at Timpanogos High School, Friday, May 7, 2010. Mountain View lost, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2."

I always try to leave every assignment with a clean, artsy frame that screams Patrick Smith. If I transmit it or not all depends.

If I do move it, I generally throw it in the end of my edit, so the desk knows it's not my top choice. Little do they know it sometimes really is.

I guess what I am saying is I play to the liking of the editors and layout gods who I know want the tight action or obvious moment. I can agree with that in most cases, but we as photographers always want our super-duper-cool photo to run on a section front.

And they only way that will happen is if we step on some toes and move pictures that we really like. Because let's face it, if we don't transmit them, there is no way in hell it will run A1, let alone anywhere.

So when I picked up the paper the other day to see my graphic frame from tennis sitting front and center of sports, I had to let them know how awesome it looked.

Melissa Lyttle put it perfect: "Makes me happy to see papers taking chances."

I cannot agree more. I can only hope for the same in the future. Way to go, sports.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Performing the splits

"Jane Petty, 93, of Jean's Golden Girls ends their dance routine with a split during the second night of Hope of America at the Marriott Center on the campus of BYU, Wednesday, May 5, 2010. At 93-years-old Petty is the oldest member of Jean's Golden Girls. At the end of each performance she does a dance solo finishing in the splits. "It's just a novelty to see someone as old as I am out there," Petty insists."

Last year my editor did a story on this corky, fun dance team.

The squad goes as "Jean's Golden Girls" and is a group of more than 100 women between the ages of 50 and 93-years-old. You can read her story here.

I only heard about them through her story, yet since being in Utah never seen them in person.

Well, the other night as I began walking out the door of Hope of America I heard the PA announce them. I had to see them perform in person. So I ran to the balcony to see the site.

The crowd was on their feet, smiling and cheering. Have to be honest, so was I.

Then at the conclusion of the dance Jane Petty, 93-years-young as they said, did a dance solo finishing in the splits. Truly hilarious, inspiring and awesome all at the same time.

I hope to live to 93 and still be able to move like her. Got to love it!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


"A young girl looks to the crowd as children perform songs and dances during the second night of Hope of America at the Marriott Center on BYU campus on Wednesday, May 5, 2010. About 4,000 children from elementary schools demonstrated their patriotism in the Hope of America Student Showcase on Wednesday night."

What a way to end the day then with some good vibrations about America? The other night, I ended up over at the Marriott Center for Hope of America.

The event, now in its 15th year, was split into two nights to accommodate all of the children and schools that wanted to participate.

Our intern covered it the first night, and I got the latter. It was awesome to see how two very different shooters covered the same exact event on different nights.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Finishing strong

"Holden Adams of Maple Mountain struggles to stay on his feet as he crosses the finish line after running a 3200 meter race during the Prep Region 8 track meet at Maple Mountain High School, Wednesday, May 5, 2010. Adams finished fourth with a time of 10:24."

I'm only a week into May and I've shot more sports this past week than I did all of April. I cannot complain though, I love it.

This week, I shot some more track and field. This time instead of a couple hours shooting, it was my second of four assignments and I had less than an hour to produce.

I should preface, my four assignment day last week was long and exhausting. But I totally miss that hectic, chaotic life I once had when interning and freelancing at a major metro.

Multiple deadlines throughout the day, transmitting on the go, hectic, multiple assignment days, traveling around the Baltimore-Washington corridor. It was what I thought things would always be like.

While things are still busy, and hectic at times, it's nowhere near like it used to be. It's not much of a rush as I remembered.

Now I have one deadline at the end of the night, two to three assignments on average and travel is basically non-existent outside of Utah County.

So when I saw the budget last Wednesday I was excited to have the day I was going to have.

I would have to work fast, produce compelling images and then quickly move onto the next assignment.

The day was long, yet fun. While I decided there was no need to transmit from the field, I did end up toning, captioning and dumping 25 images in 35 minutes from my four assignment, all before deadline.

I did however: miss two meals, get covered in sand, listen to an entire arena echo of screaming children for more than an hour, chase down a subject for their name, get home late, and then had up early the next day to do it all again.

But I wouldn't trade it for anything - It was a great day.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Bouncing around

"Enjoying the weather after school, Lucia Huntman, 5, bounces around on the trampoline on 600 East in Payson, Monday, May 3, 2010. Following multiple days of rain, the Utah valley weather cleared and warmed up on Monday. Temperatures will slowly dwindle as the week progresses going from the upper 60s to mid 50s by the weekend while staying dry."

I do a lot of feature hunting. While it's about half and half whether or not I'll have something lined up already by my editor, searching on my own can be sometimes be frustrating.

I am not afraid to admit that either. Especially in what is ranked the "most un-fun city" in the United States.

Most of the time I feel as if there are a ton of things going on when I am not driving all around the county. And when I do need to find something, there is nothing happening. That's life.

With that, there are certain things I never shoot because I've shot them mind-numbingly too many times. The list includes: fishermen, bicyclist and joggers. That's not to say if I am desperate I won't, especially if it's very, very graphic or different.

Kids jumping on trampolines is on my "do not shoot if I don't have to" list, too. However, after driving around for over an hour, checking back in at the office, toning my first assignment, I was stumped. I wasn't sure what to do.

I was given a subject by my editor, but I knew I didn't want to waste time shooting him when he in turn could be a future story.

Luckily, as I headed south to his house I discovered two little girls having fun. Got permission from their mother and began shooting.

It's no ground breaking image, but I liked this one for the puzzling aspect.

I am drawn to it more because it makes the reader ask questions rather than smack them in the face literally with content. Thoughts?

Friday, May 07, 2010

What's the call?

"UVU's Jason Zundel (14) looks to the umpire for the call as he is tagged by BYU catcher Bryce Ayoso (11) during the bottom of the first-inning at Brent Brown Ballpark on the campus of UVU, Tuesday, May 4, 2010. Zundel was called safe on the play, giving the Wolverines an early, 1-0, lead. However, BYU overcame an 8-4 deficit to top the Wolverines, 14-10. The loss ended the Wolverines (25-15) school record 11-game winning streak."

Have to be honest - I hate shooting baseball.

I grew up playing lacrosse, which was always pitted against baseball as being the non-wimp sport.

But of recent I've grown to enjoy the game. That is, with proper equipment. In equipment I mean an iPod with good tunes.

I am not one to block out ambient noise. I feel like I am missing something that could clue me into a moment while on assignment.

Yet to stay excited for baseball I have to listen to good music, and change up my shooting style.

In this case, I decided to break away from full-frame shooting and hit up work's Canon 1D Mark II, a 400mm with a 1.4x converter added - 728mm of goodness.

As for music, I went with a combination of Band of Horses and my good friend Drew's mash-up mix, otherwise known as, twoKittenschocolateKisses.

The trifecta of two bands and a fresh perspective proved to be what I needed to get through the first five innings or so before deadline.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Failed attempt

"An athlete competes in the boy's high jump during the BYU Invitational at the Clarence F. RobisonTrack and Field Complex, Saturday, May 1, 2010."

This frame is also from the same track meet I shot last weekend. However, I'd say it's a failed attempt for a couple of reasons.

For one, this athlete failed to clear the bar.

Second, I never bothered to get his name.

Third, because Chip got me thinking. He recently made a photo like this that was gorgeous. I also shot something similar from a couple years ago.

After seeing Chip's, as per usual, beautifully colored frames, I guess I wanted to try and do the same thing, again, and make a better frame of my own old take of the picture.

I should preface, my feet, track pad picture at one time was in my sports portfolio when I was at Eddie Adams.

I distinctly remember Michael Williamson (one my favorite, favorite humans and photographers) saying how he made the same picture in the Olympics eons ago. Probably before I was even born. He talked about how it was good seeing, yet done over and over again.

Made me feel good...for a split second. Why? Because I had seen as he had. Hahaha.

Anyways, I quickly realized that the BYU track had cluttered, messy backgrounds everywhere I looked. Not even a clean sky.

Yet from the angle I was at, on a chair looking down, the blue mat and wet track came together. Add a pair of blue shoes and I could make this work.

But I never got it.

The competitors were not sinking deep enough into the mat to obscure their faces and torso to get the feet only look. Not to mention, any adjustments on my part got empty chairs and other things that wouldn't have made the picture as clean.

Oh, well. Something about the ripples in the pad that still drew me to it. Thanks for the inspiration, Chip.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Pointy poles

"Competitors warm up for the boy's javelin 3A-5A trials during the BYU Invitational at the Clarence F. Robison Track and Field Complex, Saturday, May 1, 2010."

Utah weather is enough to drive one loco.

The other day, granted it's May, was frigid. I woke up early for an assignment in Provo.

As I walked out the door I realized it was cold - really cold - it was also raining and snowing.

After spending and hour shooting a soccer clinic then attempting to thaw, I walked up the block for the BYU Invitational.

Still dressed for the weather, I thought it would make for some nice pictures.

But after 25 minutes of soaking in the rain, the heavens opened up. Nothing but clear skies and sunshine, not to mention, about a 20 degree temperature rise.

So here I was in multiple layers including rain coat and pants. I was boiling hot.

However, I couldn't walk back. Would have been too much walking - walk back to the office, back to BYU, back to the office. I would have wasted a lot of time.

I simply shed some layers and stuffed them under a high-jump pad and went back to work.

Had fun, but there was nothing much going on during this second day of the meet.

None of my favorite events, including: hurdles, steeple chase, long jump, or pole vault, were happening.

Alas, I liked this frame of javelin practice.

Monday, May 03, 2010

From the trap

"BYU golfer Jordan Rodgers watches as he hit out of the trap on hole No.11 during the PING Cougar Classic at the Riverside Country Club in Provo, Utah, Saturday, April 24, 2010."

I've shot golf a total of twice in my life.

The first time I shot it I ended up winning a POYi. The second time was the other day.

It was near the end of my shift, so I didn't have much time to shoot. Not to mention, I wasn't given a cart, so I had to factor in time walking and transmitting.

I started out on the back-nine where the players were finishing up the PING Cougar Classic at the Riverside Country Club.

After shooting a couple flights pass through, and hoping for something like clubs being thrown or chips from the trap, the leaders finally made their way through.

So I stuck with them for a couple holes before making the pilgrimage back to my car to send what I had for the day.

It was an OK day, but not as fun as the first time shooting golf.