Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Proud to be an American

"Gene "Shorty" Joseph Peterson circles the track during the national anthem before competitors race lawnmowers at Salem Arena, Saturday, June 19, 2010. Those riding mowers, which were of all shapes and sizes, competed in four classes, with top speeds reaching 30 mph. Gene "Shorty" Joseph Peterson of Springville was racing for the first time this year. "I just retired and have been wanting to do it for years, " Peterson said. "It's the most fun I've had without drugs or alcohol.""

I'm out of pocket and probably off the grid for the next two weeks.

No, I won't be on a national lawnmower racing tour.

I'll be traveling out of the country and I am not sure how efficient Internet will be. I know it will be available, but probably slow for uploads. I'll probably be on an e-mail only contact.

So obviously I'll either be posting very little or not at all.

Feel free to search the archives or head over to my website in the meantime.

Enjoy the United States while I am gone.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mr. Larsen

"Glen Larsen, 86, waits for his son Rex (not pictured) to unclog the hay mower-conditioner he was operating in Leland, Thursday, June 17, 2010. Larsen was born into a farming family and has been farming on the same land since his youth."

Just thought I'd post a couple more frames from my recent Monday Close Up.

Glen Larsen was a great man. I learned a lot and happy he allowed me to hang out with him for a couple days.

A lot of my favorite images didn't say much rather than they were a glimpse into his daily routine.

Thanks again, Mr. Larsen.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


"Tom Owen, who was watching his son Mark Owen play, retrieves a ball on hole No.10 during the 71st annual Provo Open golf tournament contested at The Reserve at East Bay, Thursday, June 17, 2010."

Found myself out on the golf course last week covering the 71st annual Provo Open.

I didn't have long to shoot on the first day, so I worked quickly to make the pictures I needed of my laundry list of players.

For about an hour I covered only two holes on the back-nine.

On hole No.10 I saw this man coming out of the cat tails. I snapped a couple frames and later moved the image.

While it only ran online, when I found myself back on the course for the final round I bumped into Tom.

I thought he'd be upset with the picture of him searching for free golf balls. But he was pleased and said it portrayed him perfectly as his son always teases him about searching for golf balls on the course.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sneaky, sneaky

"Dylan Clark tries to sneak a peek of the new playground in his family home backyard in Eagle Mountain, Tuesday, June 1, 2010. As a part of Pony Express Days in Eagle Mountain, two community heroes have been chosen - both five-year-olds with cancer. One family got a fishing trip to Alaska, and the Clark family got a weekend in Salt Lake City and then new furniture, toys and a backyard playground set."

It was a typical house makeover type of assignment.

A bubbly, happy five-year-old excited to see her princess room, and the rest of the family who was equally eager to see the fresh changes to their home.

After squeezing around the house with more members of the media than I can count on my hands and feet, they had one last surprise for the kids outback - a playground.

Waiting in the pouring down rain with another friend, photographer for the kids to come out, I got one reaction (shooting from the hip) frame as Dylan Clark peeked out.

It never ran, but it was my favorite frame of the day.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Monday Close Up: Life on the farm

"Glen Larsen, 86, waits for his son Rex (not pictured) to unclog the hay mower-conditioner he was operating in Leland, Thursday, June 17, 2010. Larsen was born into a farming family and has been farming on the same land since his youth. (CLICK PHOTO FOR VIDEO)."

For my monthly story, a la Monday Close Up, I had the pleasure of hanging out with farmer Glen Larsen and his son Rex.

All I knew going into the story was that Larsen was an 80-something-year-old working on a 100-something-year-old family farm. Basically he hasn't moved off the family farm and has been working on it all his life.

I thought it was captivating, light and something different from my past stories.

After talking with Larsen on the phone, I headed down to his farm in Leland on Tuesday morning.

Because of his age, most of his time is spent on tractors and machinery.

So I was frustrated after my first day on the farm. For about seven hours I exhausted the scene as he sat on the same tractor all day long.

I knew I needed much more, so I made my way back two more times, once for an interview and once for some more stills and video. I wish I could have spent more time with him, alas that's how short our turnaround for our stories are.

The final piece can be read here and the multimedia can be viewed here.

More stills to come in a later post.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Idaho Falls

"A Hawaiian shaved ice stand sits unoccupied in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Sunday, June 6, 2010."

I am not much on taking pictures that don't include a warm body of sort.

But that doesn't mean I don't take them.

On our way back from Idaho Falls, Idaho a couple weeks I spotted the old, rustic Hawaiian shaved ice stand across the street from where we were eating.

I had to run over and take a snap. There is something about beat down abandoned businesses and signage that always catches my eye.

Not to mention, the feel of this photograph is how I felt about Idaho Falls.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I hope you don't mine

"Al McKee of Benjamin has discovered a natural substance that soaks up oil. Haillburton Co., has contacted him and the EPA has pushed the flour-like substance through all the regulations to help soak up the oil in the Gulf. He poses at one of his mines, Thursday, May 27, 2010."

I edited this photo with a crop from last month.

My editor told me I was headed to a mine for a story revolving around the oil in the gulf.

From the article, Provo's Ophir Minerals & Aggregate Group for some time has extracted a mineral it calls "K'sorb" out of its Payson mine. The mineral itself -- calcium carbonate -- is not unique to Utah, but the crystalline structure of the local stuff is unique, and allows the all-natural, flour-like material to soak up eight to 10 times its own weight in oil.

Read the story here.

I met Al McKee at his home where he demonstrated this fascinating process of sinking oil that's on the surface of water.

He then took me to where they mine it for a photo op and tour. Little did I know, a mine is not always something underground or in the side of a mountain.

I was under the assumption I'd be going down a dark, scary mineshaft for photos.

We shot a variety of stuff while at the mine. Despite his great personality, I couldn't get McKee by himself. He insisted having his son in all the photos.

So when I was archiving tonight I made a tight crop of the image. I don't know why I like it. Probably the old, timeless feel.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rodeo: Day 2: wet and muddy

"Jakob Jones of Lehi belly flops into the muddy ring after a successful performance in the steer wresting competition during the finals of Utah High School Rodeo Finals at the Heber City Fairgrounds, Saturday, June 12, 2010."

If you missed the first post, I shot rodeo twice last week. The first day being dry and dusty.

When I returned Saturday, it was wet and muddy.

I showed up early hoping to shoot a bunch of features, but I think I was the first person there and walked around with me, myself and I.

As I walked around, the sky got dark and it began dumping. I was soaked by the time the competitions even started.

Despite the on and off rain throughout the night and mud just about every where (including my cameras, clothes, hair, and ears) I had a blast.

And I couldn't help but to ask the cowboy to pose for a muddy portrait in image No.5. There was a lot of mud related fun and wipe outs.

Good night at the rodeo.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Splash puppy

"Aspen, a seven-year-old black lab, owned by Toby Heywood of Hooper, leaps for his toy in the Splash Dogs dock-jumping competition during the Dog Days doggy fair on Electric Park at Thanksgiving Point, Friday, June 4, 2010. The festival included several canine activities, events, entertainment, and vendors."

When I first got to Utah and realized I'd have to do a monthly story on anything I wanted, I chose splash dogs after seeing an ad in a mail flyer.

The only problem was that I couldn't really find anyone from our coverage area competing.

So when I got an assignment to shoot the Dog Days doggy fair and splash dogs I was excited.

Not only have I never seen the event, I love dogs.

The event made me want to get a dog out here. It was a lot of fun to shoot, despite it being difficult to get clean backgrounds with separation.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Idaho debauchery

"A reveler uses the backside of a port-o-potty for a restroom during the 16th Annual Mountain Brewer's Beer Fest in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Saturday, June 5, 2010."

Two weeks ago I made my first visit to Idaho.

I made the venture north with some friends for the 16th Annual Mountain Brewer's Beer Fest in Idaho Falls.

It was a lot of fun, but I wondered what this event would have been like had it been on the east coast.

To sum it up, buses and taxis dumped off around 5,000 people to a small field in Idaho Falls for a $20 all-you-can-drink event.

There were many brewers from Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and beyond pouring their classic and new beers.

I had assumed it would be wild. You know, Kentucky Derby type debauchery.

But to no avail, this was about the most "out of control" thing I witnessed.

Obviously these people never witnessed or heard of the Preakness infield. I mean, who could forget the 2007 Running of the pot-o-potties instant classic?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rodeo: Day 1: dry and dusty

"Justin Motley of Wasatch is thrown to the ground after falling from his bull during the first day of Utah High School Rodeo Finals at the Heber City Fairgrounds, Wednesday, June 9, 2010."

What can I say, I am new to this idea of rodeo.

Everything I see at a rodeo is visual stimulation. At times I feel as if there is too much going on at once and overloads my pupils.

A couple months ago I shot my first rodeo. But I wasn't in the mood to shoot since I wasn't working on the clock. I instead enjoyed myself by just taking in the sights and sounds.

This week, I was sent up to the Utah high school rodeo championships. The two days I was up in Heber City were completely different.

On Wednesday morning, it was dry and dusty. I spent a lot of time trying to understand the competitions and making sure I had the right names for the cowboys and cowgirls in my frames. There is a lot of things going on at once, it can get confusing.

I had a blast and would return later in the week.

Stay tuned for part two; Rodeo: wet and muddy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


"Miss American Fork walks to hand out awards during the Special Olympics Utah Summer Games on the campus of Brigham Young University, Friday, May 28, 2010."

I couldn't help myself.

As I sat on the hot pavement shooting the awards ceremony during the Special Olympics Utah Summer Games these loud, clunking shoes kept walking by.

They were the heels of Miss American Fork as she continually walked past to hand out awards.

I don't know why I got a laugh out of them and this photo, but I wanted to share it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sounds sports make

"Spanish Fork outfielder Travis Still (6) lays himself out for a shot to center field in the third-inning against Springville during the final winning-bracket game of the UHSAA 4A baseball playoffs at Brent Brown Ballpark on the campus of UVU in Orem, Friday, May 21, 2010."

Ever since getting my new computer I've slowly been going through some outtakes from recent assignments.

As for the title, I credit our former Daily Herald intern James Roh. He got me saying a lot of new lingo while living and working in Utah.

While I continue to use a lot of it, I also now find myself using at least one onomatopoeia whenever editing and toning sports photos.

In this case, "doof!" I only wish I had a sound clip I could link to now.

And Spanish Fork went on to win in epic fashion, not only in this game, but the state championship, too.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Common view

"Retired teacher Vilante Terry, 93, of Provo reminisces about the past. She poses for a portrait at her Provo home, Thursday, May 27, 2010."

As a photographer I am often sent to shoot portraits.

While I love shooting them, I often feel I am stressing too much to make them original.

What I mean is that I am thinking too much after meeting my subject to make something fresh to my eyeballs.

Yet when I think about it, people in their natural habitat is what I usually strive for. I want them to look the way they are, in natural light with natural body language.

I'd probably be better off hanging out with them for an hour as they go through their normal routines. But I never do. Maybe I should change that.

In this case, when I pulled up to shoot a portrait of retired teacher Vilante Terry of Provo she was peaking out of her door.

Not trying to start off on a bad note, I went about my business of introducing myself and shooting her portrait rather than taking her picture from the street.

But when I was done, I asked if she could look out of the door like she typically does for an alternative frame.

While the both of the pictures of her looking out of her door were obviously setup, I thought they said more about her than the indoor pictures I took of her - so I turned them in - and one ran.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Too much excitement

"Lehi midfielder Spencer Gray takes a minute to decompress after celebrating with teammates as they defeated Bonneville, 4-1, in the UHSAA 4A Boy's Soccer Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, Thursday, May 20, 2010."

I was going through some outtakes last night and stumbled across this frame.

I couldn't help but to laugh thinking back to the moment.

As everyone continued to go crazy around this player, he simply laid there.

At first I though he may be hiding his tears of joy. But after a couple snaps and a teammate pulling him up, I realized he was probably decompressing from all the excitement.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Loving cow

"Monterey Lysy, 8, hugs the family cow Clyde in Cedar Hills, Monday, May 24, 2010. The Lysy's live in Canyon Heights, but cannot have the cow in their yard, so it's tied up at the house that sits right at the bottom of the street, that is technically in Pleasant Grove, which has animal rights."

Before leaving for my assignment, I was told cows were mean.

Totally didn't believe anyone. I've never seen a cow do anything but stand in place eating grass.

Needless to say, when I got to this shoot of a family that keeps a cow in a neighboring yard (it's illegal to keep it in their own yard), I thought it would be fairly uneventful.

That was until we were all chased by this one-year-old cow. The children thought they'd take it for a walk, but apparently right after cows eat oats they get a little wild.

I can seriously say I feared for my life. While this "baby" cow looked harmless, when you have 600 lbs. of pure beef running you down, it's terrifying.

Without being insensitive, I did eat a big hamburger following this assignment to calm my nerves.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Pressed for time

"Janet Frank, spokeswoman for Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, addresses media on the death of Gary Coleman Friday, May 28, 2010, in Provo, Utah. Coleman, the child star of the smash 1970s TV sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes" died Friday after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 42."

Gary Coleman, 42, the child star of the smash 1970s TV sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes" died last week.

I had read the day before of his recent sling of illnesses and that he had been hospitalized as well.

As I was shooting another assignment, I got the call to head over to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center for a press conference. Coleman had died.

I rushed over with our videographer to cover the presser.

Back in Baltimore I felt like there was always some sort of press conference. Utah County doesn't really have much going on, so I guess in that respect that's the reason I haven't really shot many in Utah.

Alas, there was a slew of news media there. I had to step back to really take in this non-visual presser to open light to others how packed it was.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Fighting for his boys

"Joseph Ernst Montfleury of Orem has been trying to get his biological sons out of Haiti, but has been denied humanitarian parole for the boys. But a volunteer attorney has helped him rush his citizenship. He is now applying for his sons, Menelick and Nesty, as citizens. Montfleury poses for a portrait, Wednesday, May 26, 2010."

I used to always grab my lights when I was assigned to a portrait. Now, more or less, I am reaching for my primes and seeking out light rather than creating it.

Such is the case with a portrait I shot last week.

Joseph Ernst Montfleury of Orem has been trying to get his biological sons out of Haiti, but has been denied humanitarian parole for the boys.

But a volunteer attorney has helped him rush his citizenship. He is now applying for his sons, Menelick and Nesty, as citizens.

I met up with Montfleury at the local library where we spoke for a bit before I even pulled out my camera.

I didn't have to do much explaining, he knew the story, he knew what he was trying to get across to the reader. His struggle and anxiety to get his boys to the U.S.

So it didn't take much time before I had the shot that told his story clearly and effectively.

I wish him all the best.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Eyes on graduation

"A student waits outside before the Utah County Academy of Sciences graduation at the Provo Tabernacle, Wednesday, May 26, 2010. "We worked so hard to get here today," Stina Nyhus said. "I'm just glad this day has come, I'm so happy." Utah County Academy of Sciences graduated 102 students total and the guest speaker was Utah Valley University president Matthew Holland."

After shooting baseball basically non-stop last month, I shifted my eyes to high school graduations the final week of the May.

What can I say? I thought baseball was boring? Graduations are a total snoozefest.

By the end of the week I realized I could get the pictures I needed either before or after the actual commencement.

The first couple photographed I simply wasted time by sitting there listening to student and guest speakers.

Sure, I made some frames and did my best to come up with some fresh during them, but when everyone is motionless, emotionless it's very difficult to make a telling frame.

While this frame isn't necessarily "the moment" I liked it as I searched something visual at the Utah County Academy of Sciences graduation at the Provo Tabernacle.