25 Years of Saturdays

We’re in the process of re-vamping our work schedule here in the Tribune photo department. I was talking with one of my colleagues, Al Hartmann, about things. Al said, “After twenty-five years of working Saturdays, I think I’m ready to be a Monday through Friday guy.”

I can’t get this thought out of my mind: What I wouldn’t pay to have a coffee table book of Al’s work, titled “Twenty-Five Years of Saturdays.” Any publishers out there?

You can see a small sample of Al Hartmann’s work by clicking here:

http://extras.sltrib.com/tribphoto/PhotogBios.asp?GID=Hartmann&sort=photog

ParentsEmpowered Press Conference

Covered a press conference put on by ParentsEmpowered, a state-run program aimed at eliminating teenage drinking. That’s Utah’s First Lady Mary K. Huntsman (above) delivering a video message to the group.

I must have been completely out of sync with Ruben Garza of ACE Disposal (above). I clicked off frames as he spoke, but the first five caught him in mid-blink. Luckily there was frame six.

Warren Jeffs Sentencing – The End

There weren’t any more cameras than usual when polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs was sentenced last week. The difference was that everyone crowded around the courthouse door.

Here’s Lamar Johnson leaving. After the FLDS members (a collection of top-tier Warren Jeffs’ supporters) had left, the only shots were attorneys being mobbed by cameras.

Defense attorney Tara Isaacson. Inside the court, the Spectrum shot the pool coverage. Once again, no reaction from Warren Jeffs. In the courtroom, he’s shown very little emotion throughout this trial.

Defense attorney Walter Bugden.

Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap.

Here’s the view from the other side, in a photo provided by an unnamed photographer. (That’s me at center right in red.)

Warren Jeffs Sentencing – Before

There comes a point where you wonder why you’re photographing people entering and exiting the court. This is Lamar Johnson walking in. You’ll see him walking out in the next post.

After everyone was in, we all just sat around. Check out the awesome light from my strobe. More on that later, too.

En Route – Warren Jeffs Sentencing

Salt Lake City Airport, 6am. Way too early to be awake, especially in an airport. Walking in a fog. Caught a flight to St. George to cover the sentencing of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs.

Went over to the courthouse and complimented one reporter on his black leather jacket. He said, “I always dress up when a man’s going to jail.”

I think he was smoking a cigarillo.

Fall Leaves

So many differences between now and twenty years ago in this business. Film to digital, primes to zooms, NPPA to SportsShooter, etc. But another one is this: In the late 1980s, I could drive around neighborhoods and actually find people outside doing things that lent themselves to feature photographs. Now, with videogames, television, fear, and general American laziness you don’t see as many people outside.

I used to drive around and find kids flying kites, having water fights, rollerskating, riding bikes. Once I even photographed a kid throwing a dead fish at a rock.

Saturday I was assigned to look for “Fall Weather” photos. I drove through Davis County for a couple hours and ran across only two situations where people were outside engaged in some kind of activity.

A couple I did find was Stefanie and Heidi Warren, raking up the leaves from the maple tree in their West Bountiful yard. The photos were pretty standard stuff until Stefanie started flicking the leaves into Heidi’s face. It made for a nice moment. Again, this is photojournalism. The moment wasn’t staged. It just happened, and I was there to capture it.

Now if only I had found a better place to park my car. It’s ruining the shot.

Brain Blown

I saw this sign at a football game in Heber City. Am I the only one who can’t read it the right way?

“I Can’t See It”

I spent Wednesday down in the small Utah town of Gunnison, where a gas leak has caused Lila Lee Christensen to close down her dress shop. More on that in a minute. This morning I brought in the paper and looked for the photos I made of Lila Lee with all of the colorful dresses. I found it on page A4 and pointed it out to my kids:

“Hey, check out the photo I took the other day,” I said, pointing to the page.

“I can’t see it,” said my nine-year-old son.

He was talking about the small size, but I couldn’t see my photo, either. Guess that’s how the news business goes. Here is the photo as it wants to be seen:

The story is that Lila Lee Christensen has had to close down her dress shop, which catered to prom dates and brides region-wide. Her entire inventory of high-end dresses has been contaminated by the gas leak, and faced with the prospect of starting over, she’s decided to shut down the 57-year-old family business.

We took several photos in the contaminated basement, trying different lighting and positioning. Since there was nothing going on, the situation was relegated to be a portrait.

I also put together a slideshow on the story, which came together quite well. I’m not linking to every slideshow I do. Only the good ones. Here’s where to find it: http://166.70.44.68/multimedia/1108_gunnison/index.html

Election Night – Ralph Becker

Shot with a 35mm lens, this is how close I was to Salt Lake City Mayoral candidate Ralph Becker for a couple of hours on election night. He was my assignment.

The results were coming in showing a huge Becker win.

Hugs all around. Wouldn’t it be great if Becker had tiny hands? Or if my 21mm lens wasn’t a 16mm lens?

Sticking close paid off when Becker’s opponent, Dave Buhler, called to concede. I don’t think any other media were around.

After Buhler called, Becker said, “I’ve got to call my mother!” That’s who he’s calling in this shot.

Preparing to make his winner’s speech.

Soaking it in. It was packed. No room to manuever.

Hug from a supporter.

Hug from his girlfriend, who didn’t want to tell us her name. Then she finally did: Sallie Shatz. I’m obviously on the wrong side on this moment (50-50 odds) and my competitor got a great shot out of it.

His photo was of the kiss, which looked pretty lame on my side:

There were some nice moments in the take. Our A-1 was pretty much tight joy:

Utah Jazz vs. Golden State Warriors

Took a welcome detour from the routine at Saturday’s Jazz game. Lowered the shutter-speed. Made for a fun photograph of Deron Williams during player introductions.

The rest of the game was very typical. I was thinking that my shoot was a little weak but then remembered the Jazz team photographer, Melissa Majchrzak, complaining about the weak game at halftime. Some games don’t have a lot of compelling action, and this was one of them. Lots of jump shots and three-pointers, a big lead. The entire second half I was bored out of my mind. The Warriors just couldn’t get back in the game.

Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur (13) scores two with Golden State Warriors center Patrick O’Bryant (26) and forward Andris Biedrins (15) defending.

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