Gordon B. Hinckley

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Gordon B. Hinckley, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed away Sunday. He was seen by millions of Mormons as a prophet, whose words were wise, divinely-inspired council to be followed.

I’m reminded of a day ten years ago in Zimbabwe. Peggy Stack and I were following Hinckley across Africa. I was standing on an airstrip weighed down with four cameras and a ragged crew cut. Hinckley took a long look at me and said, “You’d be much happier if you’d put those cameras away.”

Now that he’s gone I’ll never be able to ask: Was that a prophecy, or just a joke?

Remembering Vanessa

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Salt Lake City – The family of Trolley Square victim Vanessa Quinn embrace each other at the site of a tree planted in Quinn’s name in Memory Grove, on Tuesday, January 29, 2008. Left to right: Ken Antrobus (father), Sue Antrobus (mother), Stacy Lesch (aunt), and Jen Campbell (sister).

This was a unique moment to witness. The Antrobus family had traveled to Utah for a briefing on the Trolley Square Massacre Report, which law enforcement released today. We had an early scoop on the story and were waiting outside the meeting for any comment the families might want to give. The Antrobus family were headed to Memory Grove, where a tree was previously planted in Vanessa’s name, and they allowed me to follow along.

Seeing the tree, Sue Antrobus asked jokingly, “Is it too little for me to carve my initials into?”

Walking back to our cars, I talked with Ken Atrobus (Quinn’s father). He said, “We got handed a life sentence. I cry every day.”

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Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony

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Park City – Lisa F. Jackson (above) gets emotional accepting the Special Jury Prize: Documentary for her film, The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo at the Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony, Saturday, January 26, 2008.

I’m pleased to announce I got the very last media credential issued for this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The festival ended just hours after my photo had been taken and pasted to a credential hanging from an Entertainment Weekly lanyard. It was a cool distinction for me and I was glad that my sole Sundance assignment involved artists rather than celebrities. I got to photograph the festival-ending awards ceremony, where you sit in a chair for an hour and hear about dozens of amazing films that you have to wait a year or so to see.

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Park City – Director Quentin Tarantino announces the film Frozen River as the winner of the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic.

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Park City – Director Marina Zenovich (right), hugs juror Annie Sundberg while accepting the Documentary Editing Award for Joe Bini and the film Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.

Jazz vs. Kings – Ron Artest

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From the start of the game (Utah Jazz vs. Sacramento Kings), I noticed the fans taking a serious delight in taunting Sacramento’s Ron Artest. It was especially vicious stuff like, “Go beat your wife” and even, “Go feed your dogs!” The guy on the top right of the photo above is twirling his finger making the common gesture for INSANE.

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In the second half it seemed to get to him. He got into a couple of shoving situations with Matt Harpring, and pretty soon I was just keeping the focus on him non-stop. Just in case.

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At this point he scored and was fouled and started pounding his fist to the crowd. Lots of reaction there. But then he fouled Andrei Kirilenko and was thrown out of the game with his second technical foul. Look at the reaction of the Jazz fans as he walks to the locker room:

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Jazz vs. Kings – Getting Bugged

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The Utah Jazz hosted the Sacramento Kings the other night. I was expecting a good shoot, but it seemed like the jumbotron photographers and their cable-pullers were getting in my way all night long. The cameraman kept leaning out in front of me, and his hefty cable-puller buddy took up 1.5 floor spots. It felt like I was photographing with tunnel vision: on the left I had the refs and on the right I had these guys. It was so bad I had to get up and move to another shooting position. But if I hadn’t been so ticked off, I never would have captured this fine moment:

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BYU vs. SDSU – Storytelling

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I’ve talked a lot about storytelling in sports photography. The best sports photos to me are of the big play or a key moment. The other night at BYU vs. San Diego State, my key shot was when BYU’s Trent Plaisted took a charge, giving SDSU’s Ryan Amoroso his fourth foul. As you can see above, Plaisted let out a yell and Amoroso is, like, “What?”

After a moment like this, you realize that it will be worthless if the game ends up otherwise. BYU held on to win, so to me the photo told the story of the game perfectly. I sent it in but sadly it wasn’t published until now.

For you basketball fans, a couple of action shots. Everyone else can stop reading.

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(Sam Burgess, above. Trent Plaisted, below.)

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BYU vs. SDSU pre-game

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During the pre-game introductions, you make a choice: Sit and watch, or stand and shoot. Above: Brigham Young’s Michael Loyd (left) and Sam Burgess.

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Above: Trent Plaisted.

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Above: Michael Loyd leads the BYU basketball team in screaming inside a swirling, chanting mosh-pit huddle.

Signs at BYU

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All noticed on Wednesday, around the pool and in the Marriott Center.

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I collect these.

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Seems like a great rule.

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It wouldn’t be funny without the last, hand-scrawled line.

Man from Burundi

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This was before Christmas.

Etienne Barabiraho is a refugee from Burundi. A single parent, he lives in Salt Lake City with his four children.

I photographed him while Sheena interviewed him in French. I heard familiar words like Mobutu and Kabilla and wished I could understand more.

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Getting a good shot during an interview can be challenging. For a quick moment Barabiraho’s three-year old son Iranzi Beatrice reached up to his father for attention. Perfect.

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