Salt Lake City , Utah

The Flying Goalkeeper

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My thanks to Davis goalkeeper J.T. Webster. This guy was all over the place vs. Skyline, making leaping saves, diving saves, and putting his head in the way of several pairs of flying cleats.


Give me a cloudy day and a soccer game anytime, especially with a goalkeeper like Webster.

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Salt Lake City , Utah

The School Play


March is Shakespeare time at the boys’ school. Days of memorizing lines, sewing costumes, building sets. It’s really fun watching my kids quote from The Tempest or MacBeth.

But being the photographer dad isn’t always as fun. I’ve taken photographs of these plays over the past couple of years and never really got anything I liked, let alone anything I wanted to share with the other kids’ parents. It’s always very dark and more than anything I’m wanting to watch rather than photograph. Then I’m faced with the dilemma of getting a good shot of every single kid. It’s impossible.

I was faced with that dilemma again this year as I sat in the front row before the 6th grade production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. How was I going to make meaningful photographs of this play, in this dark classroom, with a cast of thirteen kids coming and going?

Some other parents walked into the room, looked around and said, “Wow, look at the set. How beautiful!”

That’s when the lightbulb went on and I knew exactly how I wanted to photograph the play. Here is the result:


As always with my composites, I wish you could see the 13×30 inch print sitting on my desk right now. Way better than the 550 pixel version.

Midway , Utah

Nordic Combined

Midway – Nordic Combined US National Championships at Soldier Hollow, Saturday, March 15, 2008.
Midway – Nordic Combined US National Championships at Soldier Hollow, Saturday, March 15, 2008.

The End – HS State Championships

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This year Skyline won. These post-game celebrations are full of great moments and faces. It’s a shame I can’t stop time (yet) so that I could do some real compositions. These chaotic moments when players go crazy become a frenzy of grab-shots. Both of these frames were made with the camera held up over my head. The key is to know your camera and know your lens, so that you can point it at a scene and know what you’re capturing even when you aren’t looking through the viewfinder.

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That’s Skyline senior Jenteal Jackson, letting out a scream after they beat American Fork for the state championship. Key player, key moment. I’ll admit it: Luck.

Salt Lake City , Utah

Skyline Soccer

fans sequence. Salt Lake City – Skyline vs. Davis boys high school soccer, Thursday, March 13, 2008.

Richfield , Utah

5th Foul – HS State Championships

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Richfield – Piute High School’s Krystyna Lamas (left) wipes a tear from her eye after fouling out of the game in the 4th quarter of the 1A State Championship game. Rich High School went on to win the title.

Another series of state basketball championships and the only photos that matter to me now are the storytelling moments. The jump shots, steals, rebounds, and scrambles that I captured at high shutter-speed— you could literally throw them all out and I would never notice them missing.

For those of you like Ben Weasel who don’t care about high school sports, just one more post and we’re out of this series.

Down On The Floor – HS State Championships

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This photo (of Sky View’s Natalie Harris in the championship game) reminded me of a time about ten years ago when we had a rash of complaints over our coverage of high school girls basketball. The complaint could be boiled down to this: all of our photos of girls playing basketball showed the girls on the floor scrambling for a ball that had slipped out of their hands, making them appear clumsy and not very athletic.

We pulled up every basketball photo we’d taken that month, from the NBA to the pee-wee’s, and found that the complaint was NOT accurate as far as girls basketball was concerned. What we did notice was that nearly all of the NBA photos we were running were of the same out-of-control moments the readers were complaining about. Guys fumbling the ball, looking stupid, grimacing as they collided with one another. Regardless of the talent on the court, we had produced a gallery of NBA dunces.

I once shot a girls high school basketball game, sitting next to a photographer from another newspaper. After the first quarter of the game this guy started packing up to leave. When I gave him a little grief he said, “This is girls basketball. Nobody cares! It’s going to be a small photo on an inside page, so why bother? I’m out of here.”

I stayed the whole game. At halftime I noticed this table covered with junk food. Muffins, Red-Vines. The team mom wouldn’t let me anywhere near it. It was for players only. Layton won the game. A girl had McFly written on her shoes. I got a great shot.

New topic.

I once worked with a sports editor at another paper who hated to see empty seats in the backgrounds of photos. That’s the main problem he’d see with this one:

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Escalante , Utah

Pre-Game – HS State Championships

There’s often a big difference in the photographs newspaper photojournalists take today vs. the photographs taken historically. Those of today are typically shot tight and clean with crisp expensive long glass. They’re pretty, but in a way we’re suffering from tunnel vision. Often when I’m editing my take from a basketball game I realize that none of my photos show a historical view of the overall scene. Hundreds of action shots seem meaningless when compared to an image like this that captures the climate and culture of America today:

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Then the lights go down for pre-game introductions (oh, it’s Piute vs. Escalante for the 1A State Basketball Championship). I can either sit back or shoot. These photographs seem to have no life in print. I shoot.

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Raise your hands if you like these kinds of photos.

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