Where Have I Been? Can’t Say.

chickens, roosters, whatever.
chickens, roosters, whatever. photo copyright Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune. All Rights Reserved

Brooke and I made a deal not to talk about our latest trip. So I can’t tell you where we went or about any of the interesting people we met and talked to. I can’t tell you what a great story it is from every angle. You’ll just have to wait and I’ll have a lot to say when it runs.

So here’s a photo from the trip that isn’t geotagged, isn’t captioned, and has no location info whatsoever. And I’m loving the fact that Adobe finally, finally, figured out an easy way for me to get the correct color from my camera without shooting color charts and running calibration scripts that took hours and never seemed to work anyway. If you’re a photographer shooting RAW, make sure you go get Camera Raw 4.5 and the new DNG camera profiles (or LightRoom 2.0). You can find links to articles explaining the technology here.

Grand Jury – YFZ – The Rest

Wow. A long, draining day. We sat outside the courthouse waiting for something to happen for about ten hours. It was hot and miserable, even with shade and the blowing wind. Now that my molten Twix bar has been reconstituted in the hotel room fridge, I’ll attempt to recount the day. Mostly in photos. Stephanie says that I must have gotten good stuff, even if I’m too drained to consider the possibility.

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Grand Jury – YFZ – First Pic

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Eldorado, TX – FLDS member Janet Jeffs arrives with an unidentified attorney at the Schleicher County Courthouse, where a grand jury reconvened to consider charges stemming from the raid on the YFZ Ranch.

I just realized something funny. A real switch in how this story is covered. We’ve gotten to the point where we know the names of the FLDS members but not the names of the attorneys. That’s a reversal from days past, when I knew who the attorneys were but not the people.

Here is the news from this morning. We pulled up to see the yellow tape around the courthouse pushed further back from before, and the sprinklers spraying the grassy area we wanted to set up. But it wasn’t all that bad, they have moved the grand jury into an adjacent building, apparently because it has air conditioning and we found a better angle for the new situation.

No air conditioning out on the grass, however. We’re sitting at a picnic table in the shade.

At one point Willie Jessop came over to talk to Brooke and all of the other reporters and photographers ran over and started asking him questions like, “Where is Merril Jessop?” It’s the kind of question that journalists ask, but it’s not like Willie would answer. He wasn’t out to make a statement, but promised one later. He just cocked his head and kind of laughed the probing questions off. It seems obvious that he’s been subpoenaed to testify. Why else would he be allowed beyond the yellow tape?

One other thing from this morning. While we were all distracted with Willie, the Texas Attorney General pulled up and entered the building. By the time we saw him and sprinted over to get the pic, it was too late. Only the guy from the Eldorado Success got the photo.

Tomorrow’s Grand Jury – YFZ

So tomorrow is part two of the grand jury show at the Schleicher County Courthouse. We are all wondering what will happen, though the general consensus is that we will see some arrests made in cases involving underage marriages performed at the FLDS Church’s YFZ Ranch.

I’ll try to blog from my folding camping chair on the courthouse grounds tomorrow, but it will depend on how busy things get.

I know that people on both sides of the issue must be nervous about tomorrow’s outcome. As a neutral observer, the only thing I need to hope for is shade and a cool breeze. Whatever happens, I plan to be there.

In Flight

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Like the bumble bee flying from flower to flower, I’m about to go airborne again.

We’re all about smiles here at the blog, so this post is for laughs. I’ll write more when I’m conscious again, though that could be days from now. For now, some travel advice:

You never need to pack your suitcase for a trip if you didn’t unpack it after the last one.

What do I need to do to get ready for the trip? Here’s the list:

(NOTE: Portions of the following list have been redacted so as not to provide any information about our plans to the competition.)

1. Pick up XXXXX from the office.


3. Charge camera batteries, iPods (yeah, iPods plural), laptop, and cel phone.


5. Sync podcasts on the nano. Sync videos on the touch — remove Mad Men season one and whatever else I’ve watched. Put new videos on for the flights to and from XXXXXXX. Maybe it’s time to watch season one of The Shield again? I might need the adrenaline rush for those pre-dawn flights.

6. XXXXXXXXXX the stuff that I said I would XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and the same thing with the XXXXXXXXXX and Francis.

7. Pray that the accounting department turned my company credit card back on after I finally turned in all of those delinquent expense reports.

8. Send a nice gift to the accounting department for their understanding about the late expense reports. Charge gift to the company credit card.

I’ll just improvise the rest of the trip preparations. If I’m lucky I’ll have enough clothes. If not, these ancient words of wisdom will apply:

Only if someone sees you twice do you need more than one shirt.

Deron Williams Press Conference

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On Friday Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams signed a contract extension. As Ross Siler reported in the Trib:

Having concluded that the Jazz’s “track record speaks for itself,” Williams signed a three-year extension with a fourth-year option that will pay him between $50 million and $70 million and keep him in Utah at least through the 2011-12 season.

I’ve had a few of these press conference-type assignments lately and was thinking of putting together a post on how to work these situations where good moments and angles can be hard to find. But the idea of writing that post was boring me to tears so I’ll just give you a couple of press conference photography tips.

First, look for anything out of the ordinary, like Deron’s little girl Daija peeking under the table before things got started:

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Second, anticipate. They announced that Deron would come down from the podium for interviews. His wife Amy was directly in his path, so it was a pretty good guess that he would stop and “interact” with her:

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Here are some of the other frames:


American Idol – Faces of Disappointment

The reactions of David Archuleta fans as David Cook is announced the winner of the seventh season of American Idol during a live broadcast.
The reactions of David Archuleta fans as David Cook, not Archuleta, is announced the winner of the seventh season of American Idol during a live broadcast.

We’re going back nearly two months to the night that Utah’s David Archuleta DID NOT win American Idol. It’s taken me that long to get to these photographs and piece together what the face of disappointment looks like.

Here’s a little of the creative process. As the announcement was made, I shot photos of the fans from across the arena with a 400mm lens. Photos like this:

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I went through 25 photos like this and pulled out these 70 faces:

The reactions of David Archuleta fans as David Cook is announced the winner of the seventh season of American Idol during a live broadcast.

Once I had the 70 photos on the screen (oh yeah, it’s a 140 megabyte file with 70 layers), I started playing around with placement. It was quickly apparent that smaller groups of similar images would be more effective. Like this panel of people stunned with their mouths open:

The reactions of David Archuleta fans as David Cook is announced the winner of the seventh season of American Idol during a live broadcast.

And I couldn’t pass up playing with these pieces. Without heads:

The reactions of David Archuleta fans as David Cook is announced the winner of the seventh season of American Idol during a live broadcast.

and with:

The reactions of David Archuleta fans as David Cook is announced the winner of the seventh season of American Idol during a live broadcast.

Historic Downtown Provo

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The assignment was to photograph Provo’s historic downtown. In this case, I found historic to also mean decaying, like the vacant storefronts along Center Street (above). There were a few signs of life near University Avenue, like Chelsea Marvell on a date at the Smokehouse…

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…but most of Center Street was in poor shape. As an example, this Tribune machine, loaded with yellowed copies of our competition’s edition from three weeks ago:

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None of these were published. The story ran with a photo from the reporter. Here’s the page:


Utah Men’s State Amateur Golf Tournament

I always start out a little unsure of myself when shooting golf. Maybe it stems from early in my career when I didn’t know what I was doing and constantly found myself getting in the way of the game. I may never get over the trauma of a bunch of people waving at me to move out of the way just before a ball slammed into my golf cart, or the time Utah Jazz “center” Greg Ostertag tried to nail me with a ball. But those events were years ago. Now that I know what’s going on, and Ostertag is retired, I can find the storytelling photos.

Devin Daniels faced Darrin Overson in match play. That made things easy. My notes from the day:

Devin Daniels – white cap, white shirt

Darrin Overson – blue shirt

The play was slow. It seemed like every time a golfer lined up a shot a car would go by, a motorcycle would appear, a train would blow its whistle, a cel phone would ring, or a camera shutter would fire, causing yet another delay.

Daniels won, and faces Dan Horner today for the championship.

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