BYU Special Teams

I’ve been working this scene all season long. I know there’s an even better photo, but here’s the closest I’ve got.

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Provo – BYU’s Michael Alisa (48), Bryan Kariya (28) and Jordan Pendleton (27) attempting to block a punt by New Mexico’s Adam Miller.

US Attorney Through the Viewfinder

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Shot through a TV camera viewfinder, United States Attorney Brett Tolman announced Wednesday, October 8, 2008 that, “18 individuals were charged with importing controlled substances, distribution, money laundering and other violations in connection with internet pharmacies.”

Rep. Greg Hughes

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The call from an editor said to rush up to the state capitol, where the House Ethics Committee was about to announce their decision on allegations against Rep. Greg Hughes. Then there was a lot of waiting. I found out where Hughes’ office is and lined up a shot (above). He’d have to walk down this hall, and I liked the exit sign symbolizing the end of this story. In this case, it looked better through the viewfinder than on the screen.

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Hughes and his wife, Krista, walked past the other media.

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Hughes went inside the committee chamber, and Krista waited with us for a few minutes until the meeting was opened to the public.

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When an officer opened the door I walked into the room first, quickly calculating where the best position would be. Spying the windows along the right wall I went to that side of the room, knowing that I wouldn’t want to shoot into the window light. While a couple of other photographers paused and asked permission to shoot from behind the committee (denied), I simply took a seat up as far as I dared, acting like I belonged there. Now I could shoot Hughes’ reaction from a little bit in front of him.

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I kept my 70-200 lens trained on Hughes and his attorney, Thomas Karrenberg, not wanting to miss any reaction. As the “verdicts” were read, all going in Hughes’ favor, he looked over to his attorney and smiled.

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Once I had a good shot from in front I moved to a seat behind Hughes. This angle gave me the committee behind him, and I had a shot in mind for the end of the meeting

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More reaction, this time tight.

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I had initially moved behind Hughes because that’s where his wife was. And when the meeting adjourned, I got the moment I anticipated. Hughes seemed to get a little emotional has he embraced his wife.

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They quickly left the room.

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Hughes then went back to his capitol office down the hall, where he and his entourage celebrated behind closed doors. We could hear them laughing and high-fiving and see blurry silhouettes hugging.

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I decided to wait and get some kind of shot as they left the capitol. Looking at it now, I shot it with the wrong lens: it’s too tight. I should have gone wide for this one. Anyway, here’s how my work was used on today’s front page:

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Bountiful vs. Sky View Football

A selection from last week’s Bountiful vs. Sky View high school football game. Edited with photographers in mind.


Bountiful Captains

Pre-game

Coin Toss- My wide-angle is tweaked.

The Mosh

Banner Bust

Bountiful fans: “Take Our Picture!”

Bountiful fans: “Take Our Picture!”

Touchdown run

Touchdown run

East Soccer – S.O.T. ??

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fist.jpgI’m ignoring the big picture by noticing too many small details. So instead of posting a bunch of photos from the East vs. Provo soccer playoff game, I’m sitting here thinking, What does S.O.T. mean?

Which Fan (Or) Are You?

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BYU fans in LaVell Edwards Stadium, BYU vs. New Mexico, Saturday October 11, 2008.

I look through the fans in the photo above and instantly know which one would be me. It’s the guy in the tan jacket with his back to the game, staring at the snow falling in the mountains. I just can’t imagine sitting and watching sports. Without a camera my mind would be elsewhere. I’ll get to that at the bottom of the post.

If you came looking for photos of the BYU game, I apologize. I’m trapped inside this frame, looking for characters I can blow up into pixelized goodness. Like these:

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So do you have to be a sports fan to be a great sports photographer? The answer to me is clearly, “No.”

When I’m photographing a game, I don’t care whether the blue team or the red team wins. This is to my advantage because when the game gets close and tight I’m not worried about my team scoring the winning touchdown, I’m focusing on my photography.

After the Jazz lost their second shot at the NBA Championship in 1998, Sports Illustrated ran a double-truck photograph of Michael Jordan’s championship-winning shot. It was a brilliant photo, full of detail. You could see every face in the crowd and along the baseline. We immediately scanned the photo for the photographers we knew and noticed that every newspaper photographer but one were watching, not shooting. Only one had his camera to his eye, shutting out the emotion of the game, to capture the shot. The others were all staring in awe at the play like sports fans, missing the shot.

For the record, it was the Tribune photographer code-named “Cobra” who was shooting.

Okay, one more fan photo. I just noticed that this fan needs to get his zipper fixed:

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BYU vs. Utah State Football – Sack

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Logan – BYU defensive lineman Brett Denney (92) sits on USU QB Diondre Borel after sacking him. BYU vs. Utah State University (USU) college football Friday, October 3, 2008.

I’m getting way behind in posting, so here’s a quick one until I put up something else.

Utah State’s New Scoreboard

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I always shoot a photo of the scoreboard after a touchdown or some other big play. It’s a way of taking visual notes quickly so that my caption information is correct. At Friday’s BYU vs. Utah State game the new scoreboard in Romney Stadium was pretty, but it sure didn’t photograph well. I couldn’t read a thing.

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Utah Jazz – The New Hotness

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Salt Lake City – Utah Jazz guard Ronnie Price (17) goes up for a slam over Gabe Muoneke. Utah Jazz scrimmage Saturday, October 4, 2008.

Kind of weird to photograph Jazz basketball in a nearly empty arena. Just felt different without the usually atmosphere.

The great news for the upcoming season is the new lighting. The ambient light will be twice as bright this year. Looks pretty good to me.

The Bat Boy Controversy

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Above: My cameras in the St. George courtroom during the trial of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, 2007.

There was a lot of comment on Brooke’s polygamy blog about the Weekly World News’ Bat Boy courtroom photo from the other night. One of my responses was so long I figured I’d post it here:

Remember, I’m not out to justify or demonize the doctored photo that appeared in the Weekly World News. It’s not my work so I don’t have to stand up for it. But it’s obvious, from your comments here, how much it means to some of you out there.

I talked to the photographer who took the photo last night. He works for an agency whose photos go all over the world and he had no knowledge that his photo had been doctored. I can’t really quote him further, but the matter is being looked into.

I’ll tell you why the photo caught my interest. I sat in that courtroom for multiple court hearings and the two week trial of Warren Jeffs. I sat in the same chair that photo was taken from for many hours, looking over at the defense table while covering a story of huge historical importance to the FLDS faith and the world of the principle. That scene with Warren is burned into my personal memory.

As a young boy I would occasionally pick up the Weekly World News at the grocery checkout and see what crazy headlines they had each week. It was always something ridiculous and amusing, like the story of the cannibal food critic who rated the people he had eaten based on their nationalities, or reports of Elvis being spotted alive. As FTTC commented, juvenile might be the right word for this type of comedy. It’s truly absurd stuff, for sure.

I remember picking up the 1992 issue where they “reported” the discovery of Bat Boy in a West Virginia cave. Many Bat Boy articles followed in later editions.

So I stumbled on a series of Bat Boy articles published by the Weekly World News the other night. I clicked on a headline about Bat Boy suing Batman in a paternity fight (absurd, right?). The story came up and I saw the photo of the Warren Jeffs courtroom. What is Wally Bugden doing in a photo for a Bat Boy story? I thought. And then I noticed that they had put Bat Boy’s head onto a person that the FLDS call a prophet of God.

At that moment, two elements of my life that couldn’t be further apart came together in a very strange way. And that’s how I wrote it up in my blog post.

Go back and re-read my post. I never offered an opinion. I never said it was funny. I called the story about Bat Boy suing Batman “comic fiction.” (Batman is in comic books.)

I do find it an absurd coincidence that they used that photograph from that specific courtroom. I don’t personally think those wacky tabloid editors in Florida picked that photo just to offend the FLDS, even though it does offend them. Maybe I’m wrong and they did it on purpose.

Your opinions are all valid and I find them interesting to follow. I just wanted to give you more information on how this all started.

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