Month: January 2010

FIS World Cup Aerials Composite

I was bugged standing on the hill at Deer Valley for the World Cup Aerials finals last week. It wasn’t the cold conditions, or my weak batteries that were getting me down. It was the shooting conditions. Before I go further, it was nothing about Deer Valley. They organize a perfect event every time, and in the small world of winter sports they stand out as one of the best.

Here’s what was bugging me about the shooting conditions… Photographing world class skiers flipping through the air is very cool, but the finals are at night so you’ve got them against a black sky which takes away all context. The best shots of aerials are usually during the day from way up top behind the jumps looking down toward the crowd, and I hadn’t been able to make it to the earlier qualifying session with its dazzling blue sky. Winter sports photography tip: Shoot action during the qualifying and emotion during the finals.

Another annoyance is that a still photo never really captures the skill and technique of this sport. So what do you do when you end up with a thousand-plus photos of flipping skiers on a plain black background? I needed something different from last year. Here’s what came to mind…

1.15.2010 Olga Volkova.jpg

That is Olga Volkova’s jump, in nine frames from left to right. And that’s kind of a fun way to look at it, but why stop there?

Here are the lady skiers from the finals in order of their results, gold medal on top, down to twelfth place at the bottom…

aerials ladies final.jpg

It makes for an eye-catching poster. And check out the Chinese skiers in red taking five of the top six spots. Here are the men…

aerials mens final.jpg

With a little bit of thinking, the very thing that bugged me about the conditions— that boring black background— was turned into an asset and something cool was created. Stop by some day and see the 16×20 inch prints on my wall.

Stolen at the Huntsman Center: Canon 16-35mm lens Serial #336231

1.09.2010 0790.jpg

My beloved 16-35mm lens was last seen somewhere in this photo, surrounded by friends and amidst the gear of several photographers at the Utah vs. TCU mens basketball game Saturday afternoon. It’s hard to imagine that someone could have stolen it from under my nose during the game. I’d much rather think that another shooter accidentally shoved it into their bag without realizing it was mine.

But after checking with the shooters at the game, I’m beginning to accept the obvious. It was stolen.

If you stole it, congratulations on stealing an old 16-35mm lens. I’m sure you will enjoy its trademark softness, its poor image quality outside the center of the frame, its horrid lens flare, and its inability to focus sharply on most subjects. If you want the half-smashed lens hood to go with it I could probably find it in the basement.

But seriously, you will enjoy the primo B+W filter that I spent a hundred of my own bucks on.

(Note to detectives: the lens was stolen with no hood and a B+W UV filter. It had a rear cap)

If you stole my lens, you should know you have caused a lot of unnecessary drama for me and my employer. This lens wasn’t the toy of a hobbyist. It was a professional’s tool that helped me to earn a living. It has traveled the country and has seen things that you could only dream of. Screw you.

If anyone has any information about my 16-35mm lens, please contact me. I just want it back, nothing more.

The lens can be returned anonymously to:

Trent Nelson
The Salt Lake Tribune
90 S 400 W #700
SLC, UT 84101