Thursday – Friday – Monday

Everything I’ll need to manage the photo staff today in one photograph.

A baby and a wedding have conspired to keep me out of the field for the next few days. Both photo editors are out of the office and I’m tasked with keeping everything running.

With all that goes on and all the characters involved, there’s an amazing reality TV show to be made with the photo department. Any photo department. For the photo editor, the questions and problems never stop coming. During an 8+ hour shift, there are very few moments where you can simply breathe and clear your mind.

I wrote this on the first day: “About a million things just happened in the last 75 minutes. A thousand questions and bunch of problems and a ton of maneuvering.”

Later I sat down and wrote, “It’s 4:33pm. Finally a moment to think.” And just as I finished those seven words, someone walked up to my desk with more questions that needed answers.

All photographers should spend time working the desk. You gain an invaluable view of the operation and how your own actions affect it.

After my first day as photo editor I leave the office and photograph a single mom. She’s very nice but is obviously a little uncomfortable being photographed for the story. As I leave she says, “I hope I never have to see you again, and I mean that in the best possible way.”

At the end of my second day as photo editor, someone forgot to put in an assignment to photograph a mountain bike trail. There’s no one able to do it so I simply shift my plans for the evening to mountain biking and sneak a few photographs as we enjoy a great trail.

On the morning of my third day as photo editor I find out that I was sent to the wrong bike trail. The photos can’t be used.

It never ends.

Wednesday – Real Salt Lake vs. Charleston Battery

sunset at Rio Tinto soccer stadium, home of Real Salt Lake

There is nothing that throws you off your shooting game like drama. And when you’re covering professional sports, the drama almost always concerns logistics. You run into problems with game day traffic, parking, credentials, where you’re allowed to shoot from, not having enough time, on and on. These problems put you in a mental place that makes it very hard to be creative.

I had a big logistical issue for tonight’s game. The problem was eventually fixed but not before I was left thoroughly frustrated. I decided to use that frustration to fuel the shoot. A great shoot would be the best cure.

Real Salt Lake's Ned Grabavoy leaps for the ball as Real Salt Lake hosts Charleston Battery in the US Open Cup Wednesday June 12, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
Real Salt Lake’s Ned Grabavoy.

Charleston's Nicki Paterson and Charleston's Dane Kelly celebrate Paterson's goal as Real Salt Lake hosts Charleston Battery in the US Open Cup Wednesday June 12, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
RSL fans react as Charleston celebrates an early 2-0 lead.

Real Salt Lake's Devon Sandoval heads in a goal in the first overtime period as Real Salt Lake hosts Charleston Battery in the US Open Cup Wednesday June 12, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
RSL’s Devon Sandoval heads in a goal.

Real Salt Lake's Joao Plata celebrates his second half goal as Real Salt Lake hosts Charleston Battery in the US Open Cup Wednesday June 12, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
RSL’s Joao Plata celebrates his second half goal.

Gear tonight, the 600mm and a 300/2.8. I mostly used the 600 to cover the field, but switched to the 300 for breakaways and set pieces at the near goal. Plus, I had the Fuji X100 on hand for any quick wide angle shots.

Most of the other photographers at RSL shoot with just one telephoto. A photographer seated in a comfortable camping chair looked over at me kneeling on the ground juggling the two large telephotos and asked, “You gonna shoot like that the whole game?”

I’m like, “Yeah.”

I’m a news photographer. I’m used to suffering.

Later I pull out my laptop to start editing and another guy says, “I didn’t know they ever gave you guys new laptops.”

I usually edit right on the field at halftime. There’s a nice work area up in the press box, with chairs, tables, drinks, and good people to talk to. I sacrifice those comforts so I don’t miss anything on the field. It pays off every time.

Wednesday – LED

IMG 5710

After a video shooter showed me a small LED panel he used for a fill light… Wait. After a video shooter showed me a small LED panel that only cost thirty bucks… Wait. After a video shooter showed me an inexpensive LED panel he used for a fill light, I ordered one.

It came today and I’ve been playing with it. There’s always a learning curve with new gear. You often start out not knowing the limitations and using it for every shot whehter it’s going to work or not. It just takes time.

The first reaction from my very unwilling test subjects was that it was blindingly bright at full power indoors. The diffuser is essential if you’re working with any subject with eyes, but it knocks off a half stop of light. This thing kicks out some serious light. I’ll be doing more tests in the next few days. Okay, let’s be real: I’ll be dangerously throwing it into real shooting situations before I have it figured out. There will be wins and losses.

IMG 5713

A few facts about the LED:

It’s primarily made for video.

It can be handheld, put on a tripod mount, or a camera hot shoe.

You can see exactly what you’re going to get, lighting-wise.

Comes with a snap-on diffuser as well as filters for tungsten and fluorescent environments.

I’ve got it mounted to an iPole Mini so I can reach it anywhere, like above the subject or out in front of me so I can back up a bit.

It’s not going to replace a flash. But for thirty bucks, it’s going to be a cool light to play with. Or, in a couple weeks it will be sitting in a drawer gathering dust. We’ll see. Either way, I’ll post some examples as we go along.

Here’s a link to it: Neewer® Pro CN-160 LED camera video lamp light

Miss Lissa Meow

Miss Lissa Meow dances as The Heavy Guilt performs at the Roots of the Rocks music festival at the Eagle Point Ski Resort Saturday, June 15, 2013 east of Beaver.

Roots of the Rocks

 

Real Salt Lake v Charleston Battery

Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune
Real Salt Lake’s Joao Plata celebrates his second half goal as Real Salt Lake hosts Charleston Battery in the US Open Cup Wednesday June 12, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune
Real Salt Lake’s Joao Plata celebrates his second half goal as Real Salt Lake hosts Charleston Battery in the US Open Cup Wednesday June 12, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

Tuesday

Again I find myself standing on a trail waiting for cyclists. This time, road bikers.

big mountain pass, utah

Here’s the view from Big Mountain. Perfect day and a lot of angles looking down the road to choose from.

I remembered on a spot on the Mormon Pioneer Trail where there’s a nice view of the S-curve. Grabbed the 300mm lens and started hiking.

Focusing on the lines of the road, I found options like these…

These were my two favorites:

cyclist at big mountain pass, utah

cyclist at big mountain pass, utah

Cycling Big Mountain Pass

Saturday

Went to Ogden today for a series of portraits. Ogden is a photographer’s dream.

vacant building, Ogden, Utah
That’s a lazy frame. Remind me to go back and shoot this place right.

At a baseball stadium I set up a couple of lights with umbrellas. Despite all efforts to weigh down and stabilize them, a small breeze repeatedly blows one of the lights over. It’s hardly the first time. These light stands are built like the arms of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, completely weak and unstable. Judging by all the bent metal parts in the light kit, they’ve obviously tipped over on the other photographers, too.

The shoot goes well and I’m out of there. I drive around Ogden for a while looking for some kind of photo to make the day mean a little more. Maybe this one is it, maybe not:


Maybe this detail, plus nipple, is it:

Later I’m standing in the candy aisle at a dollar store. This elderly woman using her shopping cart as a walker crosses my path ad blurts out, “You’d better be careful or we’ll wreck your printing press!”

I don’t know who she is, and quickly deduce she is channeling the dead, right here in Family Dollar! That’s a first for me.

A hint of things to come:

Close Menu