Sunday, November 11, 2007

Monday, November 5, 2007

Just some speaker shot assignment.

If you didn't hear about it yet, Bill Clinton delivered a speech in the Union Ballroom yesterday in support of Hillary's campaign. Excluding the part about how I arrived 3 hours early only for the event to be delayed another hour and a half, it was a very exciting assignment.

The press were limited to a small box behind all of the seating in the ballroom, which allowed for only straight-on speaker shots. Just as Clinton entered, security allowed photographers near the front. It didn't really work out so well. As Clinton walked to the podium and greeted the audience, the lighting was horrible and most of my photos came out blurry. By the time he had reached the podium, lighting was a little bit better but the moment was gone.

At least it gave all of us an angle other than straight on from the press box.

4:30. The speech begins. Every hand gesture Clinton makes brings about surges of clicking noises from the press box. Clinton gives a variety of different hand motions throughout the speech. I will now describe them in no particular order:

1. The Wave.

The Wave is the most common of Clinton's hand gestures and can add emphasis to just about anything. It is mostly used to give life to parts of the speech that draw the least amount of cheers from the audience. The gesture has no particular meaning, unless Clinton is giving his rare "Mime in a Box" performance. The Wave can also be done with the right hand, as seen here:

2. The Claw.

The Claw is used to build up to the more important parts of the speech, as a transition from The Wave.

3. Beached Squid.

Don't confuse The Claw with Beached Squid. They are two very different hand gestures, yet some choose to deny Beached Squid's existence. Its meaning is currenty unknown.

4. The Pointer.

The Pointer is used when speech focuses on a republican. It is used to help explain why said republican is wrong on a certain issue. The Pointer adjusts on three levels according to how wrong a republican has been about something. The above picture is an example of a Level 2, or "Rudy Giuliani" pointer. Below is an example of the Level 1: "Ron Paul" pointer:

The Level 3 pointer has no name, but is typically reserved for members of the Bush Administration.

This is a particularly severe Level 3. It could almost be classified as a Level 4, which has never been seen before by the likes of man.

5. Hadoken.

If too many pointers occur within a speech, Bill might reach "pointer overload." This is not good. This can lead to the Hadoken, which is the most deadly of hand gestures. During the Hadoken, Bill charges a ball of energy between his hands. The energy is then shot out into the audience, usually killing two or three and wounding several more. I could not take a picture of the Hadoken in action as it would have destroyed my camera. Luckily, I had recently picked up a Bubble Shield, which I deployed to protect myself from a potential Hadoken as other audience members fled in panic.

6. Cooldown.

Exactly how it sounds. Follows a Hadoken.

7. The ultra-rare "A-OK."

The A-OK is Clinton's rarest hand gesture. It was only given once during the entire speech, so it is a particular treat for photographers. If you look closely, you will see that the A-OK casts a shadow on Clinton's face. Rumor has it that if the circle created by his thumb and index finger fall perfectly over his eye, everything that humans know may cease to exist. This was certainly a close call, but we are all safe for now.


When the speech ended, crowds rushed in to shake hands with the Clinton. If you look closely, you might see that Ralph Becker is almost as excited as I am to take photos of Bill Clinton.

The security somehow expected all photographers to remain within the press box. Danny La from the Tribune, Michael Brandy from the Deseret News and I were all forced to operate like ninjas through the crowd. Security repeatedly hunted us down and told us to move back, or even tugged on our shoulders. But despite all of the shoulder-tugging, I held strong and managed to get some good handshake photos.

I wonder if he gets tired from shaking so many hands. Also, five bucks says the first thing he does after a speech is wash his hands. I know I would. I don't want 1200 people's germs on my hands.

This was my favorite of the bunch. I like the layers it contains and how its wideness shows the Union Ballroom and establishes a sense of place. I like the distortion of the handshake in the bottom left corner. I DON'T LIKE THE KID TAKING A PICTURE OF HIMSELF WITH A BIG RED CIRCLE ON HIS FOREHEAD. Stupid cameras.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This is what happens when you mix drinks...

I was at this crazy party last weekend with a wasted clown. I had to take care of him when he got sick, so it was sort of lame. Didn't anybody ever teach him "Beer before liquor, you've never been sicker / liquor before beer, you're in the clear"? And I'll have to admit, the popcorn tasted like shit.

I'm mad at Tyler because there was no lead art for the front page Thursday and he passed up the opportunity to lead the paper with a vomiting clown.

Since we're on the subject of parties, here are some other shots from a few "KILLER" parties!!! (I'm going to cry myself to sleep tonight for that pun):

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tyler Cobb hit by football players

You heard it here first.

I decided this photo deserved its own post. More to come.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

BREAKING OLDS: Lunar eclipse

I used the 400mm with a 1.4x converter on my handy tripod (sorry tripod, I know you did not enjoy this). I had to get lucky and catch the moon between clouds.
The color on the fully eclipsed moon is a bit exaggerated because of the longer exposure.

I defy you to take a photo with a more distracting background.

As if all the weight machines weren't enough, the guy bending over in the sleeveless shirt puts the icing on the cake.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What? A new post? And HDR

In my recent travels, I ventured as far away as Moab, Utah. That was a joke. I hiked around Arches National Park with a couple of friends and decided that since landscape photography is too boring by itself, I'd surely have to give high dynamic range imaging a try. So I handheld some bracketed shots with the D70 and made it all look pretty and fake with Photomatix, then made a pano with Photoshop. Here is the insane-looking product:

Monday, March 12, 2007

Six assignments that haven't made it to my blog this week because I've been too lazy.

Well, I realized the the internets just move too fast and I can't keep up with them, so I'll probably be making weekly posts rather than posting after every assignment.
Friday night: I covered the Utes' gymnastics meet against 1st-ranked Florida Gators. Can anyone else figure out why Florida and Ohio State have #1 everything? It must be really exciting to shoot sports for their college papers.

The Utes, er, Red Rocks, performed well in the first three events and led going into the floor event. In between the beam and this event, the fans in the stadium were just going nuts. There was a group of nine guys from the swim team who painted "UTAH-UTES" on their chests because they owed the gymnastics team a favor. I feld bad for the guy with the "-" painted on his chest because he was unnecessary.

Yeah, this shot was actually taken just before the Red Rocks' beam routine but I ended up liking it better than the closer shots I took because it is given context with the gymnast warming up on the beam.

Originally, I assumed this guy was with the rest of the shirtless group who were going nuts before the last event. After I heard the story about the other nine being from the swim team, I realized he probably either lost a bet or just thought he deserved some attention. Nipple piercings - ouch. I could tell the fans around him were laughing but at the same time awkwardly trying to pretend like he wasn't there.

Twenty minutes and a couple of mistakes later, the Red Rocks fell behind the Gators for a disappointing loss in what could have been a big upset. The gymnasts all lined up after the meet to thank the fans for coming and showing support.

Here's something I observed after making this post: The more I shoot sport events, the more I realize that my favorite photos from them usually aren't action shots.

Friday morning: Winners of the ASUU primaries were announced. Each party and its supporters crammed onto the Union patio to celebrate if they won or bottle up their frustration if they lost. Here were my favorite shots:

Especially during campaigning, politicans really do a great job of acting too nice to try to gain your vote. I loved this shot of Rick Pehrson before the announcements crossing his fingers because I think it really sums up the way Rick truly felt at the moment. It also takes a look into how he felt about the campaign overall, not really being sure whether he'd make it past the primaries. His party made it into the final elections with 40 more votes than the More 4 U party.
The FUSE party was the first to be announced as finalists. They won overall by a large margin.

Joe Coccimiglio, presidential candidate for the More 4 U party congratulates Rick Pehrson after the announcements.

This is my favorite shot of Cameron Beech with the Activate Party. Out on the patio, he had been wearing sunglasses and really kept a smile on his face while congratulating the winning groups. When activity on the patio was winding down, I headed back into the Chrony to upload photos, but found that a crowd was gathering around the ASUU windows because they had posted the actual tallies from the voting. I hadn't put my camera away yet and decided to take a few more photos of everybody waiting their turn to look at the papers on the window. The Activate party placed last with notably less votes than any other party and I noticed Cameron without his sunglasses looking a bit more disappointed after having seen the tallies.

Remember how I said there were going to be six assignments in this post? Well, I lied. I realized I didn't have enough to say about the other assignments. But maybe I'll throw in a couple of photos from them anyway.

ASUU election grievance hearings. The More 4 U Party (Orange) was found guilty of breaking red book ten times out of the 14 grievances filed against them.

Ha, I bet you thought this was moving, huh? It's actually just from a press/publicity photo shoot of Pioneer Theatre Company's Lost In Yonkers.

Beta Theta Phi volunteer day at the Boys and Girls Club in Rose Park.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

What I can't figure out about blogging.

Why is it that the space we are given to work with on these blog pages is like 6-7" horizontal? If you have page items on the right side, those take up 2" alone, so really I'm trying to add images with wraparound text in a space of no more than 4-5 inches. I didn't buy 19" LCD monitors to use only a small fraction of that size with a bunch of wasted black space on the sides. There's no point to post any wide angle images either because all of the detail is lost when "Large" means 2" x 4".

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Saturday Night Slaughter

Apparently, this is a large image.

Saturday afternoon I met with Tyler and Cody at the Chronicle to drive to The Marriott Center in Provo and cover the BYU vs. Utah rivalry game. The Utes won the tip-off and got off to a quick 6-2 lead that would disapper even faster. The Utes' early adrenaline vanished by the half and their faces displayed only lost hope throughout the second. Unfortunately, the face for lost hope happens to be exactly the same as the face for waiting in line at the DMV. Meanwhile, at the other end of the court, Cougar excitement was building as players watched the clock count down the minutes until they were inevitably awarded the MWC trophy and the Utes walked away with their tails between their legs. It was really difficult to keep myself from walking over to the other end of the court and taking the better photos that will undoubtedly line the front pages of state dailies tomorrow morning. But when the Jazz travel to the big games out of state and lose, those papers don't recap the game by running the other teams' celebrations either. Ute fans and students who read The Chronicle don't want to dwell in the fact that their team lost. All this left me wondering: is it more important to report equally on an event like a state-wide paper would when covering two Utah teams, or to cover the part of the story that applies to our audience? Tonight I tried to place myself somewhere in-between and as a result missed a lot of good moments.