2019 Week Five

Utah Capitol rotunda in Salt Lake City on Tuesday Jan. 29, 2019.
Utah Capitol rotunda

Write your own joke: To get a press media pass from the Utah Legislature you’re required to take Workplace Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Training.

Someone tells me the training is supposed to stop lobbyists from going after the interns. Of course, the benevolence and lack of judgment toward others as taught in the training isn’t always apparent in Utah lawmakers’ proposed legislation.

Assignment: State of the State

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) A full House Chamber stands and applauds families who lost loved ones in law enforcement, military and public service as Governor Gary Herbert delivers his State of the State address at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday Jan. 30, 2019.

Ran into someone who used to be a XXXXXXX. There was no need to talk about details, we both know the math and how it probably works out on a chalkboard for the next two years.

Woke up in the night and thought over and over about the situation. Finally got bored with it and went back to the book I’m reading, On the Front Line: The Collected Journalism of Marie Colvin. No matter how bad your problems are, reading about Saddam hanging people over a fire until their legs slowly burned up…

Not really.

Assignment: Utah v Oregon

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Oregon Ducks forward Kenny Wooten (14) flies over Utah Utes center Jayce Johnson (34) as the Utah Utes host the Oregon Ducks, NCAA basketball in Salt Lake City on Thursday Jan. 31, 2019.

Waiting for the Governor to speak and a guy comes up, Is that a real Leica?

We go on to have a great conversation racing through the past forty years of photography – shooting sheet film, Hasselblads, photographing bombs exploding and missile engine tests with high speed cameras on the proving ground.

It’s the kind of thing that happens when you carry a Leica.

Photographing birdwatchers. Is that a Leica?

Shawn’s dog Bella

We lost Shawn this week. At 35. Just a boy. He had a loving family who gave him a fitting sendoff. I’ll always remember photographing him and Scott in a fountain thirty years ago.

Assignment: Utah v Oregon State

2019 Week Four

trees, snow, sunrise, Tuesday Jan. 22, 2019.
Snow at sunrise, Westminster College.

Images > words this week.

A few from a new ongoing series taken with the Leica and 21.

Finished the week off by installing Pi-Hole. Everything looks so clean now. After two hours, 756 queries blocked, 23.9% of traffic. Brilliant.

Assignment: Selection of New Salt Lake County Mayor

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Stone Fonua speaks as members of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party’s central committee gather to choose a new county mayor from a field of four candidates at Corner Canyon High School in Draper on Saturday Jan. 26, 2019.

Posting the most interesting, not the most popular.

2019 Week Three

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Upset community members attend a meeting over worry that a ban on big trucks on Legacy Parkway is about to expire, unless the Legislature extends it. Residents raise their hand in support of not raising the speed limit on the Parkway during the meeting at Foxboro Elementary School in North Salt Lake on Wednesday Jan. 16, 2019.

The Leica and 21mm continue to give me unique angles…

Assignment: Mitt Romney meets with Weber County Commissioners

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Senator Mitt Romney meets with Weber County Comissioners in Ogden to discuss the ongoing government shutdown on Friday Jan. 18, 2019.

Assignment: Women’s March

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The 2019 Women’s March on Utah at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday Jan. 19, 2019.

Lunar Eclipse

2019 Week Two

clouds, sunset, lds temple, cedar city, Thursday Jan. 10, 2019.

Assignment: Vigil for fallen officer

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune)
Family members listen to Officer Alex Felsing speak at a candlelight vigil in Provo on Wednesday Jan. 9, 2019 for Officer Joseph Shinners, killed Sunday morning while trying to arrest a fugitive.


For thirty years I kept things pure. Now I have done the unthinkable: I have mounted a non-Leica lens onto a Leica M. I will never speak of it again.

Yeah, we’ve all done horrible things but that was really bad.

I have a 21mm again. The distortion is nearly non-existent. I am blown away, as I expected to be.

Driving South

Santaquin, Utah
Cedar City, Utah

Assignment: Cedar High Redmen

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune)
Mohey Tawa, the Cedar High drill team, performs at halftime of a basketball game vs. Canyon View.
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune)
A water tank above Cedar City with the Redmen mascot of Cedar High School. The school is considering a change in the name of its mascot, The Redmen, Friday Jan. 11, 2019.

The Long Drive Home

Zion National Park
Red Canyon

Day Off

After working all week and being out of town for three days there is finally a day to spend together. We’re together on the couch when the phone rings – Possible active shooter at a shopping mall. You need to go.

I’m trying to cup the phone so she doesn’t hear. That’s what you do these days, try to hide the news you’re hearing, seeing, and reading so that all the everything-awful doesn’t get to her.

The week began with the vigil for the fallen officer, where I stood next to his family and listened to their loss. And now I’m supposed to drive toward what could be a mass killing. I grab my kit and start the car. It’s only fifteen minutes away this time.

Assignment: Shooting at the mall

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune)
People evacuate with their hands aloft after a shooting at the Fashion Place Mall in Murray on Sunday Jan. 13, 2019.

Luckily it wasn’t a massacre.

2019 Week One

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) University of Utah gymnast Karl Lee, Wednesday Jan. 2, 2019.

Assignment: Gymnast Kari Lee

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) University of Utah gymnast Kari Lee, Wednesday Jan. 2, 2019.

I find myself momentarily monumentally bored with the SLR camera.

In its place I have taken to using rangefinder cameras. This move opens up my vision while at the same time causing me to miss moments, at least until I re-tune my rangefinder skills to their previous levels.

It’s a tradeoff I’m making in order to be more creative, and I want to see exactly what I’m getting.

The cool kids will tell you that equipment isn’t important, that gear talk is lame. As if equipment choices don’t have a huge impact in your work. Each item you equip drives you down a specific creative road, and yet we’re not supposed to do gear talk.

I will tell you that the sameness of old gear puts you in a rut. And I can say from experience that once you lose confidence in a piece of equipment – a lens that after banging around for a while now seems soft, a camera that seems off – you will rarely be able to restore confidence in that piece of gear.

The ultra-fast 50mm with EVF on the Leica M is a dream. Things look good. Old People who hate having their picture taken look good. It’s a fresh look.

The look comes at a cost. Shooting at f 1.1 comes with a razor thin margin of focus -> manually focusing is challenging and slow, requiring the subject to remain as still as possible. And the EVF puts me into live view with its many delays. With this setup there is no deliberate catching of moments, it’s strictly up to cruel fate.

But there are successes.

In this new world the SLR remains on my shoulder for telephoto work, and also, to reassure people that I’m a real photographer. The big lens is part of the costume.


Assignment: National Guard Deployment

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Captain Tyler Boyle embraces his daughters Avery, right, and Alexis in Draper on Wednesday Jan. 2, 2019. Tyler is one of eighteen Utah National Guard soldiers who are deploying to Fort Meade, Maryland, for 400 days to conduct cyber protection operations.