Friday, July 30, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Damon Conrow

Damon has been addicted to heroin for seven years.
In hopes of ending the cycle that slowly eats away at him, he pleaded up to first-degree felony so he could stay in prison longer than the state asked, for his drug distribution charges. It was the only way he could think of to get away from the drug.
I spent time with Damon before he went to prison, back in January, and visited him a few times in Gunnison, where he currently serves his sentence. He's gained upwards of 30 pounds and looks healthy again -- healthy enough for me to hardly recognize him after I saw him again for the first time back in April.
This story started as part of a giant project on opiate addiction in Utah. But after a couple of months I realized that I didn't have the time to do that on my own and I also thought Damon's story could very well stand on its own.
As I got to know him, the fact that he is a drug addict faded behind the story of his life, his lonely days and nights in his dad's basement. His withdrawal from a world he very much wants to be a part of and his desperate and unsuccessful attempts at escaping the drug. And through getting to know him my goal to show an addict's life became a desire to show Damon's life, with the addiction that's wrecking him being a part of it. A part of a lot more things I felt and saw when I spent time with him.

Video is here.
I also wrote the story, which is here.

why am i here?

Right after Christopher Kirvan, 17, fell to his death trying to climb a rock face at Ogden's Waterfall Canyon, I sat at the trailhead with my camera and watched his family trickle in.
With the light fading fast I saw one by one hearing the terrible news and while the shutter clicked relentlessly, my heart told me to pack up and let them grieve in private.
I also remembered Trent's blog post a while back, sharing some readers' thoughts about his photo of essentially the same scenario.
I don't often feel doubtful about shooting private situations but every once in a while I search for a reason why I should be there and why our readers need to see Kirvan's sister (below) having probably worst moment of her life. It's easy to figure out what my editor wants in this case and it's relatively easy to point my lens and shoot. But as I took home their cries ringing in my ears I just couldn't find a real reason that made me feel truly OK to be there. But then maybe it would be weird if that shot were easy to take. Or if the events didn't touch me. I think about photos of grieving people I have seen and how they often make me appreciate photojournalism for its power to make you relate. So then I hope that sometimes maybe the true meaning of a photograph reveals itself over time and not in the moment it was taken.

Monday, July 12, 2010

not bad for a day in the office

hoping to get shots of a wildfire, I took skyline drive from farmington to bountiful and was stunned speechless.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

micha in the trees

kids quietly mix with politics at the july 4 parade in kaysville
horse family

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

this is proof again

a few weeks ago i went to hang with a group of archeologists and some high school students in 9 mile canyon for a few days. it was the first time the paper had sent me anywhere for more than a day (probably because I have a tent and food was provided).
i was the only one going down there and had to shoot stills, video and write the story. having a writing background, i was glad to go, especially since i could sleep on the ground and play in the mountains.
but even though I had plenty of time to do interviews and shoot at 1 and 30 frames per second, it was hard to bring back work that satisfied me. when something cool happens and i'm not sure whether to produce pen and paper or hit record or the shutter release, work suffers.
sure, it was ok stuff but when i go somewhere for more than a day, i want it to be great stuff. so every time i try to do 'everything' i'm disappointed and come to the same conclusion: that a medium suffers if you try to shoulder another one at the same time.
anyway, here are some photos that are more of the playing around with the camera kind from a trip that was still pretty amazing. because what you can't see, we played in the mountains quite a bit , so much i had to put away the cameras and hold on for dear life...
here is the story, if you're interested.
Meghan and the Moon

Friday, July 2, 2010

sorry. if I start messing with html the results can't be pretty. be patient. i'll figure it out. inner wrapper? outer shell? what?