Saturday, October 30, 2010

In Memory of Greg

In Memory of Greg, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

In Memory of Greg Smith Jr.
A few weeks ago I asked him if he'd gotten the photos of Patrick's services to the family. We joked a little - he told me how good they were and that he'd like me to shoot his memorial. Little did either of us know that the moment would be to soon. He died in his sleep last week.

When I found out of his passing I made arrangements to be at his services. I offered my condolences to the family and offered my lens. Little did I know his family found the un-delivered DVD of images.

This image posted is one of a mistake. I shoot with two cameras and how they hang the command dials takes a beating. The D-90's flipped to manual where my settings were for a night shoot I did a few days prior. I've made little adjustments to this image besides bring up the darks. I do think it represents the services well. The two boys on the right are nephews and the man on the left is an official in the LDS Church.

My condolences to the family and to the friends of Greg Smith Jr. He is a character may our memories of him last on long after the printed images fade.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

70k plus screen shot

70k plus screen shot, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Thanks to those who click and follow me to flicker. I do appricate your willingness to look at my images. I am in the process of updating my images, cleaning up my duplicates, and removing un-interesting images.

I'll start posting again shortly as I get things back in order and get caught up on processing hiking images from this year's "KodaChrome" (fall color) season. This year is amazing unfortunately due to work I'm not escaping the valley as often as I want. Work is good. I do enjoy the employment even though it takes away my enjoyment of working on the computer to put images into place.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Alta Doe

Alta Doe, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I recognize it's been a while since I last posted. I've finally got my computer back up and running. I took it down to update some software. Doing this didn't take much time, what's taken the time is bringing all my projects back onto it.

I do have Davis County Fair images in the works. Fall hiking images in the works. Wildlife images in the works.

This morning I got up to Alta to photo hunt some moose. I saw one after a couple of hours. Deer though were visible through out my time. This doe is just off the road past the neighborhood. The wildflowers of August are fading quickly around her and frost is already nipping in the air.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Flip of Life

Flip of Life, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.
Beyond the protection of the helmet, this competitor of Pogopalooza 7 put on body armor. He used it too on his first attempt in the Best Trick set.

The sport of extreme pogo sticking is fairly new on the scene. According to the website it's come about within the last decade. Already I've seen in a fast search there's a dedicated following and a multi-million dollar industry building around it.

I shot from a sitting position most of the afternoon to give the impression that these guys were flying high. Indeed they are but I didn't get that impression with a few quick test shots from eye level.

More information about extreme pogo sticking can be found at

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Salty Zombies 2010

rdc-27-SaltyZombies2010.JPG, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Salty Zombies walk downtown left many a camera in want. For a while I'd say the photographers out numbered the zombies. This camera thankfully was his not one of ours.
For more information on Zombie Walks in Salt Lake City UT

For more information on the Salt Lake Camera Club see

Saturday, August 07, 2010

A Thousand and One Activities

Bella Star, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.
It's weekends like this that keep things interesting...
Yesterday morning I awoke to the announcement of the Sandy City Hot Air Balloon Festival. I got there this morning.

I then turned around after watching the balloon crews inflate their bags and to the Midvale Harvest Parade. Like many of the local parades the politicians came out. No big deal, it's cool. I write about them later. I did get a few good hand shake shots. May be the next prezzy will come and do something besides a drive by 'Honk & Wave'.

Following the parade I received a call from the SL Photo Club. The organizer of today's hike isn't well. I was asked to lead the short hike to the water falls formerly known as Donut Falls up Big Cottoonwood Canyon. The hike is still on. I'll park at the main road and hike into the actual parking lot, about a mile. The feature that made Donut Falls what it's named for collapsed with the spring run off this year. It's not a disappointment though. I find it a great starter hike for the Wasatch Mountains.

Tomorrow is the 3rd Annual Zombie Walk This will be spooky good. I do recommend off camera flash to punch the costumes into extra creepy. The website says to meet at City Hall/Main Library at 7 pm.  This will give us photog's plenty of light to shoot.

Also on tap for the next two weeks are two local county fairs. The Salt Lake County Fair begins this week and Davis County Fair is the week following. There will be plenty of shooting opportunities of many kinds.

And don't forget the Salt Lake Photo Club's show on August 13th 6-9pm at The Utah Arts Alliance Main Street Gallery
127 S Main Street in SLC.

Happy Shooting.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Art Show

I've got two images hanging at an up comming art show with the Salt Lake Photo Club.  This will be my first 'big & public' event where I'll be able to hear your feed back on the images submitted.  I'd love to see a few folks there.  I'd love to know what you're interested in.

The show is on Friday, August 13th 6-9 pm at the Utah Arts Alliance Gallery on 127s Main. Please just don't mark your calendars,  come on out!

I know there will be other grand work to see and artist to chat with.  The Salt Lake Photo Club is full of talented photographers & artists of beginning to professional levels.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Mr Big Paddles - aka Fred

Mr Big Paddles - aka Fred, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

After days of studying for an exam for my next employer, I took a few hours of rest and relaxation.

Several of my photographer friends told me of a few moose up at Alta. I headed right there armed with my Nikon D 90 and 70-300mm lens. Within minutes of hitting the trail I saw this big fella lounging in the trees. About ready to move on I decided to relocate on the trail and wait out the bugs annoying me. A few minutes later he began to move. Soon enough a cow and two calves trotted by, another cow came into view, and a smaller bull also came along.

Talking with another hiker I found out the big bull moose of the area is known as Fred. A twin of several years ago, his brother Barney has since left the area.

I couldn't believe my luck. I did keep my distance from these big creatures. I love a long lens for that very reason, it gives me a safe reach.

While at Alta I headed up to Cecret Lake and enjoyed a share of wild flowers of the Albion Basin.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Froggie's Team Photo

Froggie's Team Photo, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

This was last day of contract work for several of us. My team leader wanted a group photo so I pulled out the camera. A hundred plus degrees in the parking lot this speckled shady spot provided only limited relief. I worked quickly one on camera flash and motor drive on the self timer. I personally wish we could have grabbed this image before the first round of lay offs from the Census Project.

The last three months of working for the Census was good. The project taught me a lot and did provide a positive out bound call center experience. To my team thanks. To my team leader thank you. To all at the Census Project thanks for keeping it light.

Friday, July 02, 2010


_IGP2892.jpg, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Not only is it backpacking season, it's also carnival season.
I headed to the local carnie last night for a little light creativity. The rides cost but,to get in, is free. Tonight will probably be packed so I took full advantage of the quite Thursday.
This particular image is of the 'kamikaze' ride. I used a little zoom action in the bulb setting. Ah, got to love the variety of lights and sounds of the carnival.
Also in the same area it the 4th of July Rodeo. I could hear the announcers from my place. I'll say this of West Jordan UT, it's a weird city built up around a small town that got trapped in urbanexpansionville. I'm still exploring the streets even after calling WJ home for 2 years. I still find the lost barn and horse trailer next to a $300k house.
Any how take time to explore this weekend both with the lights and sounds of the local carnival and hometown events.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Season Opener

Return Image, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.
For most folks when they hear season opener they think their favorite team sport. I guess for me the season opener is part team and part game. My team includes the weather forecasters, the National Forest Service, and other hikers. Individually they have their parts, together the information exchanged leads to some awesome game. My game is seeing what is beyond the trail head.

This past weekend I garnered up my gear, some of it new, some of it dating back to when I first got into hiking. The image posted above does have flickr notes enabled which high light what I call important. Things like water and the map. I've already received word on why do I have a pair of shoes on my ruck. Easy, last year I took moccasins. Bad idea, when moccasins get wet they get heavy and take a long time to dry. These are croc's, they are 10 ounces, rubber, and comfortable for in camp and that short jaunt a little further out of camp, say to cast spinner into the lake.

This trip took me into the Kidney Lake area (Brown Duck Mountain) above Moon Lake Utah. I also headed to Clements Reservoir. My first night I slept a bit cold, so my second night I used the poncho as a sleeping bag sleeve on the outside of the hammock. I slept toasty, the sleeve I estimate added an extra 5 to 10 degrees of warmth. My sleeping bag is a Kelty -4C rated down. In a hammock a lot of warmth is lost to the underside due to compression. The sleeve added the lost air space back.

The trail itself is beautiful pines most of the way with nice clearings for ponds & streams. The surface varies from rocky to sandy to stream. There were plenty of rocks to hop along. The lakes are incredible with plenty of camp sites tucked away from others. Truly, one does not need to see someone else unless they want to see or be seen by them.

Things I am reconsidering already is this ruck is a medium torso size. It wasn't until day 3 that I found the right balance point for my 35lbs. I want to exchange this Go-lite for the next torso size up. I do have praises for the pack it does swallow what I put into it. I am minimalist but not an ultra-lightest. The difference is I like my comfort in camp as well as the ability to have the safety margin that an ultra-lightest removes. Most of my gear is double duty. My rain gear (gortex) is my evening wear when it starts getting chilly. The poncho is also a ground cover. The foam pad is a camp seat. The water bladder is a camp shower. I do have the 10 essentials held separately and do leave written word of my itinerary with family and in the car.

The first trip out every year is the shake down trip. Last year my pack weighed in at 45+ pounds, with food and water. This year the initial weigh in was 35 pounds. What changed? I changed my menu and swapped out some heavier gear pieces like a multi-tool for a pair of nail clippers and key chain knife. I trimmed the pad down to size, the holes allow body moisture to escape. I up graded the stove from a tablet and can to a canister Burton mini-stove, this move cut my cooking time in half and reduced my weight several ounces. I changed out hard bottles for water bladders and doubled my in camp water capacity while reducing weight. It does come down to exchanging ounces for ounces without adding up the dollars.

The season opener proved to be just that opening the season for something awesome.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tree Climbers

Luckau_selected_DSC3497_1.JPG, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Last Sunday morning I had the privilege to do a big family portrait session. I'm glad my friends showed up first to get me into the swing of things. I tried a few different poses with them. This tree climbing picture is one of my favorites of them.

Their clan began to filter in and for the next 2 - 3 hours I realized this is what I want to do. Take a look at the set and you will count over 30 individuals in the big family portrait. Yes, patience is a virtue. It can also be a fun curse. In the separate groupings the children were the most fun to work and create an image that incorporates each personality.

I learned a great deal in working with such a large group. The first is know the lighting. There is some speckling and shadows particularly with the big group set. Second, take more pictures then necessary. With such a large group not everyone will be looking at the camera. Third lesson is do not zoom in to closely. There are a few images where I chopped toes off.

As I processed the image I did include a wide white border know that some of the images will end up in picture frames. The white border will allow home printers not to use so much ink and will let them put the image into a frame without further chopping into the already close to frame images.

I know I am a beginner at family portraits. Each session or setting is a learning experience. I know that to become better I need to shoot more. I know that to shoot more I need people to focus on. As you are interested in getting an image taken please stop and see what I have to offer.

Thanks for stopping by.
Brian J

Friday, May 14, 2010

Trail Head A Head

Trailhead A Head, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I thought snow shoeing season was over. I am wrong. At the last minute I grabbed the hard-decks out of storage and I am glad I took them. I headed up to the White Pine area as part of my spring trekking rituals go. I do not go all the way to White Pine Lake itself as part of the approach crosses avalanche territory. The snow literally conditions literally changed with each step.

The weather recently is a photographer's dream come true with the myriad of clouds passing over. As for the skiers they say differently, particularly those in search of sugar snow conditions. This image is taken upon return to the trail head which is but 200 yards a head.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

GLSC Art Show

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is the church I grew up at.  I'm one of these characters who can tell you 'I remember when stories' about the place.  I wouldn't recognize the place if I didn't stick my head in there every so often to say hey and howdy the folks there.

One of the activities that is up and coming in less then a fortnight is the annual art show.  There are many talented people in and through out the church and who like me stay inter-connected with it.  The date of the Art Show is Saturday May 8th.

I will be showing a few of my images.  I am having a tricky time a deciding which ones I want to display.  If you would like to recommend a particular image you'd like to see me display please drop me a line.

Save this date:
May 8th, 2010 between the hours of 12 noon and 8pm.


About An Hour Later

About An Hour Later, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

My lawn temporarily looked like this for a split moment this morning.

Welcome to spring time in Salt Lake City Utah.

Check out the other two images, the one before and the one after. These images were all taken within 4 hours of each other.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Earth Jam

100_1796.JPG, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.
Earth Jam is more then a bunch of tree huggin' hippies getting together to have fun. It's about meeting people. It's about sharing ideas. It's about a lot of things. One could fill in their own blank here.

For me it's a chance to get outside on a gorgeous spring day to take random photographs of people in an unstructured environment. Along the way also meet new friends, reacquaint myself with old friends, and of course share an image or more of those I meet.

Seldom at the 'Love In's' like Earth Jam do I meet shy people who turn away at the first sight of a photographer. More often then not people want their picture taken. A free spirit doubled back on me after hearing the click. She quickly told me to take more pictures.

This lady I passed and seeing her style while walking her dog, I asked may I take your picture holding your dog? She let me. She is the first in a long string of people I asked throughout the afternoon and evening if I could take their photo.

I am wading through the 500 images this evening and will be on into tomorrow. I did give out a few business cards. I did mark a lot of photos after sharing them. I have not forgotten you I am wanting to make sure these images are mind blowing or at least above my own expectations when I post them for you. I am doing this for you.

If you read the post before this one on MS Utah, I wanted to post out of human interest factor not via the rules I shoot by. I like to shoot by the rules of composition, interest, exposure, and focus. Sometimes I bend them because I said I'd post a specific image and later see it does not meet my own criteria.

Before I close I do want to thank everyone whom my lens fell upon. I take away more then captured photons, I see a reflection of life. I return to you the aurora of yourself.

For the photo geeks like myself, I shot aperture priority with an SB-400 flash set to minus 2 out put as a fill in flash. I don't recall the shutter speed or ISO figures at this time. I do try to preserve my exif data, so take a look at the additional info on flickr. Some images are cropped and have minor adjustments.

I do use open source software. This does not mean that my images are free. At events like this I love to share openly so if you are in the image or know those who are then do get a copy. If you use the image please link back to PreyingJaws(dot)com and let me know where the image/link is being show. I enjoy seeing where my images go.

Later with the Best.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Walk For My Wife

MSWalk-PreyingJaws-39.jpg, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.
Can you tell who has MS by looking at them?
I couldn't. I'm not trained to spot who has or has not anything wrong with the. Quite frankly, I don't care what you have or have not. I enjoy taking pictures. I enjoy talking with others even more so. I like sharing a clip of life.

When I spotted this man's tag on his shirt I walked up to him and asked if I could take a photo of him and his lovely wife. I asked specifically for this pose. I personally think it shows what this event is about, loving on others and raising awareness about MS.

I've posted over 120 images. These images are of the event of random people I met and talked with. These are of random people I just took pictures of. Some folks are with children. Some folks are with dogs, several of these dogs are service companions. I honestly as I look back at the event surprised to see how many folks in motor scooters made the 3 mile journey from the Gateway Center to a park and back.

As for myself on that same journey I did about 1/3 walking backwards with only one mishap. I backed right into a parked pickup.
I did shoot a lot with a flash to fill in the shadows caused by the mid-day sun. I did shoot in aperture priority mode. My images are slightly processed through digiKam of the KDE Foundation, an open source project.

I do encourage you to look through the mass of images. Feel free to comment either here or on the page. These images are copyrighted by me. Please let me know where my images turn up. Sometimes it's really cool to see the various forms of non-commercial uses they show up as. FYI the MS Walk with Photo Walking Utah are released to the MS Utah for non-profit promotion under non-commercial license. If you see an image used other wise please contact that organization first and do let me know as well. The World Wide Web gets kinda sticky for artists in repostings. If you are in the image, please grab a copy to use. If on-line please link back to

For more information about MS, the MS Walk, or how you can participate with the National MS Society please visit

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reflecting Me

ReflectingMe, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

She has a great smile. Everyone did today. It's beautiful outside, warm, a light breeze, and a few high wispy clouds.

I briefly walked backwards around her looking through the march of walking people of all kinds out to support friends, family, and others in the fight agains MS. Many of the folks I met where walking for a specific person.

I joined up with Photo Walking Utah to provide photography of this important awareness raising event. For more photos concerning this event please see Photo Walking Utah and the MS Walking photo pool. I will post my images within the next few days.

Photo Walking Utah
Flickr MS Walk Utah

Friday, April 23, 2010

Changing Lanes

Changing Lanes, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.
A quick check of the email and I was gone. The night before (Wednesday) a photo shoot encountered rain. Thursday evening much different with near clear skies and a bit of bitting wind from the north.

On tap for the next few days:
Photo Walking Utah is getting together on Saturday (tomorrow) for the MS Walk. The group is providing photographic coverage for the MS Walk event downtown. Street/Journalistic style of photography is one of my favorite styles and currently one of my least practiced.

Sunday is typically a hike day. I don't know where I'm going yet but I do want to get out for a few miles.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Drivin' Moab

Drivin', originally uploaded by preyingjaws.
Miata Events, some folks will say it's about the cars, others will argue it's about the people. I must disagree with both of those. To me hangin' with the Miata Club of Utah is about the drivin.' Most folks we talked to as a group would exclaim, why Moab it's (insert off road here) territory. The general consensus reply, is have you driven the region, the roads are fun and the scenery amazing.

I took the opportunity recently to join my Dad for a preview/recon trip to Moab Utah. This quick trip was to double check the mileage, check on any detours, and make final arrangements for Miata's in Moab IV May 14-16, 2010.

For me and my Dad it's about hangin' out and hiking a few trails. We hit Delicate Arch during a busy time of day. We hiked into Corona Arch to check a few spots he thought may be of concern. And we joined in on the drivin.'

When you head south to Utah's Canyon Country, I'll tell ya up front there isn't any shade so watch yourself for exposure. Drink up on the water. I'm an avid hiker and this did catch me off guard even ridin' in a fun car.

Here's the links for the event which is rapidly approaching.
Here's the link for the Utah Miata Club

Enjoy. Drive Safe. & Drink Up on the H2O.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Walk for a Cure

Walk for a Cure, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

This past weekend hits on my Walk for a Cure with the American Cancer Society went up. Typically at the start of the summer this happens. I know that I mis-labeled this event from the beginning so I want to connect everyone to the event in their area.

Here is the link to the American Cancer Society's annual event for Cancer Awareness...

American Cancer Society

Cancer effects the lives of more then those who get it. For me, cancer invaded my family long before I knew what it was. I lost a grand parent to the affliction. During my time with Mercy Ships, I got that dreaded phone call from my Big Sister. Not long afterwards, I lost her. I am grateful to have spent her last days with her and I do carry dearly the memories of her close.

These events in your community in my mind is to help connect the greater body of the affected with each other and to raise awareness among those who have not been affected. Even if you do not donate please take a moment to find your local Relay for Life and walk the trail of the luminaries. Each one is representative of a life taken or affected by cancer.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Not Responsible

A late phone call and a fast email from Mr Luckau put me at the final rehearsal of Proletariat Theatre's production of 'Not Responsible.' Mr Luckau is a social worker and a producer, combined together he approaches touchy subjects. This play directly addresses Date Rape.

During the first part of the rehearsal I did not know what the content of this play was. It was only during the last few moments I clued in. I'd already chosen to under expose my images. In reviewing them I see I made the right choice. It is a dark social subject.

The play itself lasts approximately 35 minutes and is followed by a time of question and answer. Counselors and resources are available for those who have further questions or concerns.

I asked for 'The Slap' to be redone once I saw the dancing shadows. The shadows make this impersonal enough that it could be anyone at anytime. Her flying hair with his open palm adds further impact of the degradation of date rape.

If you or someone you know experienced RAPE in any form or means, do not delay... get help. There are many services available to you and for the person you know. Your information will be kept confidential. Do contact your local 'Rape Recovery Center,' your local 'Womens Resource Center,' or call the non-emergency number of your local police department and ask for their counseling department.

Which ever method you chose, get help.

Rape Recovery Center

Women's Resource Center at the University of Utah

Proletariat Theatre

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Three Amigos

Three Amigos, originally uploaded by freddyfromutah.
Salt Lake Photo Club got together at Black Rock for what looked like a non-sun sunset shoot. Well it did pop out and throw some awesome colors around the sky and off the waters.
This is Brady's photo (left). I'm in the middle. Mike almost takes center stage on the right.
For those who want to shoot sunsets. Go early, explore the area, find something of interest for foreground subject, and stay late. This is about 20 minutes after the sunset.
Knowing the Great Salt Lake, I went out with muddin' boots. I also booted my tripod with empty water bottles. Yeah, the group laughed but, my tripod came back cleaner and my tripod floated longer in the mud then the other felllas. This isn't to say I didn't get it dirty, just less dirty.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Tri-bidexterous, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I shoot a wide variety of subjects and one of my most recent trains of thought is myself. Am I stuck on myself? Some may say may be. I say not. How can I say this? Easy, I live by myself. I like to experiment with what I have so often I'll turn the lens onto myself. Lighting is fun to experiment with. I often check out other lighting set ups on the and the results on the Strobist's flickr page.

In this picture I have a chest high key light at 1/2 power bouncing of a partially opened umbrella, a back light set at full power bouncing off the umbrella and back wall. Both are optical slave set. I self framed, all though not to good, the point and shoot using a mirror on the wall behind it. The Canon A-590 is set to manual mode, 80iso, f/4, 1/30. The levels and cropping are done in the GIMP on an Ubuntu 10.04 machine.

Because I do shoot with all three cameras can I call myself tri-bidextrous?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thinning Out

I just thinned out my [deviantart] in box after two weeks of neglect. As I thin it out I am looking at specific elements that I've been critiqued heavily on at Wasatch Camera Club's competitions. Points like the 'Rules of Images' aka Thirds, focal point and color are always talked about in the general critiques of all the submitted images. As I am thinning out, I first eliminate the subject I have less interests in like: cats, puppies, bugs, some flowers, sunsets that don't tell a story, etc. I do hang for a moment on subjects that may capture a moment of interest: sunsets with story line elements, mountain scenes, people, etc. I am looking specifically for lighting, creative blurs, human subject interest (poses natural & artistic).

As I am reviewing these given subjects that do capture my interests I am looking for what do I have and what can I create based on what I do like from the groups I do follow. What I realize is I must check my focus before I finish a shoot. For instance, I know that my Pentax f/1.4 50mm front focuses. I need therefore to refine manually the focus. I seldom use this lens on the street. I do use it extensively at home.

I realized after my last photo competition with WCC I'm not submitting my best work. By looking at what pleases me and what elements I call good from this review I am applying it to my own work. In my own work I'm not delete delete but marking good, eh, and oh no. Then I go back through the good and sort needs help, eh, better then most, and alright. With the 'needs help' I look at how much work, if a lot I toss it. With 'better then most' I continue to refine until I have what is worthy of posting for the competition. When the competition time comes I submit that which is in the given category and two others that I think capture the human fine art interest elements.

Our judges in the WCC comps tend to lean heavily towards the fine art side. This can be difficult for me as I want to explore elements of news when and where I can. Even so this should not sway me from shooting what I like the most. I am looking at those elements I continually get critiqued heavily on and looking for the ways to over come them.

dA's helping with that by providing the grounds of massive amount of images I can can quickly scan, critique, and glean from. The greatest thing I've noticed is the spot on focal point of interest. If the focus is not on then, even with my unrefined eye, I move on.

As with many things, I am approaching, finding that spot on focus is of utmost priority. If the focus is not right on, I've either been passed up or moved aside. Photography at this time is more then about taking an image, it's become a teacher about life for me.

I can say my in box is 600 or so images down from 2400 of an hour ago. My hard drives of images, well let's say barely 5% will be seen by anyone else but me. Of those that one besides me sees 1% or less will be worthy of bragging rights.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Youth In Flight

Youth In Flight, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I've headed up to Farmington Bay UT several times in the past week as the sun beat blue into my room. It takes about 45 minutes to get on site once I decided to roll.
I feel as if I'm three weeks behind in processing images. I still have the Photo Walking UT event sitting on my hard drive semi processed. I haven't even touched SLC Photo Club Home Studio images. Some of the recent images may see light of day only if I grab one or two of the ones that catch my eye while I'm chimping while walking down a dike or showing a model.
This image 'Youth In Flight' isn't from Farmington Bay. It's actually from South Ogden Bay just a few miles north. He came off a snag of an old tree to check me out. The set is just out of focus but is in close enough to share on the web. I know I should only post perfect images. If you have a couple of grand for an f/4 400mm lens to send me I'll gladly pay the shipping.
If you're the model & I haven't posted or sent you an image please send me a gentle reminder. I try to get back within 48 hours.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Setting Trees

Setting Trees, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I escaped the valley on Tuesday to put a few miles on my boots and hopefully a few on the snowshoes. The snowshoes eagerly awaiting some use since the snow began to fall last October. I finally decided to check the weather, the maps, and review my notes for heavily treed areas that would be holding the snow to the mountainsides.
The avalanche reports keep cautioning back country travel. Caution is for good reason too, the base layers for our mountain snows are weak and do slide often. I doubt there's been a green (completely safe) day since last November when there wasn't enough snow to make snowshoeing comfortable. I like a base of 2 feet to 'shoe over. I've tripped over just covered rocks and stumps before.
Even though Dog Lake isn't one of my favorite places to go it met the requirements of being safe. The trail to the lake, hard packed and well traveled. I carried the 'shoes all the way. I found that there wasn't a trail around the lake so I made one - tromp tromp, ah.
Instead of packing the power house camera with me I took the point and shoot. It's quick, convenient, and if I fall the result is less cussing the stupidity of the fall.
I came down well rested and ready to tackle the tickle of going back up, soon,

Monday, February 15, 2010

caught in the light

caught in the light, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Photo Walking Utah asked 9 (nine) local professional photographers to come and set up their studio lights for the 3rd annual Studio Lighting event Feb 13, 2010.
Held at Gateway Community Church in Draper UT, the facility managed up to 200 photographers talking with each other, trading tips, chimping, and shooting at the 9 different sets.
These sets included:
Motion via a trampoline, strobes provided by PictureLine of SLC UT.
High Key
Natural Light
Beauty Dish
2 'typical studios' which actually were very different.
Lens Baby
and others.
My favorite wasn't so much shooting the models at the stations as it was getting to know those who came. The Photo Walks are great opportunities to learn about how to do something and to compare what is captured. Through turning the lens on each other some images are surfacing of wide angle ring lights, dorky grins, and the fun events like this produce.
I do want to extend my thanks to the models who volunteered, the provider of the facility, the sponsors who donated gear & time for the day, and to all who came out to shoot & learn.
I'm a photographer in development. Tips & Tricks of the hobby/profession I want to learn.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010


leninplay.jpg, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I logged on for a brief moment while running errands to see this image posted on Dec 13 of 2003 get 1580 hits since Noon my time. 1580 hits in less then 4 hours. I wonder is this for real or did something go a miss at Yahoo? Did I get hit with a worm or something else? I checked Big Huge Labs - Scout - to see if I'd been featured in the flickr Explorer. It turned up nothing.
Any ways I'm glad it got hit. It takes me back to a time I just recommitted to Mercy Ships and we were enroute to Korea via Kamchatka Russia in 1999 with the m/v Caribbean Mercy.
By re-posting this image I know the stats will go up slightly. I do find it incredible. I beg you to check this out...
It is taken in Petropavlosk, Kamchatka Russia.
Please drop me a note on the image as well.

Lunch to Go

Lunch to Go, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Farmington Bay UT is home to one of the most diverse and easily accessed water foul managed areas. About 2 miles off I-15, a series of dikes retain and control fresh (sweet) water resources before they mix with the salty brine of the inland sea better known as the Great Salt Lake. Here migrating birds of all kind take to nesting to resting to hunting, many of which can be spotted from the road way.
This past weekend I headed up there for my 3rd weekend to see what I could find. I will walk a couple of miles along the dikes in hopes of spotting cranes and birds of prey. My favorite shots though do come right off the road. Using the car as a blind I've managed to snag eagles feeding, hawks cruising the fields, and even the above American Kestrel eating. This kestrel took off as I stepped away from my car for a better view.
The car not only acts as a blind but as a tripod. I placed my camera on my car, turned on the wireless remote and waited over 20 minutes to capture the shot of two eagles as found on the photo stream.
If you intend to use the car as a blind do idle up to the position you think will best suit your shooting style. Turning it off will help you steady the shot (besides obeying the new no idle law). Please be mindful of others by pulling off the road or signaling to let others know you are creeping along.
For more information about Farmington Bay please visit
One final note, Feb 13, 2010, the day before Single Awareness Day, will be the annual Bald Eagle count.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Coot Running on Water

Coot Running on Water, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I finally got my bird of prey photo which one will need to visit my flickr page to see.
The picture that surprised me the most was a mistake. My camera settings were for a landscape I just turned away from when I heard this duck taking off. Instinctively I spun with camera to my eye and ripped a few frames.
Nothing special at the time when I chimped. I was about to delete the set but, I didn't quite feel right about that. I reset my settings to aperture priority, wide open (with a standard zoom wide open can mean different f stops at different focal lengths).
Getting back home to the PC I see in a series I captured this fowl, a coot, not taking off but running to a different section of the canal. With a little bit of simple adjustments this image really takes off. I may re-crop this image to post on deviantArt prints. If I do so it will show in the deviantArt sidebar.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Snowing Face

Snowing Face, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Who can resist these eyes? I couldn't nor could my folks. Adopted last spring he quickly earned a place in our hearts. Little did we know that their four legged friend's nickname would become Mr Mischievous.
Finally with a little fresh snow my Dad & I got out to shoot a few frames of this character and antics.
The best of his antics though will take a webcam and a motion sensor. He's been known to take one book of a shelf and leave all the others in place...
I do encourage you to check out your local pet adoption agencies if you are interested in getting a four legged friend. Many of the pets who are left there are trained and well behaved. With a little time and a lot of love they will become even more.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Park City Weekend

Heads up there is a lot of activity headin' our way in Park City this weekend of January 20ish.

Because times are subject to change I've just included the links to the websites of information. Please refer to the websites. If in doubt call the event's listed phone numbers for ties.

As many know there is the annual Sundance Film Festival
You don't tickets to see the stars or event to go out at night. One just needs a paparazzi sense of being and the patience of one.

Next, we have some shredding happening on the mountain. If you've followed a little of the local sports you'll know that there are a few Olympic contenders for the US Snowboard Team that's been taken out recently due to injuries. This event will be sweet and easily accessible at PC Mountain Resort.

Also happening but not so far off the beaten path in Kimbal Junction's Olympic Winter Park is a world cup event for skeleton.

Have fun shootin' there's a little everything for everyone.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Puppy, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

A lot of things go through my mind this time of year. As January 22 approaches I get a bit weird. I don't know how else to describe it. January 22 to me is the saddest day I now of. The 'it' is grief.
As many on Monday are celebrating MLK Day in memory of the late civil rights leader, few people know it's his birthday. Our calendars are set up to celebrate the birthdays of our heroes past. One could say these birthdays have become our national days of yearly grieving.
I take too chose a date, a birthday, January 22, as my day of remembrance for my Big Sister.
Cancer Sucks, a photo, posted several years ago on flickr, is from the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life Event. This picture continues to draw views. I hope it will draw a story or two. I hope also it will help others come to terms with their loss to cancer.
This little girl's smile never faded even in the worst of times. I learned so much from her growing up. These days I try to remember as much as I can about her. I try to remember the stories of our lives and those that she shared.
When I hear of friends lost, I try to find a personal story to share with the family. Every friend that has passed away I've written the family and included a photograph if I had one.
I know from experience, I hardly know any of my sister's friends. Those I do know I know mainly in passing. So much of her life is a mystery to me especially in the days following high school. She went one way, I another.
So, the stories they shared about her travels in the US, about her generosity, and her chosen life style of giving go beyond a photograph. These things have become her legacy.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

YWAM Manoa

YWAM Manoa Sign Post, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

I'm feeling a little sentimentality today. I do have multiple routes of social networks in place and one of my old shipmates contacted me through one of them. This set me off kind of on a search to find others I knew. Together we sailed though Hawaii in 1999 so I feel justified in connecting YWAM to Mercy Ships this route.

This image is taken on my first digital camera a Canon Power Shot S 20. All of 3 mega pixels the little box actually produced several of my still most popular shots.

The Manoa Sign Post stands in the entry area to Youth With A Mission's Offices in Honolulu. Yes, I know the Manoa'ites may bite me for this but I want to keep it simple for those who do not know YWAMese.
YWAM is Christian organization where one of the many facets of the global organization focuses on developing the person in a wide range of aspects from personal relationships with God to providing training in community development. YWAM Manoa focuses on teaching a small group of individuals on one method of how to study the Bible.
For 4 months in 2002, I too, was one of the students. Taking 4 months to focus on studying the Bible in such an intimate setting with others of like mind helped instill in me a needed balance after the loss of my sister the year before. Studying was one of several highlights I had while working with the non-profit Mercy Ships.

For more info on YWAM Manoa please visit their website at

If you are interested in connecting with me via one of the social networks please send me an email with why you want to connect with me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reflections of the Treks

These are a few reflections I've made on last year's backpacking trips into the Uinta Mountains of Eastern Utah. Please bear in mind it was close to 17 years prior to those trips that I was out before last summer. The last time I went for a few miles hauling all was in Yellowstone N.P. criteria 1991. The rucksack (ruck) I bought back then bugged me a little but, so what then was then. I got the ruck because I needed something to keep me mobile as I worked from park to park. Since those parkie days that ruck's been in storage. Having the ruck and being an avid hiker I decided to make use of my days off with a little more distance and hopefully a few days of story making. I learned a lot in the few miles I did. I racked up over 115 miles in 5 trips out. I talk of trouble in some of these thoughts, I want to reassure you that in no way was I ever stuck in any kind of situation. The two exceptions to that is for a having wrong fitting boots one time and a ruck that didn't fit right.

Thoughts and ideas...

On Footwear
* Dry feet in wrong size boots equate to big deep blisters.
* Wet feet in right sized boots equate to prune feet at the end of the day and that icky feeling of sticking them back on the next morning.
* Light weight camp shoes were well worth every ounce, be the hike a 5'r or 20 mile day.
* Clean dry socks at the end of a long day are heavenly.

On the Pack
* I cringe at the very thought of shouldering up my weighted ruck, 35lbs trail weight. I knew after my first trek with it in Y'stone it didn't fit right. Even in those days, I loved getting 'back in there' so I put up with the inconvenience then.
* I fancy using what I have, so I used what I got. The parkie ruck is now on permanent display hanging on the wall of memories with a few marks from last year.
* The issue encountered with multiple compartments became apparent when I could not place some items to please the balance.
* The multitude of compartments and pockets meant I could keep things sorted and ready for different purposes.
* Invariably the water bladder bottle walked it's way into the balance of imbalance.
* Even the best ruck is burden some when it doesn't rightly fit.

On Pain
* 20 years ago, pain was just an inconvenience to deal with. Today, pain management is everything.
* Preventing pain means ensuring the gear works and that it fits me just right.
* Letting pain go unchecked, equipment continue to wear into my body, isn't good.
* Letting pain become numb is dumb.
* Letting pain become numb over time or with drugs (aspirin) is not acknowledging the problem. Pain, it's the tragedy of ill preparedness or the ability to adjust the gear.

On Sleeping
* Even a hammock on a warm summer night gets chilly, breeze or not.
* The best intentions to sleep near the trees for hammock'ing can sometimes beget an area devoid of trees.
* Closed cell pads trap moisture but, are well worth the weight even in a hammock. They add a layer of insulation to the hammock. Take a moment to prep the pad with a graph paper arrangement of holes with made a pen tube in 2”x2” sections.

On Cooking
* Is a 3 minute to boil stove worth the expense of carrying the weight when a tab/alcohol fueled stove will bring water to boil in 7 minutes and far then then half the weight of the former?
* My problems with the tab fuel stove were easily over come with a little trail ingenuity.
First, in the wind it took 2 tabs to bring water from a chill to warm before I realized what was happening. To over come the wind, I took my wet boots to use as a barrier. My water came to a ready boil before the completion of the third tab. Now I carry a small sheet of foil wrapped around my water bottle to use as a wind screen.
Second, lighting the tabs wind or no wind took a few to many matches. To get the tab lit I used a shot of hand sanitizer on tush paper and one match. Now, I have a 1 oz bottle of stove alcohol, a few drops insures a quick light and a few more will add to the burn time.
* To simmer with a tab, put it in a modified mint tin so that you can slide the lid closed a bit.
* As with all stoves the small base size and high weight tends to lead to at least one mis-calculated tip. The wider the base the better. A big can lid with the 3 sides folded down can serve as a base or as a small stick fire fire pan. Be sure to file any sharp edges off the lid before packing it.

On Skills
* Having the right map and knowing where you are at, going, and have been is worth more then all the dead GPS batteries carried.
* Reading the weather is like reading a map, you have to know what the signs are before you get into trouble.
* Knowing how to rig a tarp in the rain will keep your feet dry at night and the soup from getting prematurely cold.
* The two greatest skills to master;
First, knowing when and where your limit will run out.
Second, the skill to know where you are at before you get lost.
Mastering these will keep your plans simple, your goals in check, and you out of the news.
* Have a plan. Plan out the trek with contingencies in place just in case. Let someone know where you're going and what the possible contingencies are. Stick yourself to it.
* Plan aggressive, hike conservatively, be willing to bow out should the need a rise. Their's no harm in turning around. There's no shame in not achieving the goal if it means staying safe. Stories are best told not discovered.
* Don't plan back to back treks, your city slick friends can only handle a weekend's worth of story a month.

On Photography
* A cheap point and shoot is more valuable then a dSLR left in the car.
* Packing right also means keeping the camera within usable reach without taking the ruck off.
* Pictures equal value added stories.
* The right picture can draw even city slickers into wanting to give camping a try.
* Add quality, value, intrigue, and mystery to the stories with unique and awe inspiring images.
* Keep your batteries warm, sleep with them.
* On every flash card before the trip,
Take a general map image.
Take a picture of the specific region.
If the trip is longer then take several detailed pictures in sequence.
Take a picture of your ICE card.
Doing so will give you a map at the push of a button and always one image advanced then the last picture taken.
It will also help you remember which trip was which when the trails begin to blend one into another.

On Boy Scouts
* Think like a Boy Scout, be prepared and have fun but, don't get lost like one. A sad side note, there is hardly a season in the Uinta's when a Boy Scout does not get lost.
* I ponder how many men have nightmares about backpacking because of their Scouting days?
* Many a Tenderfoot I passed that were over loaded with older Scout's gear. This is a right of passage, right?
* Many a troop I passed that were jingling and jangling with camp comfort stuffs.
* I passed many a Scout with the added burden of exhaustion. Ironic, they hadn't even cleared the half way to camp point.

On Music Devices
* The rhythmic thump of a steady stride is sweeter then anything I could can into my ears.
* The sweet song of a babbling brook near by is sweeter then Jewel's. IMO Jewel's voice is the best of my era.
* If you can't hear my greeting before you plow me over stay in the gym.

On Packing
* Laying out gear is a great way to see what's lost on the trail.
* One must be careful not to shave an ounce only to add pounds.
* A great debate always comes up, comfort on the trail verses comfort in camp. The balance is always the looser.

On Food
* Even Diddy More Stew [Dinty Moore/Hormel Foods] tastes good while camping. So I can't figure out why freeze dried meals can't taste half way decent at home.
* I prepped my typical back country meal at home recently. I took three bites and pitched the pot and all. I later fetched the pot.
* The search is on to find reasonable flavored low weight trail meals without spending a fortune or over loading my sodium intake.
* Granola is grandeur with a hand full of no melt chocolate.
* PB&J wraps last and satisfy my hunger while sauntering down the trail. Pre-made before leaving they are the no mess lunch, breakfast, and any time snack.
* Instant coffee, however foul, is still coffee in the morning. When will Starbucks make dunk it bags for the back country?
* Thanks to Into Thin Air I became a tea drinker, at least for my evening drink.
* Leaving a jug of water and a road snack in the car reduced the stress of one last trail meal.