Days of ’47

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Blog

Days of 47
Charles Uibel is looking for volunteer photographers for upcoming events in Utah. You may remember Charles as the photographer who won our most recent photo contest. The details for Days of ’47 are posted below:

Volunteer Photographers needed for Days of ’47 Events (Salt Lake Area)
This is a great chance to have some fun, and improve your photography.

Hey we’re photographing Days of ’47 stuff again this year. If you are interested in shooting people and events and stuff with me, please read on.

Here are some pics we’ve taken this year

In general:

The purpose of the photography is two-fold.
1 – document the events for the ages.
2 – gather marketing materials for future Days of ’47 promotions.

This is a voluntary job, no pay, as is pretty much everything with the Do47.
Photographers get to keep all rights to their images.
Photographer is granting the Do47 the right to use the images as described.
For instance, an image of mine taken at the Children’s Service Project was used full-page in the Tribune and on official posters the next year. Attribution is given where possible.

Photographers get-behind-the scenes access to events.
Photographers will coordinate with the event manager for best access and possibly a T-shirt
Submit the images via drop box.

We need 1 or 2 and usually more photographers at each event.
Here’s a schedule of our needs:

Email me or call and I will answer all your questions.

Charles Uibel

(801) 839-4757

Snapchat: No such thing as “Permanently Deleted”

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Here’s a surprise: Snapchat photos are recoverable.

If you are unfamiliar with Snapchat, it is a smartphone application where users take a picture and share it with their friends for up to ten seconds. After the selected timeframe, the picture is deleted forever, but now there’s a glitch to that statement.

Utah based company, Decipher Forensics, has claimed that not only can the Snapchats be recovered, it can be done in a matter of days. In fact, they walk you through the process of how they recovered their Snapchat messages on their Android phone on their blog.

While there’s no talk of successfully recovering images from iOS phones, this is a reminder that information always leaves a trail.

Photo applications are highly popular right now, especially with young people. And while the application says the pictures are permanently deleted it does remind users that the application cannot prevent receivers from taking screenshots of the shared image and then posting the picture online.

This is a good start, but for young users who grew up with cameras available at every moment, they do not realize the power of an image. It is so critical to remember that other people can and do abuse the casual sharing of information, pictures being an especially powerful tool.

Utah’s Ag-Gag Law Prosecuting Photographers

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This is a really interesting topic for local Utah photographers: The Ag-Gag Law. Utah is one of the few states that prohibits people to take pictures of local agricultural operations, including farms, ranches or slaughterhouses. Be warned, it is not only illegal to take these pictures, but if you are caught possessing them, you can be punished.

In fact, Amy Meyer is a woman who was charged for filming a slaughterhouse. She drove by the location in Draper, Utah and was astounded at what she saw so she started to video the scene from her smart phone.
After being told to stop by the property owner and the police, and saying she was in her right because she was on public property, a fact disputed, she found out she was being charged. This was the first prosecution of this kind of case in the country, so it went viral. The charges against Meyer were dropped because she was deemed to be on public ground.

This is the exception: the law only applies to photos taken while trespassing. That way, if a school group visits a local farm, or if you are on public property, there is no fear of the images captured during these visits.

The reasoning behind the law is to protect farmers, ranchers and food processors from unfair representation, while many people argue this will prevent journalism or animal-cruelty-whistleblowers.

Whatever the reasoning, Utah photographers should be aware of the limitations to their rights, especially when trying to find new or interesting locations to shoot.

What do you think? Is this law excessive or does this make sense?

Salt Lake City – Gilgal Sculpture Garden

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In the years I’ve lived in Utah, I spent hours scouring the internet for interesting activities and Utah secret spots. Needless to say, I get really excited when I find something brand new. Here’s a spot I’ve never heard of before: The Gilgal Sculpture Garden. Located in downtown Salt Lake City (749 East 500 south) this secret garden is now a public park.

The concept itself is really neat: A local Utah businessman, Thomas Battersby Child, Jr., spent almost twenty years of his life building his own special place where he could retreat from the world.

Can I create a sanctuary or atmosphere in my yard
that will shut out fear and keep one’s mind young and
alert to the last, no matter how perilous the times?

-Thomas Battersby Child, Jr.

Luckily Child was a masonry contractor so he created his retreat with stone sculptures in a small garden. As a place of reflection, each statue mirrors some of his religious ideals with some stones acting as a direct translation for scriptures, others record texts, poems and script. The work is unique, and for many would probably be categorized as weird, but it all captures a fascinating perspective.

After Child’s death in 1963, a neighbor purchased the area. Over the years the neighbor struggled to know what to do with the area. As a private park in downtown there was no funding for upkeep nor to prevent the night-time vandals. After various options were discussed, including razing the park to build condominiums, the Friends of Gilgal Garden coordinated the 2000 purchase of the area, officially making the it a public park. Since then, the work to restore the statues has been slowly moving forward as the group struggles to find funding.

What are your thoughts on the area? Do you think saving the park was worth it?

May Photography Opportunities in Utah

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Good news! Spring is here and it’s an amazing time for the photography opportunities. Once again, I will provide you a list of Utah-based events that you can use as a photographer. Please share any events I may have missed.

Cotton Days – Washington City, Utah April 26-May 4
The season of Utah rodeos has started! If you’re in Southern Utah check out the Cotton Days events. There are youth dances, fun runs, a car show, cotton-themed events and so much more. It should be a blast and get your spring started right. Learn more about it here.

Provo Rooftop Concert Series – Provo, Utah May 4
If you’ve never heard of the Rooftop Concert Series, it can be compared to a more intimate version of the Salt Lake Twilight Concerts. They happen the first Friday of the month throughout the warmer months. The first one of the year is May 4 at the Central Bank parking terrace and will feature Desert Noises, The Blue Aces and Caleb Darger. Learn more here.

Utah Pasifika Festival 2013 – Provo, Utah May 17-19
Downtown Provo will be hosting an multi-Polynesian event at which there will be food, dance and culture. If you’ve never seen the Haka performed live, do yourself a favor and go check out this event. Find more information here.

Moab Art Festival – Moab, Utah May 25-26
The awesome thing about this festival is you can still be a part of it! This year celebrates 21 years of this local art festival, with everything from photography and sculpture to food and clothing. Admission is free for, but if you are interested in setting up shop check out the link. Southern Utah is one of the most unique places in the world, both geographically and historically. Definitely check out this event.

The end of May is also Memorial Day weekend. Don’t forget!

KSL Monthly Photography Contest

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As a website dedicated to Utah photographers, Utah Photography is pleased to keep you up-to-date on opportunities to promote your work! Every month KSL hosts a photography competition, the winners of which are then compiled into a calendar. Pretty sweet, right? Submit your photos and vote for the winners here.


Here is one photo submitted by Michael Boman of Salt Lake County.

Sometimes the hardest part of monthly photography contests is finding inspiration. Utah state is full of beautiful photography opportunities, but it’s easy to miss the beauty that is right in front of you everyday. To help you out, here are some photography opportunities in Utah this spring.

April Photo Opportunities in Utah

Alta in April – Alta Ski Resort, UT
April 1 – April 14, 2013
Alta Ski Resort is known for its snow and skier only atmosphere. As a spring skiing special, the first two weeks of April are full of deals and lessons and events. Grab your camera and take advantage of the spring lighting to get some fantastic end-of-the-season pictures whether of skiers or from the top of the mountain.

Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival – Thanksgiving Point, UT
April 3 – April 28, 2013
The Tulip Festival is an annual tradition that draws thousands of visitors. It is a great opportunity to practice your macro photography techniques on the fields of flowers and the competition blooms. Because the campus is large, and they offer fun food music and drinks, it’s perfect for family photos or individual portraits. Bring the family and reward a successful sitting with a picnic surrounded by 10 variants of flowers.

Lamb and Wool Festival – Thanksgiving Point, UT

April 20, 2013
Once again, Thanksgiving Point delights us by offering a day dedicated to lambs and spring. Come capture frolicking lambs and goats or the presentations of traditional sheering techniques. We’d really like to see pictures of that, let us know how you capture that.

Extreme Rhythm Clogging  – Thanksgiving Point, UT
April 20, 2013
Not really sure how much more of an explanation I can give for this that is better than the title itself. The possibilities provided by the movement and color of clogging is an opportunity that should not be passed up.


What other events do you recommend for the April?

The Camera Club of New York

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Remember how neat the Aperture Photography Community is? It was founded in 1950s, which is now “vintage” and therefore awesome, and it’s a location for photographers to gather, meet and encourage each other.

The Camera Club of New York is a similar group, except if was founded in 1884 and has connections to some of the most influential photographers and famous photographs in American history. It has helped push forward photography techniques like the autochrome process (one of the earliest color photography) and x-ray photography.

Members of the Camera Club have access to studio space and developing equipment in addition to exhibitions and lectures. There are also classroom opportunities where you can learn about changes in the industry and interact with other dedicated artists.

It’s really important to be aware of these kinds of photographer networking organizations for a couple reasons:

  1. Photography captures the interaction between humans and their surroundings. What better way to develop and practice than to surround yourself with people trying to accomplish the same goal? Surround yourself with photography and photography will surround you.
  2. Photography is not a dead art. It is constantly changing; the technology, the styles, the fashion. Stay on top of the changes and progress personally.
  3. Photographers are awesome. You can find and hang out with awesome people.

I know there are more reasons, what are your favorite ones?

Utah Photographers and the Rio Tinto Center

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If you haven’t had the chance to go visit the new Natural History Museum of Utah at the Rio Tinto center, I recommend you go. It’s full of interesting exhibits about different aspects of Utah history, nature and geography housed in an architecturally fascinating location. The building just is Utah and it’s surroundings are rustic and a beautiful photography session backdrop.

Just check out that picture. It’d be a perfect Utah location for senior portraits or a family photo when all the grand-kids are in town! Because there’s enough interest between Utah photographers and the Rio Tinto Center, the Museum has set up a Utah Portrait Photography request page.

The building is new enough this is still a fairly well kept secret, so I recommend you book your portrait schedule before it becomes the next big Utah photography trend!

Utah Photography Education Options

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Remember how I announced my belief in the power of Utah photography education? As a follow-up, here are some traditional (and online) classroom options for learning to be a better photographer, from newbie to expert.

Salt Lake Community College

Salt Lake Community College offers two variations of photography classes for Salt Lake City photographers. The Continued Education program offers both in-person and online classes. I offer you the link, but warn you the website is pretty crappy so good luck.

SLCC also offers three other options: two certificates and an Associate’s degree in the Visual Arts and Design program with an emphasis on photography. You can find more information here.


Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University offers a variety of options: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Post-baccalaureate certificate and a Master’s degree. BYU’s art school is large and competitive with a good price tag. If you are ready to dedicate the time, it is worth the effort.
Check out the BYU photo blog for some more insight.


Weber State University

Weber State offers the most in photography education with seven options: Three certificates, an Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Post-baccalaureate certificate and a Master’s degree. The program does not require an application so it is a larger program. Definitely check it out.



The Art Institute of Salt Lake City

As a local location of the Art Institute, one can take a chose from a variety of foci within the photography world. It currently offers four options: Two certificates, an Associate’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree. The program offers open houses, so be on the lookout!


Southern Utah University

SUU’s fine arts program holds the distinction is as the only accredited Utah state higher education photography program. It offers a variety of tools and clubs to its students. For you southern Utah photographers, this is a good choice.

Photography Schools in Utah

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While I think it is possible to teach yourself how to use a camera and take good pictures, I am a very strong advocate for formal photography training. Before everyone gets upset about spouts off the talents of their favorite camera-toting neighbor, let me give you my reason: There’s a world of difference between taking a picture and making a photograph.

I know, I know that makes me sound like this guy.


But really, a picture is an image while a photograph is a piece of art. Yes, this art be learned through a life-time of study, practice and work but then you’re at the end of your career and you’ve just started making photographs. Skip the wasted time. Find someone who has dedicated their life to the art and learn from them.

Proof I’m right? Professional photographers still exist today despite the fact everyone owns at least one type of camera. Why hire a professional photographer to take your child’s graduating senior portraits if you have a camera that works just fine? Because they were taught the techniques of the trade. Those talents are second nature and they can capture beautiful anniversary pictures for all occasions in unique and interesting ways.

A formal education does not necessarily have to be in a classroom setting, though I will argue that’s probably the best. In that spirit, we will be spotlighting a couple photography schools in Utah. Check back for those posts and take the time to learn how to really make pictures. (But please don’t be like Mr. Douchebag Photographer up there.)

Until then, let the professional photographs take care of your photography needs.

The Rise of Fine Art Photography

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Good news! Photography, as a fine art, is slowly increasing in value. Traditionally fine art photography prints are not valued as highly as art of other media, but that’s starting to change.

According to a study by ArtTactic, the consumer confidence levels of fine art are more positive than negative in terms of photography, and the prices of modern art are expected to increase moving forward.

I was impressed by this study. Cameras, and professional photographers, are everywhere. (Don’t believe me? Google “Utah photographers” and see how many pages of people come up.) Perhaps the increase in picture-taking availability means there is a higher level of appreciation for it as an art-form. Whatever the cause, elite photography can no longer be viewed as a dying craft.

If you’re interested in the full study you can find it here. What do you think about the opinions of the experts?

Photographer Tips: Really Care

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Have you ever taken pictures of something (or someone!) you really did not like? They always seem to turn out like this:

Uncomfortable and just plain bad.

Everyone has to develop his of her own tricks for getting into a productive groove, but one of the quickest ways is to really care about your subject. If your photographing local Utahns, learn about their likes, dislikes and interesting talents: Are they a “Y” or a “U” fan? Do you know the difference between a pictographs and a petroglyphs?

If your subject is an inanimate object, do your research. Check out some of the Utah exhibits at the Natural History Museum of Utah at the new Rio Tinto Center. You will understand Utah and its wonders in a way that will help you capture them in a new light.

What other photographer tips do you have for inspiring creativity and taking awesome pictures even when you aren’t in the mood?


*Photo credits to

Utah’s Cultural Diversity

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Unless you’ve never been outside of Utah, it is easy to recognize that the demographics of the Beehive state are pretty monotonous. Yes, it is not exclusively white, but the stigma of a white-Utah is strongly founded. And so, it is with great pleasure I share with you proof that this is not entirely, nor historically, the case.

The Salt Lake Tribune recently ran an article in which it shared a slideshow with vintage photographs of the cultural diversity boasted by Utah in its founding days.

The first picture, the one above, is of George Stevens (born in Mexico) and his wife Lucinda Vilate Flake, whose father came moved across the United States with Brigham Young. Captured in this photograph of utah culture is a lot more than just two people, there is a story and history hidden just below the surface! I recommend you make the jump and check them out.

Aperture Photographer Community

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Social networking may seem like a new trend but the photographer community, Aperture, to realize that isn’t true. This organization was founded in the 1950s with the purpose of connecting photographers and their work with inspiration, other work and other artists in order to “common ground for the advancement of photography.”

The organization is a great place for photographic inspiration. In addition to promoting photography events, such as lectures and exhibits, it writes reviews of photography books from technical work to stunning side-table books.

Aperture is currently accepting photograph submissions for their portfolio prize competition. Check it out and get involved. We need Utah photographers to show their talent and become an influencing part of the photography world.

A Ute Indian Warrior and his Bride

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Beautiful photography captures a moment in which a story is told. That is why we find it so important to take pictures at life’s milestones, whether a maternity photo shoot, the first day of school or a wedding.

These stories, told by a photographer and his camera, are what make photos priceless. It is why photography is so prevalent in today’s pop culture and even when photography was rare, photos were still important.

This photography, ”The Warrior and his Bride,” by J.K. Hiller is one of those vintage photographs that captures a moment so beautifully. The story of these two Ute Indians at a special moment in their lives, along with the history this photograph captures.

A story of Utah that can be so easily forgotten, were it not for this moment carefully captured on film.

Bountiful Photographer’s Work Throughout the World

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Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy formally instituted the Art In Embassies program, that looks to develop international diplomatic ties through art. The different types of art pieces and galleries are on display throughout the world and is key in building relationships with local people.

As a part of this program the photography of Bret Webster, a Bountiful photographer who capture vivid and fantastic pictures of the Utah sky, will be put on display in the U.S. embassy in Tunisia.

Webster’s work captures the magic of Utah; the infinite and ethereal quality of the land that is easily felt, but difficult to photograph. He is an interesting photographer, with a background in rocket science and chemical engineering, but he uses no tricks in his work. He uses natural sources of light and a slow shutter speed to illuminate the landscape along with the sky.

Starting January 12, Webster’s work will be on display at the Natural History Museum of Utah as part of the “Weaving a Revolution” exhibit.

SLC Capitol Theatre

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Salt Lake City’s Capitol Theatre is an iconic location, with roots starting in 1913. It is impressive to realize it was home to silent films, Vaudevillian shows and then talkies, and continues to house modern shows and performances. It’s presence is a reminder of the history of the city and it’s people, as well as a tie to the days of Baby Peggy, Westerns, and 5¢ soda pop.

In many ways the theater is more than just a symbolic tie to the bygone days of Utah, as the building is said to be haunted. Doesn’t get much cooler than that, does it? A beautiful building full of history and mystery.

A North Carolina art professor, Benita VanWinkle, has spent years photographing old movie theaters in an effort to preserve the art of the locations and the stories each tells. Out of all the theaters she’s seen over the years, Utah’s Capitol Theatre is one of her favorite. If you want to see her photographs of the Capitol Theatre and of the other theaters she’s captured, keep an eye out for a her book, or go see her site.

Utah December Photographs

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If you’re in the mood to showcase some of your winter photographs, check out this KSL slideshow, and submit some of your own. It’s a great chance to put your work out for the public eye, especially if you’re new to nature shots or are nervous about moving beyond the personal-use photography.

They have a little big of everything: snowfall, Christmas lights, wildlife and architecture. Let us know if submitted your work, especially if that’s a leap of faith for you as a photographer!

Abstract Form Photography & Art

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The Smithsonian Magazine recently featured these abstract nude figure photographs (bet you wouldn’t have guessed they were nude, right?) by Shinichi Maruyama. These are a fantastic example of the diversity and fluidity of art: these images are as much a photograph as they are an abstract print.

As I scanned through the photos (see the rest of the images) I was reminded of an early 20th century artist, Yves Klein, who painted through nude models covered in paint.

These two artists, Klein and Maruyama realize that the scope of their work is limited only by their perspective, so they ignored the norm and allowed themselves to be driven by their passions, by what they found to be beautiful. Remember Peter Beard? His photography morphed with collage work, creating a uniquely deep perspective of his pictures. Once again, the definitions of each genre of art prove they hold no loyalties and a foundational artistic lesson is reiterated: Know what is within you by allowing it to speak through you, not by defining it in someone else’s perspectives.

What about you? Do you know any other examples of photographers pushing beyond the frame?

Scuba Santa: The Ultimate Christmas Card

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Yes, you saw that right. Santa Claus in a fish tank.

If you’re going to be around West Jordan, UT today between noon and six go take your picture with Scuba Santa at the Sport Chalet. The publicity says you don’t need any snorkeling experience so if you want some neat pictures for a really unique Christmas card, you know what to do. Let’s be honest, you can’t beat that.

And if you do go, send us a copy of the picture!

Utah State Capitol Building

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Exactly 100 years ago construction began on the Utah State Capitol building. There aren’t any events to celebrate today, since it would take four years to before the building was dedicated and it wasn’t made a National Historic Landmark until 1986.

As always, photographers commemorate events even when the rest of the masses forget. Utah has kept some photographs of the building under construction, one of them is below and the rest can be found here.

The capitol building is set on top of the hill looking over Salt Lake City, which causes most pictures to come from the same angle; looking up. But, as photographers we know it is our job to see objects in new and unusual lights. Go use this anniversary to photograph this historic area in a new way. (Hint: One of the coolest pictures I’ve ever seen of the Capitol was taken from across the hill.)

Let us know what you find and how you photographed this building in a new way.

Famous Photographers: Bert Stern

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Bert Stern is credited with creating some of the most iconic images of the 1960s and the modern, pop-culture persona of the photographer. In addition to photographing the most beautiful women of his time, Bert Stern worked in the advertising and travel world and he worked a little with movies. Stern directed the documentary, Jazz on a Summer’s Day, which the United States Library of Congress called “culturally significant” and which was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Sadly, I believe the persona and unique talent of Bert Stern to be overshadowed by his most famous photographs, “The Last Sitting,” of Marilyn Monroe. It is a conundrum, that his most well-known work also causes his other work to be lost in the books of history. Luckily, he is still alive so the opportunity to delve into the man exists.

There was recently a film made about him, Stern: Original Madman. Even if you don’t watch the film, I recommend checking out the site, it’s a beautiful experience: a light, beautiful style that captures the mystical in reality.

Instagram photos: Utah Winter

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Uncategorized, Utah

Utah winters are full of short, darkened days, but it provides some of the most elegant photograph opportunities. A late sunrise seems to provide a brighter pop of color, a layer of new snow accentuates the intensity of the mountains and the world is wrapped in a seasonality brought to life by the yards of Christmas lights.

If the cold has you feeling down I recommend you check out the #Utah hashtag on Instagram*. If you think you have an awesome Utah cellphone picture, send it our way and we’ll share it.

*If you are on Instagram, I recommend you follow @igutah (and, of course, @UT_Photography).

Ogden history in photographs

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A picture says a thousand words, yet sometimes words further the impact of a photograph. Two new books, “Ogden’s Trolley District,” by Shalae Larsen and Sue Wilkerson and “Legendary Locals of Ogden,” by Sarah Langsdon and Melissa Johnson, do just that. By combining historical images, thanks in large part to the Weber State University library’s special collections, with context the authors expand the story of each image to develop the history of Ogden.















You may not be from Ogden, but if you’re in Utah, and have an interest in the way things have changed, these are worth flipping through. Check out this trolley car, that’s pretty cool. Is it just me, or is it weird to think one day our photographs will look that antiquated?


Winter Waterfalls

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One of the great things about Utah is the variety between the seasons. The StatesmanJournal, an Oregon-based publication, is hosting a winter waterfalls picture contest. It is such a genius idea, and photographing waterfalls seems like a no-brainer for Utah photographers. Let this picture of a frozen Bridal Veil falls inspire you to put on your winter boots and go explore for winter-wonderland scenes!

For a little more inspiration, here are some waterfalls you can go check out, strait from the World Waterfall Database. That’s right, an official list of 76 local waterfalls, including a list of the five most unique. Doughnut Falls is a personal favorite.

No excuses, guys: Go start photographing!

And please share the pictures you take this season with us. We want to see them!

Utah: Wall Arch in Arches National Park

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Southern Utah is famous for its red stone and soaring, natural arches. For decades they have been photographed, but as a photographer in Utah it is important to remember these stones are in many ways as passing as the fire-y fall foliage. Below is a photo of Wall Arch after it broke one day in 2008.

This arch was slowly created over centuries of erosion until it was destroyed by that same power that created it. It is so important to not take the surroundings for granted and to find how you can capture the now for future generations.

Famous Photographs: The Afghan Girl

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Steve McCurry captured this photo in 1984 at the makeshift school in a Pakistani refugee camp. It is fair to say this image had an impact on the world’s individuals. The name of the girl was unknown but her face became the most recognizable image in National Geographic’s history. The emotion portrayed in the young girl’s eyes reflect a depth to humanity we all recognize. We adore and fear that depth because it offers promises of unseen ability of strength and destruction.

The girl (identified in 1992 as Sharbart Gula) was orphaned by Soviet Union forces and forced to flee Afghanistan, but returned in the early 1990s. In honor of her image, and her expressed desire for her daughters to receive an education she was not able to finish, National Geographic set up the Afghan Girls Fund.

The Center for Girls’ Education and Training in Kabul helps women in Afghanistan further their formal education. What more could a photographer ask for? To see his/her image change the world.

Famous Photographers: John Dominis

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You know John Dominis’ work, even if you do not recognize the name.

John Dominis’ photography holds very little unity in theme or style except stunning. As a photographer for LIFE magazine, Dominis traveled the world capturing moments of history and nature. His work captures something deeply alive, from the photographs of the Korean War and nature images of deer or cheetahs to the relationship of Steve McQueen and his wife and the decline of Mickey Mantel’s baseball career. It is American, in the sense the photos capture a realistically romantic image of the world from an American perspective.

He was recently highlighted by LIFE, you can read the whole story here.

If you decide to learn more about John Dominis realize he is a different person than John Owens Dominis. John Owens Dominis was the husband of Liliʻuokalani, the last reigning queen of Hawaii. Owens-Dominis sounds like a fascinating character and though he is irrelevant to the photography world, I recommend the Wikipedia entry on him.

Famous Photos: Sudan Famine UN Food Camp

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This photo won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004. The image is of a young child crawling to a UN food camp as a vulture waits to eat it. It is striking and horrified many of those of saw the picture; a glimpse of a world most were ignorant to believe did not exist.

Africa is a world of struggle, beauty and confusion. Many photographers find themselves capturing moments no one can imagine or fully understand, despite the 1,000 words each picture tells. And in the case of Kevin Carter, the photographer who took this picture, it was too much. Carter committed suicide three months after taking this picture.

Almost more difficult than the idea of this child dying, is the question of why did Carter not help the girl? The moral and artistic perspectives of photography are for each photographer alone. How will you decide what yours are?

Famous Photographers: Peter Beard

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American photographer, Peter Hill Beard stands unique in that much of his work is built through his collage of photography, words and other media. He started from a young age, using his photography as a part, and extension, of his writing.

Beard’s work is also unique in that he has done much work photographing Africa, the wildlife and plains and yet he also incorporates photographs of high fashion and socialites.

Some of his photography is strait forward, but much of it juxtaposes its images, such as Carl Sagan’s Croc Alistair and 14 footer.

Beard is known for creating beautiful work, for being beautiful himself and for crafting art uniquely on a wide level. Browse his work for a raw, real perspective of photography and self-expression.


Famous Photos: The Great Depression

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This photo was taken by Florence Thompson in the 1930s. The worn, desperation captured in this image has become iconic for the Great Depression and the following Dust Bowl. This image captures the hardships endured by those who lived during this time, and represents more than just economic disparity and trouble. It brings to mind the strength of American resilience and the unity hard times create.


Famous Photographers: Rankin

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Photographer: John Rankin Waddell (works as Rankin)

It makes sense, since London is a hub for fashion, that the Englishman, Rankin, would be considered one of the most influential fashion photographers. His work has been featured in campaigns for some of the largest brands in the world, including Nike, L’Oreal, Hugo Boss, and Coca Cola.

There might be a stereotype of those who are deeply entrenched in the fashion world as people who are out-of-touch and selfish. However, Rankin has taken his talents to South Africa to shoot a BBC documentary and he has worked with Bono on the R.E.D. campaign.

His subjects are varied. He is quoted as saying Kate Moss is the most beautiful woman in the world, but his favorite person to photograph was the Queen of England. (If you want to learn something about Her Majesty’s personality, go read what Rankin says about his experience with her.)

Home Studio

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Every photographer has differing home studio setups depending on preference, type and style of photography and a thousand other factors.

As photography becomes more affordable the desire for ideal photography locations within the home has increased, as have the instructions for building them. (Don’t believe me? Google “Photography light box”)

Creating the perfect photography location is critical, but a lot simpler than the large lights and flowing backdrops lead us to believe. Here’s one photographer who created an entire studio (lights, backdrop, furniture and props, paint) for less than $500. That’s pretty impressive.

Someday I’ll have an in-home studio, but the truth is I don’t have a free spot big enough to dedicate to a studio. So I improvise and it actually turns out pretty awesome.

My favorite backdrops for interior shots are:

  • Blackboard
  • Partially cracked blinds
  • Granite counter
  • Wood cutting board
  • Large, heavy, flat-white paper

There are times I have to wait until the lighting is right, but luckily I have windows on multiple sides of the main room to my house so that time happens more often than not.

What about you? How do you deal with not having an official home studio?

Cellphone Cameras: iPhone 5

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Equipment

All Apple v. Android attitudes aside, the iPhone 5 has an impressive camera. Check out these sample pictures:

That’s insane.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that we can have such good cameras in our pockets, I just wonder if our iPhones will eventually morph with our DSLRs. You can already buy different styles of lenses, my favorite of which is Photojojo’s telephoto lens. With so much amazing technology in so many hands photographers need to keep up on keeping their photos unique and built upon strong photography basics. I think the future of a good photographer as opposed to a person with a nice camera is the ability to structure photos, to see creatively and know the fundamentals.

What do you think about the future of photography and camera phones?

Wikipedia Photo Contest

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Blog

Wikipedia is hosting a photography contest. It’s actually a genius idea: Hold a photo contest to increase the number of photos on Wikipedia.

As for awards, winners are picked on national and international levels. They’re serious about passing out the goods. Did I mention the winner goes on a photo tour?

This is the first time it is being held on an international level, so I recommend you jump on this ship. It’s awesome and it runs through September so get your camera and get going!


See more details at Wiki Loves Monuments.

Eleven Years

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Blog

May we never forget those lost on September 11, 2001 and in the subsequent battles.

This photo speaks to me of freedom, hope and beauty despite the unknown.

My love and prayers to you all.

Terra Nova Uncovered

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Photastic

Terra Nova, the ship that carried what was supposed to be the first* explorers to the South Pole was recently discovered off the coast of Greenland.

Check out these pictures. Can you believe it’s a wooden ship from 100 years ago? Definitely makes history seem more alive. And I can’t wait until we get some better pictures of the wreckage.

And here she was in her glory days.

Does it make you want to go explore the unknown?


*They were just barely beaten by the Norweigen explorer, Roald Amundsen. Check this guy out, he’s classy.

Photo Source: National Geographic

Personalized Photos

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Blog

Photography can be split into endless subcategories, but the two I want to discuss right now are artistic and personal. Artistic photos, for the sake of this post, are ones whose purpose is to create art, to capture beauty and record an object. Personal photos are ones whose purpose is to create a record of an event, capture a moment and record a memory.
I don’t consider myself a professional photographer, but I do enjoy taking and admiring artistic photos. (Some of my favorites lately have been products of my brother’s fish-eye Lomo.) There’s something satisfying in a picture that captures an everyday object in a unique way.
But the truth is I fell in love with photography because I have this fear of forgetting so I capture every moment I can. Luckily many of my personal photos are artistic enough I am comfortable printing and displaying them, but even when they aren’t I sometimes site for hours scanning through old events in my iPhoto or flipping through my pre-digital film pictures.

Maybe the truth is for photographers, there isn’t a distinction between the two genres. What do you think?

photo credit

America’s Top National Parks

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Uncategorized

And yes, Utah is on the list twice.

My breath was literally taken away at some of the images from the article. I knew America was varied and beautiful, but this really does a fantastic job capturing a part of that. Read the whole list here.

Which locations on the list have you been to? Which places should have been included? Share pictures of either!


Your pictures, your personality

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Blog

The blog, Manfrotto (read the post to which I am referring here) is running a series where they ask a psychologist to analyze certain profile pictures. My first reaction to this one was, Where can I find myself some of those shoes?

Utah Photography Manfrotto Sparkly Shoes

The second was to think about my profile (and if we’re talking the new Facebook timelines, cover) photo. Yeah, it says a lot about me, but the truth is I’m pretty cut and dry when it comes to my profile pictures. It’s usually just a picture of me smiling.

But, because this is a photography blog and because we’re talking psychology, I dug a little deeper. My profile picture may not say a lot about the unique parts of who I am, but my photography does. Here’s one of my Instagram pictures.

I prefer vibrant colors, dark contrasts and close-ups of textures and objects. And that’s who I am. I am a passionate person who loves to live life in a bright, colorful way. I also tend to be an eclectic mix of extremes. I can go from giddy to pissed faster than I’d like to admit. And I’m introspective. I prefer intimate conversations where I can really focus in on the person with whom I am talking.

What about you? What draws you to photography, and what do your photographs say about you?

Camera types

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Equipment

I use to ask people what type of camera they use to try and gage which one was “best”. (You know, the old Nikon v. Cannon debate.) But I’ve realized that because cameras types are as varied as photography styles, I should be asking which camera is the photographer’s favorite.

I mentioned before [link to Texting Pictures post] that I use different cameras for different “niches” of photography. For example: I use my camera phone to remember types of books to buy or to send my family something funny I found. I have my DSLR for when I want to practice playing with more manual settings, or when I am feeling professional enough to go out simply to take pictures. And I recently bought a glorified point-and-shoot/video camera. At first I wondered if I was moving back a step in the photography world, but that little thing has been a perfect grab-and-go camera for quick weekends or trips where I want something simpler and more varied. My next step is to get a fisheye lense camera like my brother’s lomo.

What kind of cameras do you use and why?


Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Blog

When I got married, I had no interest in getting flowers. I didn’t want to carry around a bouquet, and I always thought they looked awkward in pictures. (Lesson learned: Get a good photographer. They fix all those problems.) But, my mom told me she wanted there to be flowers, so last minute I went to a florist and found picked out some arrangements.

Even though buying the flowers was one of the last things on my list, I was very thoughtful about the types of flower I selected. For the grandparents, I ordered simple arrangements of calla lilies. Little did I know, my grandfather’s gift to me was a poem about blossoming into oneself and one’s potential, along with my cousin had painted a picture of his favorite flower: calla lilies.

The painting and poem were the first things I hung in my newly married home and seeing the photos of my grandfather proudly wearing his boutonnière are priceless.

Photo of Grandad

Joshua Brown Photography

Texting Pictures

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Equipment

When I first got the iPhone (the original) I couldn’t send image texts. It took me a little to adjust, but I didn’t text pictures very often anyway so it wasn’t a big deal. But the truth: I was missing out. When I upgraded to the iPhone 4 and texted my sister a picture in excitement of my new upgrade her response was, “Oh, you didn’t get picture texts?! No wonder you didn’t respond to any of the pictures I sent you!” Camera Phone

It was at that moment I realized how much I had missed. The entire time my sister and I lived a country apart, I didn’t get anything she sent me. I missed seeing her adventures, and I missed the opportunities to bond at a distance. Such a simple aspect to life, but I was left out and I missed out. Needless to say, I’ve made up for lost time. My camera phone hasn’t replaced my full-sized camera; they are in completely different photography niches for me. But I have no shame in snapping random pictures with my phone to send a “thinking of you” text or as a reminder to buy that one book.

What do you use your camera phone for? Do any of you not have a camera on your phone?


Image Source:


Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Blog

The biggest photography news in the past little while is, most obviously, the sale of Instagram to Facebook. It brings up a really interesting aspect of the modern-day prevalence of photography and cameras. Facebook hasn’t even gone public yet and it spent all that money on a photography-based social media. That’s because it realizes the importance of people taking and sharing pictures.

And it’s true! Instagram is fantastic because of the immediacy of capturing moments and sharing them with your friends. But beyond that, it lets even the most artistically-challenged user alter their pictures into awesome renditions of real life. I’ve even recently learned how to double-filter a picture (hint: use airplane mode). It really is awesome.

I’m sure there are people who aren’t fans of Instagram. But I haven’t met them. Have you?


Image Source: Mashable

Utah Photography

Written by Utah Photography on . Posted in Blog

Photography enhances special moments of life because of its ability to capture existence in a completely unique way: the beauty of crystalline light coming between the clouds of a nature scene; the personality and stories of a faded unsmiling family portrait; the joy of marriage or a new child. A well constructed photograph is a piece of everyday art unique to each individual or family.

We live in a lucky time where cameras are prevalent. Even cell phone cameras are good enough to capture the “Kodak moments.” But that brings its own problems. When it comes to truly important moments, such as a wedding or the birth of a child, how do you find a photographer? The internet is great, but going through pages and pages on Google is really tough and leaves you feeling kind of confused. But now, the photographers and those looking for photographers, are all together in one place, easy to find.

Looking for photographers? We’ve got them here. Looking for someone to photograph? We have them here too!