Monthly Archives: June 2012

Ultimate Reno Combat 34

I was able to try my hand at shooting Mixed Martial Arts on Friday, June 29, 2012. Ultimate Reno Combat 34 was held at the Grand Sierra Resort only two minutes away from the RGJ. I was pretty happy with what I got from the fights, and as a fan, it was great to see the fights live.

With any sport I shoot after the first time I always come away seeing something I could have done better, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to shoot their next event on July 20. Working at a venue like this you are at the mercy of the lights, and from what I was told the lighting at this one was some of the hardest to shoot in. While not perfect I can’t seem to find anything worse than the Lantz Field house at EIU.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the night.

David Sallee, of Havuk Skwod, walks out to the cage for his fight with Kyle Burks, of Team Voodoo.

Kyle Burks sends David Sallee to the ground with a right hand and follows up with ground and pound to win the fight by TKO.

Jose Quintero, of Team Norcal MMA, reacts after his submission win with a rear naked choke over Brock Peterson, of Peterson Athletic Systems.

Hugo Valadez, of Team SharpNux, lands a punch on Erick Sanchez, of Team Alpha Male. Sanchez won the fight by unanimous decision.

George Viveros, of Reno Academy of Combat, is inspected before going into the cage.

Brandon Thomas, of Team SharpNux, slips past one of Travis Morley’s, of Mountain Warrior Fight Club, punches. Morley won the fight by TKO.

Chad Steiner, of Team SharpNux, takes a kick to the gut from Jose Medina, of South Lake Tahoe Wing Chun. Steiner won the fight by unanimous decision.

David Sallee throws a right hand at Kyle Burks.

Jose Medina takes a swing at Chad Steiner but isn’t fast enough to land.

Isaiah Wright, of Sektion 8 Fight Team, jumps onto the cage after knocking out Larry Gunter, of Havik Skwod.

Chad Steiner attempts a rear naked choke during his fight with Jose Medina.

Chad Steiner is announced as the winner by unanimous decision after his fight with Jose Medina.

Now onto the main event.

Ricky Steele, of Twisted Genetiks, lands a head kick on Mike Crowell, of Team Voodoo. Steele won the fight with a submission by standing guillotine choke.

Ricky Steele catches Mike Rowell in a standing guillotine choke that ended the main event in the first round.

This is probably my favorite sports reaction photos I’ve taken so far.

Mike Crowell recovers after being submitted by Ricky Steele with a standing guillotine choke.

As I was editing these I thought to myself I haven’t done a black and white photo since I shot for The Daily Eastern News, so here you go.

Larry Gunter, of Havik Skwod, is wished good luck by one of his coaches before his fight with Isaiah Wright. Gunter lost by knockout.

If you want to see more click here for my gallery at the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Children’s Theater

Here is an assignment I had a lot of fun working a few days ago. It is a dress rehearsal for the play The Thirteen Clocks.

The cast and director of “The Thirteen Clocks” look at the set their play for the first time Sunday, June 24, 2012, at the Reno Little Theater Rehearsal hall before they begin rehearsal for the day. The set was finished earlier that day.

Heather Miley left, of Sparks, and Meghan Kirwin, of Reno, rehearse a scene for the play “The Thirteen Clocks” Sunday, June 24, 2012, at the Reno Little Theater Rehearsal Hall. The play has been in progress for about two weeks.

Meghan Kirwin rehearses a scene for the play “The Thirteen Clocks” Sunday, June 24, 2012, at the Reno Little Theater Rehearsal Hall.

Heather Miley ponders a question asked by another character as she rehearses a scene for the play “The Thirteen Clocks” Sunday, June 24, 2012, at the Reno Little Theater Rehearsal Hall.

Monica Mahler (left) acts as a guard with Jasmine Merril to tie up Meghan Kirwin, during rehearsal for the play “The Thirteen Clocks” Sunday, June 24, 2012 at the Reno Little Theater Rehearsal Hall.



For the first time on any of the trails I’ve been on I truly felt secluded from everything while hiking up to Mt. Lola. It takes about an hour and a half to get to the trailhead from where I’m staying. You pretty much get on 80 East and get off on exit 188 towards highway 89 and drive north. Go about 14 miles and you will hit an intersection with Forest Route 07. It is pretty much the only paved road you will see. Unfortunately I missed the road on my first go around and ended up getting stuck in construction traffic on my way back.

Once you get on the road you will take the first left you see and this will put you on a gravel road. If you follow that eventually you will cross a bridge and end up at a four-way stop. Take a right onto Henness Pass Road and follow that to the trailhead. This road is all dirt and gravel.

Here is a little map to help out. The location of the trailhead is approximate on there, but still pretty close.


As you make your way down the road keep a look out for this sign on the left. That will let you know you have reached your destination.

There weren’t any cars when I got there and over the course of the hike I only came across three different groups and only one of them actually came in the same way I did. There are other ways to hit this trail including horseback and off roading.

The trail starts off with a steep section and pretty much continues like that for the rest of the hike. The only times I ever came across a flat part of the trail was when I hit the larger sections of the trail that look like they were old roads. This trail has a lot of paths that branch off, so here is a short run down.

First you will come across your first section of road. Here you want to make a right and continue down the road. Eventually it will fork and you want to stay to the right. You will come across this bridge.

It looks pretty rickety but it was sturdy enough. Keep following the road until you see trees marked with white diamonds on your left.

These will pretty much be your guide for the rest of the trail. There will be a smaller path marked with these diamonds that you want to follow. As you make your way through the trees you will hit another road. Here you make a left and quickly find another small trail to your right. Follow that uphill to the summit.

One of the highlights of the hike was a spectacular meadow in the middle of the forest after the split from the first major road.

From there the path gets narrow as you hike around the meadow.

This was probably the most challenging hike I’ve been on so far. Even though the summit wasn’t as high as Mt. Rose the trail wasn’t as well maintained and was steeper. The closer I got to the summit the more snow-covered the trail became.

This made navigating the trail somewhat difficult because the lack of trail maintenance combined with the snow made making my way up a little slower.

Even though this was the hardest trail I’ve done so far it was my favorite. I liked the views better than Mt. Rose and the summit was a lot easier to navigate and explore.

The path continues down to White Rock Lake, but I just decided to hang out at the summit instead.

The view from one direction off the summit.

It was much calmer on this summit.

Making my way down some of the creek crossings got a little higher.

These are the types of adventures I’m going to miss when I leave Reno. Hopefully I can keep up the hiking when I get back to school.




The Reno Rodeo

After 10 days the Reno Rodeo finished on Saturday. I took photos for five out of the 10 days and picking my favorites was a challenge. Shooting this was a completely different experience than I’ve had before, but I liked it. Here are a few of my favorite photos.

Jason Miller, of Lance Creek, Wyo., wrestles a steer to the ground in 11.5 seconds during the steer wrestling competition of the Reno Rodeo Sunday, June 17, 2012.

Tilden Hooper, of Carthage, Texas, rides Spy during the Reno Rodeo Friday, June 15, 2012.

Along with the monetary awards the silver spurs are what those competing the Reno Rodeo are after.

Bradley Harter, of Weatherford, Texas, rides Faded Dice during the saddle Bronc competition of the Reno Rodeo Friday, June 22, 2012.

Tod McFarland, of Bowie, Texas, adjusts his hat before leaving the chutes Friday, June 22, 2012.

Steve Woosley, of Payson, Utah, prepares before Xtreme Bulls during the Reno Rodeo Thursday, June, 14, 2012.

George Gillespie IV, of Placerville, Calif., prepares to leave the chutes Friday, June 22, 2012, at the Reno Rodeo during the bareback bronc riding competition.

A participant in the Reno Rodeo waits for the rodeo to start Friday, June 22, 2012.

Tod McFarland, of Bowie, Texas, looks down at his boot before the rodeo Thursday, June 22, 2012.

Wes Stevenson, of Lubbock, Texas, rides Crooked Sky for a score of 84 Thursday, June 21, 2012.

A participant in the Reno Rodeo ties on his glove before the Rodeo starts Thursday, June 21, 2012.

Kinney Dale Harrell, of Marshell, Texas, tries to rope a steer during the team roping section of the Reno Rodeo Thursday, June 21, 2012.

A steer is roped during the team roping competition at the Reno Rodeo Thursday, June 21, 2012.

Hopefully I will have the chance to shoot another rodeo in the near future because it was pretty exciting and makes for great photos.

Sun Valley Fire

Last Sunday I had one of the busiest days so far with the RGJ. Covering whitewater kayaking at the Reno River Festival, leaving to cover a fire, and finally shooting the Reno Rodeo. This was my first fire with the RGJ, and by the time I reached Sun Valley  it had pretty much been put out.

A Reno fire fighter puts his equipment on during fire in Sun Valley on Chocolate Drive Sunday that destroyed two mobile homes.

Materials burn during a fire in Sun Valley on Chocolate Drive Sunday.

A Reno fire fighter looks over the scene of a fire in Sun Valley on Chocolate Drive Sunday.

A Reno fire fighter extinguishes a fire in Sun Valley on Chocolate Drive Sunday.

Reno fire fighters exchange water during a fire in Sun Valley on Chocolate Drive Sunday.

Reno fire fighters extinguish a fire in Sun Valley on Chocolate Drive Sunday.

The view from 10,775 feet

After taking a weekend off from hiking and doing pretty much nothing I headed out to hike up to the Mt. Rose summit yesterday. I’ve wanted  to do this hike since I got into Reno a little more than a month ago. Especially since the trailhead is about 30 minutes from where I’m living for the summer.

Since this trail gets so much traffic the trailhead is pretty easy to spot and has plenty of parking. I went on a Monday and there were only a few cars, but from what I hear if you go on the weekends the parking will quickly fill up. If you are coming from Reno all you have to do is take 395 south and then get onto highway 431, otherwise known as Mt. Rose Highway, and follow it until you hit the trailhead on your right. The trailhead also has bathrooms.

I think it is safe to say this trail can be broken up into three separate sections. The whole trail is very well maintained, but gets more difficult the farther up you go. If you take on the whole hike it comes out to be about 10.6 miles round trip.

The first section of the trail takes you from a somewhat exposed section filled with brush to a wooded area that eventually leads to a small waterfall. I passed a lot of families walking their dogs on this part of the path. This whole section is fairly flat and doesn’t have to many steep sections.

If you don’t feel like hiking the whole trail the waterfall would be a nice destination to hang out and eat some lunch. The trail branches off so that you can hike up to the top of the waterfall.

But the waterfall was not my final destination. The summit of Mt. Rose was my goal. Below is the view of Mt. Rose from the trail, and I had to make my way up ridge on the left to make it to the summit.

After leaving the waterfall you make your way to what I’m calling the second section of the trail. Here the trail gets a bit steeper, narrower and rockier. Still it isn’t very difficult to hike up. Some spots might call for you to slow down, but that’s about it.

You eventually make your way up to a clearing with a sign informing you that you are now entering the Mt. Rose Wilderness, and this also starts the final leg of the trail. After leaving the clearing for another section of trees the climb to the summit begins. At first, the trail just gets steeper bringing you closer to the summit, but eventually a series of steep switchbacks bring you out of the tree line.

This is what you have to hike up for the rest of the trail to the summit. As you can see everything is completely exposed here, which means there is wind and lots of it. As I made my way up to the summit the wind got stronger and stronger and was eventually powerful enough to bring me down to the ground. I can’t say for sure but I don’t think it’s like this everyday. Yesterday was pretty windy even down at the trailhead, so I expected a lot more wind at the end of the trail. I was not expecting what I got, but I wasn’t about to turn around after two and a half hours of hiking and miss views like this

I met a trail runner from Phoenix at the summit and we ended up having to bypass some of the trail because of the wind. After that hike I can say for sure that Mt. Rose won’t be the only summit I hit during my time in Reno.

Unfortunately it was a hazy day so Lake Tahoe wasn’t as crisp as it could have been, but I don’t think anyone can argue that this isn’t a great view.

I couldn’t bring myself to get closer to the edge with that wind blowing the way it was. Overall the trail managed to be everything I look for in a good hike. It was a great workout, exciting and inspiring. Plus now I can say I have hiked a mountain in more than just Skyrim.

The views on the way down weren’t half bad either. If there’s going to be one thing I miss when I come back to Illinois it’s going to be places like this.

I’m not sure where I’m heading next week, but I’m playing with a few options. I might head out to a 14 and a half mile trail northwest of Truckee, Calif., that will take me across Mt. Lola (9,143 feet) to White Rock Lake, or drive to southwest Lake Tahoe and hike up Mt. Tallac (9,735 feet).

I don’t think I mentioned this before but I’m pulling these hikes out of “Afoot and Afield: Reno-Tahoe.”


Graduations Galore

It was all about the shoes last week during the Reno and Sparks area high school graduations. I shot a total of six graduations last week, and it proved to be a challenge. The issue wasn’t getting good photos from the graduations, but getting a nice range of photos from each one.

I didn’t want to go out and get the same photos from each graduation, so I tried my best to change things up at every graduation I went to. Each school had the same set up, but it was interesting to see the subtle differences in each school.

Every school had the same problem with the guys not bringing the right shoes, or not wearing a tie, and it was the same cat calls every time the teachers and administrators asked everyone to open their robes for a safety check.

Yet, every school had a different vibe. The students may have acted the same but it was clear that each school had prepped a different way. Some were organized and ready to go long before I got to the Reno-Spark Convention Center, others only got ready at the last second. Either way I think I got some cool images.

Here are a few of my favorites.

School counselor Jackie Gallagher smiles as the 2012 North Valleys High School graduates pass her by before the ceremony Friday, June 8, 2012, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Reed High School graduates hold hands as they move to their seats at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center Wednesday, June 6, 2012.

A Hug High School graduate moves to his seat during their graduation ceremony Thursday, June 7, 2012, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Students wait to enter the Reed High School graduation ceremony at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center Wednesday, June 6, 2012.

Wooster High School vice president Mike Nakashima runs down the rules for the male graduates before the ceremony at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center Friday, June 8, 2012.

Reed High School graduates walk to the ceremony at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center Wednesday, June 6, 2012.

Graduates from North Valleys High School are shown to their seats during the graduation ceremony at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center Friday, June 9, 2012.

Galena High School graduates look at their fellow students walk down the aisle on the monitor Thursday, June 7, 2012, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Members of the Hug High School JROTC wait for the graduation ceremony to start Thursday, June 7, 2012, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

A Galena High School graduate carries his shoes through the lobby before the graduation ceremony Thursday, June 7, 2012, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Hug High School graduates wait in line before the ceremony Thursday, June 7, 2012, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

The Hug High School JROTC cast shadows as they wait for the graduation ceremony to start Thursday, June 7, 2012, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.


Reno Rodeo Work Day

With the Reno Rodeo starting today I figured I should post some photos of the prep work. The rodeo was one of the assignments I was the most excited about when I found out I got the internship earlier this year.

I’m going to be shooting it on and off for about the next week. I’ll do one large update with all those photos when the rodeo is over.

The work Day took place on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at the Reno Rodeo Area.

Volunteers help prepare the Reno Rodeo Arena for use.

Reno Rodeo volunteer Craig Downie, of Reno, helps attach plywood to the bull chutes during a work day at the Reno Rodeo Arena Saturday.

Lori Muhlenberg, of Las Vegas, helps prepare the stands during a work day at the Reno Rodeo Arena Saturday.

A volunteer helps keep a gate in place while attaching plywood to it.

Street Vibrations

Well I learned the other day that shooting shiny chrome motorcycles at noon isn’t the best idea. I spent a few hours at the Street Vibrations spring rally at Victorian Square in Sparks on Sunday, June 3, 2012.

This seems like it might be a small prep for Hot August Nights later this summer.

Street Vibrations is a motorcycle rally that takes places over three days. It happens twice during year once in the fall and once in the spring.

Mike, of Reno, takes a look at a motorcycle on display during the 2012 Street Vibrations spring rally at Victorian Square in Sparks.

Grizzly owner of Grizzly’s Patches out of Arizona waits for a customer to give him a vest before sewing on a patch during the Street Vibrations spring rally at Victorian Square in Sparks. Grizzly has owned Grizzly’s Patches for about 40 years.

Tom Burroughs, left, of Sacramento, Calif., answers Curtis Sanders’, of Reno, questions about Burroughs’ 2011 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide during the Street Vibrations spring rally at Victorian Square in Sparks.

Bill Summy, of Reno, parks his 2005 Big Dog Chopper during the 2012 Street Vibrations spring rally at Victorian Square in Sparks.

Hunter Creek Trail

For my second trail this summer I decided to drive a short 20 minutes to Hunter Creek Trail. As I drove to the Michael D. Thompson trailhead located on the edge of Reno it was hard to believe that there was a trail so close to the city. According to “Afoot & Afield Reno-Tahoe” the trail is seven miles.

The trail begins as you make your way through a canyon into the Mt. Rose Wilderness.

You follow a fairly wide road until you get into the wilderness area and the trail gets narrower.

I luckily picked an overcast day to do this trail because the majority of the hike doesn’t provide any shade until you get into the forested area. It even started to snow a little while I was out there.

The final destination of the hike is a small waterfall, and it is pretty much up hill the majority of the way there. The trail itself shifts from straight up dirt to completely rocky and back again heading all the way into the forested area. I only had an issue finding the trail at one point about 10 minutes from the waterfall. The trail broke off into about three different paths and it was only a matter of looking for the one with the most human footprints.

I’m starting to like having Mondays and Tuesdays off because it pretty much takes away the majority of people hiking on the trails.

It was nice to see a variety of different variety of scenery because so far I haven’t hiked in any dense forest like I’m used to in Southern Illinois and Indiana. Having a cool breeze and open skies isn’t really what I’m used to when someone mentions hiking. I think more along the lines of mosquitoes, humidity, and forests so thick you can’t see the sun until you get out of them.

Once you enter the tree line it’s a pretty short hike to the waterfall, but you have to cross about three small streams to get there. Each one had a board or log set across it so you could walk over easily.

I’m not sure where I’m going to head next week, but I might go farther south around Lake Tahoe or Carson City.