Category Archives: 12 Weeks in the Biggest Little City in the World

Summer Portfolio Update

After my summer in Reno I finally got around to updating my portfolio. Here are a few of my favorite  images.

Little Leaguers wait for the Aces starting players to come out of the dugout at Aces Ballpark in Reno, Nev., Friday, June 1, 2012.

Larry Gunter, of Havik Skwod, hugs one of his coaches before his fight against Isaiah Wright, of Sektion 8 Fight Team, during Ultimate Reno Combat 34 at the Grand Sierra Resort Friday, June 30, 2012. Wright won the fight with a knockout.

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

Reno fire fighters exchange water during a fire in Sun Valley on Chocolate Drive that destroyed two mobile homes Sunday, June 17, 2012.

Nick Troutman, of Canada, participates in the freestyle competition finals at the Reno River Festival at Wingfield Park Sunday, June 17, 2012.

J.J. Henry bends over after his putt nearly makes it into the 15th hole during the second round of the Reno-Tahoe Open at Montreux Golf & Country Club Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

Visit my full portfolio of 30 images here.

The Mighty, Mighty, Tour de Nez

Out of all the sports I’ve covered this year cycling has proved to be the most challenging. Not because I couldn’t get enough photos, but because I wanted to get something different. I covered The Mighty, Mighty, Tour de Nez on Sunday, July 29, in downtown Reno. I wasn’t able to get any of the quirky races that happened earlier in the day because I was on another assignment, but I got downtown with enough time to cover the masters and pro races.

The challenge for me was to get something other than the riders coming at me or the go-to pan shot. After a few hours and a couple of races I was pretty happy with my results. Unlike some of the other sports I’ve covered I think I can find some cycling events around Charleston.

Jason Walker, of Reno, and winner of the masters division, speeds past the crowd as his wife Kerri Walker, far left, and mother Billie Thoresen, right, cheer for him during The Might, Mighty, Tour de Nez on Arlington Avenue.

Competitors in the masters division ride down Arlington Avenue.

Emily Kachorek waits for the women’s pro race to start on Arlington Avenue. The competitors in the women’s division raced for an hour through the streets of Reno.

Jason Walker wins the masters division of The Mighty, Mighty, Tour de Nez in downtown Reno.

Competitors in the mens pro division begin their race on Arlington Avenue.

Erica Greif races down West First Street in the women’s pro division in downtown Reno.

Lucas Binder makes his way up a hill on Rainbow Street with a pack of racers behind him during the men’s pro division in downtown Reno.

Allison Tetrick rides down West First Street in downtown Reno.

Emily Thurston tries to keep her lead as she rides down West first Street in downtown Reno.

Erica Greif races in the women’s pro division in downtown Reno.

Treetop Adventure Park

I was able to spend the day at Granlibakken’s Treetop Adventure Course a few weeks ago. This was the first time this summer that I had the chance to shoot and edit some video. I was also able to play around with the newspapers Go Pro for the first time. All of the 1st person shots are done with the go pro. I would have liked to attach it to my helmet but I didn’t have the right gear, so it’s attached to my chest.

In Mourning

On Friday, July 27, the body of Jonathan Blunk, a victim of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting was brought back to Reno. This was the first time I covered anything so closely related to a national story and the first time I covered an event where I encountered so much grieving.

I was told that the Patriot Guard would be escorting the body back to the Mountain View Mortuary along with family, and my plan was to photograph the motorcade as they traveled through one of downtown Reno’s largest parks. After I got my photos there I planned to meet up with them again at the mortuary to get more photos. As with most of my planning it didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped.

Even with all the mishaps I was able to get the photos I needed, and it was definitely a learning experience for situations like this.

Jonathan Blunk’s body is escorted by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department and the Patriot Guard down Arlington Avenue as they make their way to Mountain View Mortuary in Reno.

Members of the Patriot Guard escort Jonathan Blunk’s body down Arlington Avenue as they make their way to Mountain View Mortuary in Reno.

Jonathan Blunk’s casket is moved into the Mountain View Mortuary by Steve Flores (center) and members of the Patriot Guard in Reno.

Debbie Routson (center), of Reno and a Gold Star Mother, is consoled by Paula Fleming (left), of Sparks, and Penny Estrada (right), of Reno, after Jonathan Blunk’s casket is moved into the Mountain View Mortuary. This was Routson’s first time back to Mountain View Mortuary since her son’s funeral services in 2009.

 

 

 

 

Unity II

Here is an assignment I shot a few weeks ago. It was a Burning Man fundraiser/party called Unity II in Reno. It was held at the Salvagery Reno and raised money for two Burning Man art projects, Pier 2 and Burn Wall Street, and the art gallery at the Salvagery Reno. The party started open to all ages with bands, an open gallery, and a dunk tank. Later it moved inside the Salvagery with dancing and shows on the second floor.

A crowd gathers to watch Lina Herrada, of Reno, perform Aerial Arts Saturday, July 14, 2012, during Unity 2 in the Salvagery Reno’s gallery.

Two party goers sit at the top of the Pier 2 Burning Man art project during Unity 2.

Jungle Jim gets a drink during Unity 2.

Big Chief heads to the makeshift Green Room before a fashion show on the second floor of the Salvagery Reno.

The wall of the second floor of the Salvagery Reno is decorated with mannequin bodies.

A model from Unity 2’s fashion show makes her way to the stage on the second floor of the Salvagery Reno.

Models from Unity 2’s fashion show are bathed in red light as they dance back to the Green Room during their final appearance in front of the crowd.

Those attending Unity 2 greet each other at the entrance of the Salvagery Reno’s art gallery.

Those attending Unity 2 move inside the Salvagery Reno to dance.

A dancer enjoys the music as the party moves from the outside into the Salvagery Reno’s warehouse during Unity 2.

Obama visits Reno

President Barack Obama came into town  yesterday to speak at the VFW National Convention, and after a long week of covering celebrity golf it gave me a chance to photograph my first president. My assignment was to cover him arriving at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and leaving after his speech. I was excited to say the least.

It went much better than I expected and I even came away with a few decent photos of him meeting with a small crowd after getting off Air Force One.

Air Force One prepares to land at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport Monday.

Air Force One moves into position.

President Barack Obama arrives at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

President Barack Obama arrives at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and meets with a crowd before leaving for the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

President Barack Obama shakes hands after he arrives at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

President Barack Obama signs his book “Dreams From my Father” at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport Monday.

President Barack Obama prepares to leave for the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Clouds begin to move over Air Force One as a storm approaches.

 

President Barack Obama waves before entering Air Force One.

Air Force One takes off from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mt. Tallac

If you want an amazing view Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area then the summit of Mt. Tallac is the place to be. Monday, July 10, after a week off from hiking I decided to tackle this hike. From Reno it takes about an hour and half to get to the trailhead, which is southwest of the lake. The easiest way to get there is by taking 395 south through Carson City, get onto 50 from there, and finally take highway 89. You won’t be on 89 very long when you start seeing signs for Mt. Tallac. Make a left at Mt. Tallac Road and continue to follow the signs until you reach the trailhead.

If you are just going on a day hike you can pick up your permit and self register at the trailhead. If you are backpacking you have to go to the Lake Tahoe Visitor Center.

I suggest getting an early start on this hike. I got to trailhead at 9 a.m. and the lot was packed already. Plus, this can be a pretty strenuous hike with little shade for the last half, so you don’t want to get caught in the most difficult section during the hottest part of the day. You definitely need a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water for this one.

The trail starts off with a steady incline as it brings you up through a forested area where you will get a pretty nice view of Fallen Leaf Lake. After you pass the lake you dip back down into the trees where you will come across two smaller bodies of water.

This is the first small lake and the second marks your exit from the trees and opens the trail up to side of the mountain pretty hard.

It starts out easy enough as you make your way through slightly rocky terrain, but the rocks form nice steps on your way up.

As you make your way out of this section you come across a large open expanse of land. The photo below shows this, but it’s on the return trip so it’s from above.

After you make it past this section of the trail you begin a steep climb up the side of the mountain. Here you have two options of varying difficulty. The first is a pretty simple continuation of the trail except that you need to pay attention because it will veer to the left. You don’t want to miss it like I did. If you do miss it, or are a little more adventurous, you can take the other path. Below is a photo of what you will be scrambling over on that section of the trail. There is a visible trail as you move up the mountain so it isn’t to hard to follow, but it involves climbing on a lot of loose rocks. I took the easier way down on my way back.

Once you reconnect with the main trail you will continue through another flat area that leads to the final switchbacks before the summit.

As you make your way up to the summit the switchback will end and you are pretty much free to find your own path to the very top.

As you can see this isn’t the soft, relaxing, lazy afternoon summit like Mt. Lola. As I made my way up I half expected the Eye of Sauron to appear at the peak. The tough hike to the summit was worth it for the views though.

And you can’t forget Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake. To get a larger image of the panorama click the photo.

I’ll have some time to decide where I head next, but I won’t be able to go hiking for at least the next week because of my work schedule. I’m going to have to find something grand an epic for my last few hikes.

Eldorado Fireworks 500

This summer has been filled with a lot of firsts but some of the more interesting ones have been the new sports that I’ve been to cover. Saturday, July, 7, went about 23 miles east of Reno to the Tahoe-Reno Motorplex to shoot the Eldorado Fireworks 500. It was the first year for the race and was also on a brand new course. The spectator area was located on a hill looking down on a large section of the course. Luckily this was the case because I was stuck in spectator area for this event.

There was a media safety meeting the night before I didn’t know about so I wasn’t able to get a vest to go down onto the course. I tried to convince them to give me a spot on the helicopter that was following racers through the course, but it wasn’t a big surprise that they weren’t going for that idea.

I also got the chance to shoot some freestyle Motocross before I left for another assignment. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the race.

Tony Murray’s, of Villa Park, Calif., vehicle crosses the starting line to begin the second lap of the race.

Kenny Bell, of Carson City, performs a freestyle Motocross trick for a crowd at the Eldorado Fireworks 500.

Patrick Gailey’s, of Norco, Calif., vehicle (left) and Gary Williams’, of Irvine, Calif., vehicle nearly finish their first lap during the Eldorado Fireworks 500 Saturday at the Tahoe-Reno Motorplex.

Dennis Boyle’s, of Van Nuys, Calif., vehicle makes a landing after getting some air on its way to the start of the second lap.

Fans watch as a vehicle makes its way through the course.

Cameron Steele’s, of San Clemente, Calif., vehicle winds its way down the final hill in first place towards the second lap.

Kenny Bell, of Carson City, performs a freestyle Motocross trick for a crowd at the Eldorado Fireworks 500.

James Horvath’s, of Sylvan Lake, Canada, vehicle kicks up a cloud of dust as it speeds its way through the course.

 

 

Fourth of Juplaya

I headed out into the desert for the first time July, 4, 2012 for Fourth of Juplaya. Camping groups, many of which descend on Burning Man in September, found their way out onto the Black Rock Desert’s playa for the fourth. I didn’t really know what to expect when I got off the paved road and headed into the playa, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was noon so the sun was high and hot, but with the breeze the heat wasn’t unbearable.

Vehicles send a cloud of dust into the air as they make their way across the Black Rock Desert.

Following the tracks left by other campers the writer and I were able to navigate the flat land and make our way to a camp about five miles from the entrance. 

No one we met out on the playa was hesitant to have their photo taken, which was one of the worries that I had.

Jennifer Kesler, of San Francisco, with camp Black Rock Cotillion and Dinner Social stands outside her groups main tent in the Black Rock Desert for Fourth of Juplaya.

Jennifer Kesler and Wayne Thibaudeaux, of San Francisco, with camp Black Rock Cotillion and Dinner Social relax in the Black Rock Desert in their main tent for Fourth of Juplaya.

Gregor Holmes, of San Francisco, with camp Black Rock Cotillion and Dinner Social secures the front of his two level A-Frame tent in the Black Rock Desert for Fourth of Juplaya.

From there we left for another camp not to far away. Where I was able to get some photos of fire spinners practicing during the day. We were directed to a camp that we could hardly make out in the distance.

Katherine Roubos (left), of Oakland, Calif., and Lisa Benham, of San Jose, Calif., practice spinning Poi outside of a camp in the Black Rock Desert for the Fourth of Juplaya celebration.

This camp was called Horizon Wind Oasis and was run by the Department of Tethered Aviation.  We were given a tour of the camp which included a shower, kitchen area, living space, and a public sitting area. The amount of work it took to build this camp basically from scratch was impressive.

A view of the Department of Tethered Aviation’s camp Horizon Wind Oasis.

A chair is displayed outside the Department of Tethered Aviation’s camp Horizon Wind Oasis as an art piece.

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.