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You know it’s summer when the Utah Arts Festival rolls into town to take over Library Block and Washington Square in downtown Salt Lake City. (It’s always hot as blazes as well) My wife happens to work for one of the sponsors so we often are able to attend for free. My wife and I go alone most years, but this time we took the kids and had a great time, the art on display in all its variety was truly amazing!

So what does that have to do with my 52 week challenge? Let me introduce you to Bob Culbertson master musician and a great subject for HDR.

Bob Culbertson playing the 12 string “Chapman Stick.” All he had it hooked up to was a 6″ amp and that thing just sang under his skillful fingers. 3 shot HDR handheld.

I took this shot knowing I had my “Looking Down” shot, and I knew I had to catch it in HDR to show off all those wonderful textures, converting it to B&W removed the distraction of the colors (which were nice, but a bit strong) leaving instead the essence of a man in the moment of creation. Thanks Bob, you’re amazing!

A close up of Bob’s hands playing… count ’em 12 strings! – 3 shot HDR handheld

Here are some more shots I grabbed at the festival, it got dark shortly after we arrived so I limited my shooting and enjoyed looking and talking with the artists more than concentrating on getting “the shot”, but I got a few that I think capture the feeling of the festival.

The backside of the sand sculpture near one of the entrances to the Festival created by artist Ted Siebert. – 3 shot HDR handheld

He nailed the logo! 3 shot HDR handheld

Now the front view:

The front side had a different dancer (not yet completed) 3 shot HDR Handheld

Besides sand sculpted dancers the festival also had real dancers… Belly dancers!

Other performers included music acts like the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra.

The Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra. –  3 shot HDR handheld

Over on the Park stage was the folk art music group Blue Sage

The band ‘Blue Sage’ plays as ‘Blue Hour’ takes over. –  3 shot HDR handheld

You see all sorts of characters at an Arts Festival…

The crowds walking the many rows of artists booths. 3 shot HDR handheld

South side of the Library. – 3 shot HDR handheld

This row of booths was mostly photography booths so I couldn’t get close up shots of them. – 3 shot HDR handheld

This was made by artist Fred Conlon he had the coolest metal creations ever! (I also saw a few of these sold at the festival, it’s kind of rare to see the art walking out the gates, but it was that good!)

One of my favorite pieces in the display. – 3 shot HDR handheld

These interesting sculptures come from Casey and Deborah Bridges I would love to find one of these in the “wild.”

These face sculptures are huge! Check out their website to see them in context.

It wouldn’t be a festival without some food.

The Salt Lake City County building with a crescent moon and smoke from a nearby wildfire at the south end of the valley (named the Dump Fire) – 3shot HDR handheld

The City County building’s central tower up close. – 3 shot HDR handheld

The City County building and the south wall of the Library at sunset. – 3 shot HDR handheld

You know you’re good when you start your “sketch” with a sharpie!

As night fell I went to high ground to get this shot looking over most of the festival grounds (more areas are behind here as well) Not an HDR shot, but it is a blend of two shots; one for the sky, and one for the people and booths. Another photographer was shooting from here with a sweet tilt/shift lens for a panorama, I would love to see how it turned out.

By now it was late so we headed for the car but we still had one or two more fun sights to see on our walk back first.

We found this on the side of a building on our walk back to the car. It took up the entire side of the building, that eye is about 3 feet tall!

Almost nailed the pan – oh so close! This guy must get a great workout riding this bike taxi on the not so flat downtown streets. I loved his neon lights, so I had to get a shot of him in action.

Well that’s it for this weeks challenge and shots, I hope you enjoyed this peek into the Utah Arts Festival, if you ever get a chance to visit I would highly recommend that you do.

Next up is the halfway point of the 52 week challenge…

Happy Shooting!