The Manti Pageant – A Summer day trip to feed the soul.


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Every Year for two extended weekends at the end of June the small sleepy town of Manti, Utah transforms into one of the largest outdoor theaters in the world with well over 100,000 spectators each season and around 1,000 volunteers directly involved in putting on a play that displays important events in the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and events from the Book of Mormon. Officially called the Mormon Miracle Pageant, but more commonly known as the “Manti Pageant” this massive undertaking to present a visual performance art feast for the soul has been happening every year since 1967. I first saw this at the end of a church youth conference when I was 14 years old and again at 21 years old right after I had returned from my church mission to Italy. Since then I have often wanted to attend, but never seemed to find the time. This year I wanted to make sure that my family would be able to experience it so we decided to make a day trip out of it on the last Thursday of the pageant hoping to avoid the larger weekend crowds.

The weather would prove to be a challenge as it had rained all week and was cloudy and threatening rain all day, but ultimately it resulted in a nice sunset although the streaming low clouds cut off what would have been a truly spectacular display of color mere moments before it was able to peak.

Trying to capture decent pictures of the Manti Temple during the pageant is near impossible as the best view is spoiled by 14,000 metal chairs, large scaffolding holding lights and audio gear and the pageant set pieces on the temple hill itself. Getting creative takes on new meanings here. Thankfully the temple sits up on a large hill and there are hundreds of trees around to help hide distractions. With that in mind here are a few of my attempts to get a shot.

Manti Temple-Mammatus Clouds-vert-HDR1 Temple_wide-Cloud streaks  WSW view-HDR-BWThe clouds had been low and pretty featureless all day, however as the sun began to set they exploded into a wonderful display of mammatus and streaking cirrus that I was barely able to catch as I only had my 18-200mm with me and had to run back to our seats and my camera bag to grab the 10-20mm so I could fit it all in.

With the break up of the cloud cover the fun really started.

Temple_close_Cloud streaks  WSW view-HDR-color Temple_vert-Cloud streaks  WSW view-HDR-color  Continue reading


Here we go again trying to win a Camera!

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Week 14 of 52 Theme: “Lego” Allergies…


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Allergies! Who needs ’em right? The  older I get the worse mine have become and I’ve got to tell you it can get quite annoying, I mean breathing is so overrated…

Legos Rock! I never really played with them as a kid as I was more into GI Joe but I made sure that my kids had the chance to play with them and my son still keeps his handy (mostly for my sake I think) I had a few ideas for this theme and with my kids help I think I was able to come pretty close to what I had envisioned.

Spring and Summer time means fun in the sun and lots of sneezing – even for Lego’s…

Lego_SneezeI used the 50mm f/1.8 with a 12mm extension tube for this shot, I also had the YN-560 flash on camera to freeze the dandelion seeds as they blew away. For the motion I had my daughter and son squeeze a rocket blower just out of frame while I held the dandelion with one hand and pressed the trigger release with the other. I have to say coordinating a blower squeeze with the shutter was tougher than I had anticipated. I then “modified” the expression of the Lego man to better fit the action.

Earlier I had wrangled up a few snails from our garden to attempt a shot with some Lego Clone Troopers.

Snail fight

“I’ve got $5 on the slimy one”


Saddled up

“Sequestration cuts suck! I miss my speeder bike…”

Just so you know no snails were harmed during the shoot, in fact my daughter released them back into the wild of our backyard where I’m sure they’ll find their way back to our garden.

It’s been fun working on these, I still obviously need a lot more work with compositing, but it’s been exciting to make something I envisioned come to life with a little Photoshop work.

Thanks so much for stopping by I hope you have a great week!

Happy Shooting!



Utah State Capitol and Cherry Blossoms


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Remember my interior shots of the Utah State Capitol building here and here? Well I promised a few shots of the exterior and I usually follow through on promises, although I have a habit of taking a very long time to do so, (you’ve been warned!)

We were visiting as part of a field trip for my daughters class and of course that means showing up in the middle of the day when the light is at its worst, thankfully the blossoms were at their best.

Capitol_Blossoms_closeup-wide east front_HDR

3 shot HDR handheld of the Capitols Dome through cherry blossoms.

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