Does Not Compute

For several years the newspaper has been in need of new computer equipment and software to make things run more smoothly and give the editors more flexibility in page design and other elements. Today my assignment was to get some photographs to showcase the new computer system, which is set up in the conference room right now for training purposes.

My initial idea was to do a product shot of the computers themselves, but really, who doesn't know what a Mac computer looks like? Then there is the idea that journalism is the story of people, so I decided to go with images of the staff training on the machines.
Trista Crossley, a customer service representative from Media Span, works with the Independent editors and production staff Monday while training them to use new computer systems and software applications to make designing and laying out the pages faster and easier.

Barry Heifner, managing editor for the Independent, opens a new document Monday while attending a training session to learn how to use the new software and computer network

Trista Crossley, a customer service representative from Media Span works with the Independent editors and production staff Monday while training them to use new computer systems and software applications.


Beat the Heat with Water Games

Gallup Parks and Recreation employee Jason Pawlowski sprays water on the more than 100 children gathered to participate in the Waterplay for Kids event Friday at Ford Canyon Park.

Myron Spencer, 5, pulls a sweat shirt out of a barrel of water before putting it on and running back to pass it on to the next member of his team during a relay race

Jamie Joe, 10, passes a paint can full of water over his head to Zephyr Pataso, 15, during a relay race Friday afternoon at Ford Canyon Park in Gallup.


Learning to Cheer

Nicole Hill, 8, practices getting into a pose called 'the Scorpion' on Thursday morning while preparing for the Gallup Bengal Cheerleaders camp parents performance at Gallup High School.

Participants in the 2007 Gallup Bengals Cheer Camp show off what they learned from their week of instruction as they perform their routine for their parents.

Gallup cheerleader Chelsie Driver applies lipstick Thursday morning while preparing for the final performance following the week-long Gallup Bengal Cheer Camp at Gallup high school.


Having a Ball with Water Sports

The day started off with scattered clouds. Unfortunately for these young ladies playing in today's softball tournament the clouds stacked up and let loose on them. I was able to take shelter in the dugouts (with permission from the coaches and umpire), but the players had to make a stand in the cold and wet.

Wildcats pitcher Jolynn Charley (10) tries to keep the rain from breaking her concentration Wednesday while facing the Braves at the Ford Canyon Park softball field in Gallup.

Wildcats fielders Kristin Yellowhair (14) and Paige Albright (7) both leap for the ball during a rainstorm Wednesday as Braves runner Erin Duckett (3) squeezes between them to get safely onto second base at the Ford Canyon Softball Field in Gallup.

Braves runner Naomi Palacios (14) splashes her way safely to first base Wednesday while Wildcats first base player Mikayla Cross tries to grab a wild throw during a rainy softball game at the Ford Canyon Park softball field.

Braves pitcher Victoria Johnson (12) and first base player Erin Duckett (3) run into each other Wednesday while chasing down a fly ball in the infield at the Ford Canyon Park softball field in Gallup. The two girls managed to keep from knocking each other over and Johnsons made the catch for an out.

Land of the Tires

My Assignment: The reporter is writing a story about the tire problem in Gallup. What happens to old tires, and how much do we really need a recycling plant in Gallup anyways? My first thought was to go to the waste transfer station and see what they had for tires that had been discarded. I found two. The representative that weighs the vehicles and collects the fees was helpful and made a few phone calls for me. By the time I left I had been told "If you really want to see how bad it is, go out to the dump in Thoreau. So I made the 35 mile drive and stopped at the gate to check in. A few minutes later the director was leading me down the road to the main area of the dump, and before we got there we arrived at the tire town. Every town and city in the country is facing issues of tire disposal. Actually seeing it first hand was something I had not been expecting.

Piles of thousands of used tires cover the ground Wednesday at the Red Rocks Regional Landfill near Thoreau, NM. Officials at the landfill estimate they have nearly one half million tires and an additional 40 to 50,000 tires are added each year.


Dyed in the Wool

These images are from a photo package that I worked on about a Navajo weaving and dyeing workshop. Since other photographers have recently done other stories on weaving I opted to focus my attention on the first day of the workshop which dealt with using native plants to create dyes for the yarn they would weave with.

Laura Martis, left, and Paula Williams gather up ground lichen as the first step in dyeing wool.

Mark Deschinny displays a clump of ground lichen that he collected near Oak Springs, Ariz. The plant creates a rusty orange color when it is boiled and used to dye wool and yarn.

Laura Martis points to one of the plants in the dye chart that workshop instructor Isabell Deshinney shows them during a discussion about the different colors that can be created by various plants on the Navajo Nation.

Workshop instructor Isabell Deschinny explains to her students how to prepare yarn and properly tie the skeins before dyeing it, so that it does not become tangled and the color is uniform.

After gathering ground lichen and sage branch tips, participants in Isabell Deschinny's plant dyeing and weaving workshop use rocks to grind up the sage before boiling it to get the color out of the plants.

Isabell Deschinny pours water that has been colored by boiling sage branches in it into a large pot as she prepares to dye yarn using natural plants as her son, Mark Deschinny watches. Deschinny, who teaches Navajo weaving at the University of New Mexico-Gallup, also teaches week long dyeing and weaving classes at her home in Oak Springs, Ariz. At their feet is dye that was created by boiling ground lichen plants.

Courtney Ballenger, left, and Paula Williams use dowels to lift out the skeens of yarn out of the dye and check on its progress as they stir the pots to keep the yarn color consistent.


Round Three - or three strikes and you're out

Here is what I submitted from my final day of coverage from the Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo:

Missouri cowboy Ethan Freund raises his hands to indicate he has completed tying up his calf Friday during the Third annual Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo at Red Rock Park near Church Rock, NM. Freund completed his turn in the tie-down roping event in 25.471 seconds.

Trenton Turner lifts his assigned calf off the ground and flips it onto its side Friday while competing in the tie-down roping event of the Third annual Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo at Red Rock Park near Church Rock, NM. Turner, from Colorado, completed his event in 22.194 seconds.

Bloomfield, NM cowgirl Samantha Martinez lifts her assigned goat off of the arena floor Friday during the girls goat tying competition. Martinez completed her event in 11.532 seconds.

Louisiana cowgirl Kaitlyn Frey holds together three legs of her goat as she begins to tie it up . Frey completed her run in the girls goat tying event in 9.945seconds.

Certified Athletic Trainer Todd Gaddis tapes up Evan Schmidt's ankle Friday morning inside the sports medicine trailer at the Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo at Red Rock Park.


Wrangling Around for the Second Time

Las Cruces, New Mexico cowboy Miguel Cisneros digs in his heels Thursday morning while attempting to wrestle a steer to the ground during the chute dogging event in the seventh performance of the Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo at Red Rock Park. Cisneros was not able to pin his steer down and had to settle for a no time.

Idaho cowboy Jade Wadsworth twists on the horns of his steer while competing in the Chute Dogging event of the Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo at Red Rock Park in Church Rock, NM. Wadsworth wrestled his steer to the ground in 6.216 seconds.

Arizona cowgirl Shyanne Summerfield keeps her eye on the barrel as she guides her horse around it during the barrel racing event of the 2007 Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo at Red Rock Park in Church Rock, NM. Sommerfield completed her run with a time of 17.607 seconds.

Wrangling off the Arena Floor

This post is a collection of some of the behind the scenes images I made yesterday and today at the rodeo. There is a lot that happens outside of the arena. Here are just a few images . There was more to shoot, just not enough time to make the images off the arena floor wile having events still going on .

Ryan Knudson, left, from South Dakota, and Nevada Newman from Montana rough up the palms of their gloves before the start of Thursday's performances.

Alabama junior bull rider Josh Moorer stops to take a look at the bull he will ride.

These two images are the same idea,just executed differently. I struggled for quite a while during the editing process over which one I like better. I still don't have an answer.

Dillon Mundorf sits on his horse and holds a lasso as he works the timed event arena, moving the steers out after their runs during the fifth performance of the Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo at Red Rock Park in Church Rock, NM.

With the Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo in town this week, Lonny Lawson works hard Thursday as he tries to keep up on repair and maintenance on the more than 550 golf carts in use by the contestants to get around at Red Rock Park.

Lonny Lawson gets his hand greasy as he works to remove the motor from a broken down golf cart. Lawson said that working on the carts is harder than repairing cars because things are smaller and not designed for mechanics to easily access things.


Cowboy Freedom - Wrangler Junior High Finals

Montana ribbon roper Kayti Korte reaches for the tail of the steer while her partner C.J. Hanson wrestles the steer to the ground during the fifth performance of the Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo at Red Rock State Park in Church Rock, NM. The pair received a time of 15.237 seconds for their efforts.

Kentucky cowgirl Taylor Smith brings her horse to a stop and releases her lasso after roping her steer in the break-away roping event.

Lasea Branson, from Colorado, urges her horse through the course while competing in the pole bending competition. Branson completed her run in 22.191 seconds.

Nevada's Rachel Hendrix guides her horse around a pole Wednesday while competing in the pole bending event during the fifth performance of the Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo. Hendrix completed her run in 21.665 seconds.

It is almost without exception that we cover the big animals, the rough stock events when we are assigned to cover a rodeo. I wanted to do something different this week. In addition to the Wrangler Junior High rodeo there is also PRCA rodeo going on in Window Rock that other photographers are covering, I know that they will be coming back with images of the rough stock events. So rather than just cover the same glory hounds I decided to pick some of the "lesser" events. The kids take it all very seriously, and I saw a lot of hard work and skill in these events. It is not just the bull riders who deserve to be given attention.