Save the Date: August 7th Hellfire Photowalk

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By Harley Pebley

White, with a touch of red and yellow

Saturday, August 7th, we’re heading out to the Salt Flats for Hellfire 15. This is an annual, multi-day event sponsored by the Utah Rocket Club where they fire off high-powered rockets. The first couple days are closed to spectators due to safety regulations working with experimental motors, but Saturday they use certified motors and open it up to the public. It’s a bit of a drive and can be hot, but there’s stuff here you won’t find anywhere else.

The range is open 8am to 4pm. I will get there about 8am to stake out an observation area and setup some shade. I’ll probably stay mid-afternoon. Feel free to show up anytime, but morning is better. People try to get the first firing of their rockets in before noon, both for temperature and wind reasons. So, the hours between 9am and 12noon have the most activity. After noon, things slow down a bit. We’ll probably take a group photo between 9:00 and 9:30.

Besides your normal photography gear, be sure to bring lots of fluids, sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses and a hat. If you’re going to be staying for an extended time, you may want to bring snacks and/or lunch too. I’ll have an awning setup for shade, a cooler to store things in and a couple chairs. You may want to bring your own chairs, just in case.

To get there, head west on I-80 until exit 4 just before Wendover. Turn right off the freeway and then right again a little ways down the road. When the road ends, follow the cones on the salt leading to the firing range.

Plan on spending $10 and 30 minutes at the car wash when you get home. You don’t want to leave that salt on your vehicle.

Comments and discussion on this Flickr thread. If you want to meet others somewhere to carpool, post your interest on the thread and self-organize.

Update: I found an online ride sharing coordination site at I’ve never used this site before but created an event for us to experiment with. The link just mentioned should take you to it. If you go in through their main page, you need to enter lookup code “pwuhellfire15” (without the quotes). After registering, you can post ads to ride and/or drive and find others in your area. We’ll see how well this works.

Here are some more of my images from two years ago.

July 30, 2010 at 1:17 pm by | Categories: Post

Behind the Scenes: Courtroom Photo Shoot

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I’ve just wrapped up the editing of the courtroom photo shoot I did earlier in the month. I am pretty pleased with the images that were created, and since a few have already sold from my portfolio on iStockphoto I have hope that the set will be successful.

Going into the shoot, I had the plan to create courtroom scenes that were a cross between what happens in real life and the type of scene seen on television dramas. This involved assembling a fairly large group of diverse models and crew. The morning spent photographing was one the most enjoyable photo shoots I have ever been on. The large group (over 25 of us) had so much fun that it was at times difficult to create “serious” scenes due to the laughter. That’s a problem I am more than willing to deal with :)

On the technical side, the room configuration created a bit of a challenge for the lighting. Only one side of the room had any extra space, so the placement of fill lights was tight. Working with Harley and Pat, we ended up placing three large softboxes on the open side for main lights and two strip-boxes on the opposing side for fill. I then used a medium sized octabox to move around the room with me for additional light as needed.

About half the images have been accepted on iStock as of right now, and as previously mentioned a couple have already sold. Time will tell how well the collection performs, but we are off to a good start (click here to view the lightbox on iStock).

As always, HUGE thanks to everyone who helped out during the shoot. It goes without saying that without models and crew like I work with that I could never do what I do. Thank you all!

July 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm by | Categories: Post



Nikon FE, Nikon 50 f/1.8 lens – 1/125 second, f/1.8, ISO 400 – Kodak BW400CN Film

July 26, 2010 at 9:20 pm by | Categories: Post

Follow Friday: @hpebley3


Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/160 second, f/4, ISO 100

July 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm by | Categories: Post


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Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/125 second, f/7.1, ISO 100

July 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm by | Categories: Post

Did you miss out on Nicolesy’s free book? Here’s your 2nd chance


My good friend Nicole’s new book, Canon 7D From Snapshots to Great Shots, hit the bookstore shelves this past month.  To coincide with it’s release, she gave away three signed copies over at this week.  Well, being one that isn’t opposed to riding other’s coat tails for blog traffic I thought I’d go ahead and give away a signed copy here as well.  And hey, I might even be willing to sign the pages (yes, there are three!) that feature my lovely face :)

On a serious note, I was given the opportunity to read the book prior to its release.  It is much more than a book just about the Canon 7D.  This book is a beneficial read for any photographer regardless of skill level.

If you’d like a chance to win, go ahead and say that in the comments.  This coming Friday afternoon I will randomly select the winner.


Congratulations to Katie Moffitt, the winner of the book!   It’ll be in the mail once she replies to my email.

July 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm by | Categories: Post

Here Comes the Judge


I spent this morning in court.  Well, sort of.

The courtroom was the scene of a stock photo shoot I have been working on for a few weeks. With 20 models, a makeup artist and 5 or so crew it was a fairly decent sized production. I will probably post a more detailed look at the shoot in the near future, but in the meantime here’s an excellent recap from fellow photographer (and lawyer-for-the-day) Dav.D:  LINK.

Enjoy your weekend!

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/125 second, f/7.1, ISO 100

July 17, 2010 at 7:16 pm by | Categories: Post

On Top of the World

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Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200 f/4L lens – 1/1250 second, f/4, ISO 100

July 15, 2010 at 10:27 pm by | Categories: Post

How I Came to Be in the Studio Rental Biz


With the move into my new studio a couple months back and the ramping up of my studio rental business, I’ve received more than a couple questions asking why I would want to do this.  I thought I’d use a few words on the blog today to chat about my studio and how it fits into what I do.

My original 500 square foot studio evolved out of necessity.  It was originally my real estate office (yeah, I might not look like it now – but I was once a Realtor).  In 2007 as my stock photo sales took off it became readily apparent for my own sanity that I needed a space outside the house for my camera and lighting equipment to be set up.  The obvious choice was the office.  Even though the office was not the ideal floorplan for a studio, when we (Harley, Dale & myself) removed the walls it became a usable space.

Once my lighting equipment was in a dedicated space, I found that it helped my creativity immensely.  Knowing that I could leave the house and be shooting in under 15 minutes led to many spontaneous (and successful) photo shoots that would not have happened if all the gear were packed away in their cases at the house.  I used the old studio for 3 years and created MANY successful stock images within its four walls.

After being prompted by a call from a photographer in 2008, I also began quietly renting the space out to other photographers.  I really didn’t advertise it much for rental, partially I have to admit because I felt it really didn’t live up to being a “real studio” in my mind.  That being said however, I did rent it out 8-10 times a year.

Roll the clock ahead to 2010.  With the drop in retail lease rates over the previous year or so and new space becoming available in my current building, I decided it was time to pull-the-trigger and build a studio specifically designed for my photography.  With the help of an awesome landlord, I nearly doubled my usable space and created what I dubbed Studio 2.0. Now the funny thing is that between shooting on location and home-office Photoshop work I only use the studio at most a couple times a week.  It was because of this that I decided to up the game when it came to renting out the studio.

I’ve got two main reasons for renting out the space.  The first (and probably most obvious) is that it helps offset my monthly expenses.  Anyone who has ever owned a business and leased space knows that the rent paid is just the beginning of what it costs each month.  A few rental dollars a week is nice to have when it comes time to pay these expenses.  The second reason is that since I have been blessed immensely in doing what I do for a living, I like the idea of being able to use this blessing to help other photographers – and an affordable rental studio is a sure way to do that.

With the rollout of the new RICH.LEGG.PHOTOGRAPHER website last week (, I now have a dedicated section for studio rental.  The prices for using the space start as low as $30 for one hour (which includes use of lights) up to multi-day rates.  Over the past month I have had eight different photographers either use it or reserve time (some numerous times), so it appears to be working.  Going forward, the challenge for me will be to plan ahead and schedule myself in the studio during the busy rental periods.

My primary business will continue to be the creation and licensing of quality stock photos.  But being in the studio rental game is a nice secondary interest.  To check out more information on renting the studio click on the Studio Rental tab up top or drop me a note at

July 13, 2010 at 10:48 am by | Categories: Post

Family Time

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Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200 f/4L lens – 1/100 second, f/5, ISO 400

July 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm by | Categories: Post