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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2009-12-28

Decade Collection: Trent Nelson
'But for whatever reason, everything clicked once the games started and being trackside finally felt natural.'

By Trent Nelson, Salt Lake Tribune

Photo by Trent Nelson / Salt Lake Tribune

Photo by Trent Nelson / Salt Lake Tribune
I'll just tell you the truth. For the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City I was assigned to the sliding sports at the Utah Olympic Park: Bobsled, skeleton, and luge. As the games drew near I covered all of the World Cup events thinking that by the time the Olympics started I would have these unique sports all figured out and the photo angles all nailed.

Unfortunately, my pre-Olympic work was a disaster. I didn't get a single memorable frame and I soon began to dread going to the bitter cold track, frustrated by the unfamiliarity of it all. But for whatever reason, everything clicked once the games started and being trackside finally felt natural. I hit all the right notes and one of my luge photos is now on permanent display at the Utah Olympic Park.

More important than anything I could say about myself is this: Photography, the act of making art while taking pictures, is riddled with failure. As a photographer you will fail. You will disappoint your editors, clients, readers, and even your parents. But that's how you learn technique and develop style. So when it happens embrace it.

In the middle of the Olympics I put together this series of photos to mock my own pre-Olympic slump and it was published it in my photo column (RIP). The response was overwhelmingly positive and one of my favorite memories from the past decade. All that from failure.


(Trent Nelson is the chief photographer at the Salt Lake Tribune. You can visit his member page here: http://www.sportsshooter.com/nailz)

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