Friday, December 17, 2010

Fire and Ice

In case you are living under a rock (or not in Provo or Mormondom), the Provo Tabernacle burnt down this morning. I didn't hear about it till 10 am and so didn't really get many dramatic shots. I did stick around for several hours tho and managed to get a few decent shots.

First off, here is one that a fireman took for me. He told me about a painting of Christ hanging just inside the front door that was so far untouched by the flames. I couldn't get it from where I was (even though I was well inside the police tape thanks to some aerial photogs I was helping out... more on them later), so the fireman (didn't catch his name.. sorry!) took my camera up onto the firetruck a ways and was able to take some brackets for me. Here is the result.

Deseret News is going to run this photo someplace, not sure if it will be in print or only online.. But either way that is fun.

Here are some shots of the same doorway that are zoomed out so you can see where the painting was--surrounded by burnt and burning rubble. Pretty amazing..

This first one... ahem... may or may not be slightly (and poorly...) photoshopped to show whats behind the dark smoke. but that is the same door and the same place, only it was too smoky when the wide shot was taken to really see inside. (plus some other stuff fell down in the meantime). I may try to make a better composite of those two images later.

Here is a shot that I got that I am pretty proud of. Totally a fluke on the timing, but hey, life's a fluke sometimes...

Everything else is presented pretty much in the order I shot it. It was really interesting to see all the fire surrounded by ice from the firetruck water. Made for some really interesting contrast.

It is super sad to see this amazing historic building burn. They don't know what started the fire, but there was a ton of stuff in the building when it went down, as BYU-Broadcasting had been filming a concert and other things there. Probably close to a million dollars in camera and lighting equipment, a $200,000+ grande piano, an antique harp, full percussion kit and lots of other stuff, not to mention all the priceless original artwork, the pipe organ, and everything else. This is a sad day.


  1. Hey Eric, these are some amazing shots! Thanks for sharing. My wife and I met you this afternoon on the north side of the tabernacle (at around 1:00). I still can't believe my eyes. You've got some great skills. I wish you the best of luck in all your photographic endeavors. Oh, and I hope you don't mind me showing your blog to all my friends and family.

    ...again, truly amazing!

  2. .

    I'm so depressed. But grateful for the documentation.

  3. Thanks guys. Ya for sure Joseph, spread the word!

  4. UPDATE: Hey Eric, KSL is now linking to your YouTube footage! Congrats!

  5. Very sad. Looks like the two trees flanking the doorway are weeping.

  6. Thanks for the heads-up Joseph! I appreciate it!

    @miztrn, ya with the sub-freezing temps and all the water the fire department was spraying, ice formed on all the trees and bent most of them over. They have frozen tears I guess. Sad that if the heat didn't kill them, the weight probably will...

  7. Great shots Eric, especially the one of the painting of Christ. I had noticed it in a news report this evening that they showed footage of that doorway and I noticed the picture of Christ (they didn't point it out) but it was burning up, or at least the edges were burned up, and all that was left was Christ. Pretty incredible. I was there around the same time you were, and I looked at my pictures to see if I had a glimpse of it at all, but I don't =[ Great shots though, I loved seeing them!

  8. Thanks for the wonderful pictures. Also, I'm including a link to this post on my blog today. I didn't want to steal your pics. ;) If you don't want me to, email me & I'll take it down. It's really such a sad thing.

  9. Hey not sure if this is you or not but someone helped us film the behind the scene stuff for the Provo Tab aerials that we got. If it is you, feel free to post this on your blog:

  10. Nice photos, but on the first one, it's a bit over exposed. and that spark sorta detracts. Also, on the photo where the firetruck is in the foreground and out of focus and the background is the collapsed door, it's too cluttered.
    Nice vignettes, and decent photoshopping. =) keep it up

  11. Hey Eric,
    I don't know if you've seen it, but they saved that picture of Christ. It had burned the whole picture except for the portion of Christ. The pictures are on That is truly incredible.

  12. @Brian - Way good to meet you guys! We were working on our quad today and look forward to getting to know you guys better! Thanks for letting me be a part of your day and for letting me post to your video!

    @Morgan - Thanks for your comments man! constructive feedback is always welcome here! You are right, the first one has some distracting elements. Exposure wise its actually a mix of several pictures (the inside was WAY darker than outside so the frame with the painting exposed properly had the outside bricks totally blown out. I tried it HDR but didn't like it and ended up going for a slightly (but not as much as the original) overexposed look for the outside brick to keep the picture truer to its original. The sparks.. well.. It was chaotic in there....

    As for the cluttered fire-truck one, you are completely right. The only reason I posted it was because if you look closely you can see the painting of Jesus still hanging inside, tho by they it was mostly burnt, leaving only Jesus himself untouched. kinda cool. Please critique any of my other photos, I really like to get actual feedback!

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

  13. Hey Eric,
    I just stumbled upon your blog, thanks for the great photos. My great grandfather helped to build the tabernacle and since I no longer live in Utah it helps that there are people like you who share there work. Thanks for keeping me updated


Hey thanks for commenting! I love to hear what you have to say. -Eric