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Oct 23, 2012
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Witnessing my generation’s gold rush

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By  Jim Urquhart

He stood there with a shotgun over his shoulder and asked me in no uncertain terms, “What do you think about oil drilling?” And in that moment, the seasoned oil man I had come across pheasant hunting with five of his friends in a field west of the oil boom town of Williston, North Dakota, had me stunned like a deer in headlights.

GALLERY: North Dakota’s oil boom

There was never a threat of danger, but there was definitely a bit of suspicion as to what my motives were. Being obviously out of place, having asked these guys where an oil drilling rig was and after telling them I was a member of the media, I had to pause for a moment.

Sep 3, 2012
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Welcome home to Burning Man

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By Jim Urquhart


Photographer Jim Urquhart poses at Temple of Juno at Burning Man. Photo courtesy of Brian Erzen

As I write this I am sitting in my little camping trailer the morning after completing my Burning Man 2012 coverage. I am exhausted, a bit dehydrated, sore, my hair has become matted like dreadlocks from the combination of sweat and fine dust and I reek so horribly of body odor that I can make the sense of shame blush. But I am so aware of myself, I am alive and thriving. This is why I love what I do and the opportunities and experiences that it makes possible.

Jul 3, 2012
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Escaping Toronto: The hassles of traveling with gear

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By Jim Urquhart

As I attempted to leave Toronto I found I had to go into deep Canadian mode to make it possible.

Last week I spent several days meeting editors and visiting a friend in the city. I had looked forward to the trip but I never expected it to be such a mind melting, dignity crushing, blood letting experience to simply go home when it was all said and done. Through my work I get to travel my fair share. Over the last several years I have developed several habits that help me ensure my travels go as planned.

May 23, 2012
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Burning ring of fire

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By Jim Urquhart

“Jim Urquhart; lowering expectations since 1977″

That is something that kept popping in my head as I drove home from southern Utah after covering the annual eclipse for Reuters the day before. That, and also regretting not purchasing a bumper sticker from a small gas station in the town of Beaver, Utah.

It wasn’t that my pics were bad – several had run in some the most respected online photo galleries of the event – but I knew I didn’t hit a home run.

May 9, 2012
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Montana’s fading cowboy culture

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By Jim Urquhart

“It’s been a wild ride. Thank you.”

And with that Renee and Kail Mantle closed a chapter of American history. On Sunday the husband and wife team held the closing ceremonies to end the last of 11 horse drives they have completed with their company, Montana Horses, after racing over 300 horses through the western outpost of Three Forks, Montana.

The duo, a redheaded former theater major preparing for law school and a tanned wrangler who is a former rodeo champion, have been operating Montana Horses off a plot of land north of town since 1995 when they started with just 14 head of horses. Recently the plot of land has grown to 500 acres where they lease hundreds of horses, each one of which Kail and Renee know by name, to dude ranches and trail ride companies throughout the west and in many national parks. The Mantle family has a long tradition of supplying and tending to horses, leasing horses in various western states since 1964.

Jan 30, 2012
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Angry Birds at Sundance

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By Jim Urquhart


Courtesy of Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune

I am not a star stalker nor am I a paparazzi. I am just a screaming photojournalist and the Angry Birds Champion of the World!

I was recently given the opportunity to work with Reuters’ photojournalists Lucas Jackson and Mario Anzuoni as part of the photo team covering the Sundance Film Festival. This was my second year covering the event, which is more like a triathlon in terms of photo work. The days can be long, you have to use different photographic skill sets and there’s a bit of competition for pictures.

Oct 7, 2011
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Piercing the veil of cyber secrecy

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By Jim Urquhart

In my mind I was begging and pleading for the set of 1983′s movie “War Games” and a young Ally Sheedy to be escorting me through my photo assignment. But what I unfortunately found was much less exciting, much more sterile and nowhere near as hot as Ally.

Last week I traveled for Reuters to a top secret cyber security testing lab and watch center operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Sep 6, 2011
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Surviving the Burning Man experience

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“My body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park” – random quote.

Covered from head to toe in a fine alkaline talc while wearing a woman’s blouse, standing next to a completely naked middle-aged sun-baked man it hit me; Burning Man is not a story you cover, rather it is a visually mind blowing experience you endure.

Aug 16, 2011
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Sizzling on the salt flats

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By Jim Urquhart

As soon as I got out of my car and stepped onto the salt I could feel the skin on the end of my nose begin to sizzle. Within five minutes I cracked open my first water bottle and was relatively uncomfortable. By the time 15 minutes had past I was already questioning why in the hell did I choose to go on this three day assignment.

When the bright sun began blinding me after it was reflected off the salt under my sunglasses into my eyes and I could feel it begin to burn under my chin I became thankful I didn’t pay homage to the Scottish half of my ancestry and wear a kilt. In fact, within an hour of arriving I met a young couple that decided to tell me while waiting in a line the day before I arrived they had their nether regions sunburned because they didn’t have on the right underwear under their shorts to protect them from the reflected sun.

Jun 28, 2011
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Paradise city in grizzly bear country

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“Take me down to the paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. Take me home. Oh, won’t you please take me home.”

Apparently those few lyrics from the Guns ‘N Roses 1987 hit song Paradise City are the only parts of the song I know and also the only song I know the lyrics to. I can’t even recite the Star Spangled Banner. But singing in a false seagull strangling soprano while hiking and camping in grizzly bear country was my way of not creeping up on a bear and surprising it and thus becoming bear food.

    • About Jim

      "I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. My love for photography began after a head injury in my teens left me without the dexterity in my hands and made it hard to communicate verbally for a time. My dad gave me his camera to use after a therapist suggested it would be good outlet for myself. I began my career in 1995 working as ski and snowboard photographer. Since then I have worked as a reporter, photo editor and photojournalist. I began shooting with Reuters in 2010."
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