Monday, August 17, 2015

Serving It Hot

"Kei Nishikori of Japan serves a shot to Marin Cilic of Croatia during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center on August 8, 2015 in Washington, DC."

For the past two years I've documented the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center.

This tennis tournament brings some of the greatest tennis players to Washington, DC - where they battle for about a week for the coveted championship.

My assignment was the final three days of the bracket - both men's and women's - singles and doubles.

After many matches court level, in the sweltering heat, I needed to escape the temperatures and venture around the stadium.

I quickly realized many fans were doing the same in trying to stay cool - whether that meant handheld fans, hats or umbrellas.

Moving slowly, deliberately, so not to interfere with the ongoing match - I made it to a bright red umbrella I had eyed up from across the court.

Only getting off a few frames before this gentlemen took it down, I thought it told the story, got me off the court for a couple of games in a set, and helped me make a scene setter.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sunset Drive

"Tiger Woods tees off on the 17th hole during the first round of the Quicken Loans National at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club on July 30, 2015 in Gainesville, Virginia."

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There are many photographers in the industry who cover mainly one sport. They're typically called a specialist in that department - and rightfully so.

I have never considered myself a specialist at any one given game. With a background of many years at newspapers, I was taught to be versatile in my coverage of everything from: sports and news to features and portraits.

So when it comes to the sports I document the least often, I always ask for help from these specialists on our team. From calls, texts, and on locations tips, every bit helps.

Golf is one of those sports I cover a handful of times each year and that's that. It's always the needed change of pace in my schedule and I often have a lot of fun covering the gentleman's game.

Like each year, I had a blast covering the four days of the Quicken Loans National close to home with the hometown team.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Signature Suarez

"A fan is restrained by a police officer after he ran onto the field and neared Luis Suarez #9 of Barcelona following their loss to Chelsea during the International Champions Cup North America at FedExField on July 28, 2015 in Landover, Maryland."

In sports, anything can happen at anytime.

When speaking to students, I stress from them to look for action away from the action. Turn around and look to the crowd. Keep their eyes combing the sidelines during play. And to shoot before and after the final whistle.

Following a tight contest between FC Barcelona and Chelsea during the International Champions Cup North America everything seemed normal. Then a pair of fans sprinted onto the field as players made their way off.

This is always terrifying because no one knows their intentions. Thankfully, their are police officers to restrain these fans from doing whatever they may be trying to do with mega superstars around.

In this case, this fan simply appeared to want an autograph as he clutched a sharpie pen. But again, no one really knows.

It's sad. It's comical. It's scary. Yet these type of fans make sports - well - sports.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Panama Prevails

"Roberto Nurse #9 of Panama celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the United States in the second half during the CONCACAF Gold Cup Third Place Match at PPL Park on July 25, 2015 in Chester, Pennsylvania."

Everyone always wants to shoot the championship and big name teams, players.

Photographers think these big time match-ups produce the best pictures, when in reality, every day matches do the same.

After two days of coverage during the CONCACAF Gold Cup, it was the third place match at PPL Park that provided one my favorite rectangles from our coverage of the last two days of the tournament.

While the championship game boasted a lot more emotion - as Mexico hoisted the trophy and scored three times - the third place game still proved to be visual.


As I roamed the upper concourse for a cleaner angle in the second half, a go-ahead goal had Panama tasting victory. It's one of the frames you hope is storytelling after the final whistle - and it was.

Looking forward to one more soccer game this week and hoping the action and emotions continue to be great.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Running, Jumping and Throwing

"Tara Davis of the USA in action during the Girls Long Jump Final on day five of the IAAF World Youth Championships, Cali 2015 on July 19, 2015 at the Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium in Cali, Colombia."

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There is no greater stage than that of a championship.

The Getty Images team had the great opportunity to travel to South America to document the IAAF World Youth Championships.

Over six days, we covered competitors 17-years-old and younger battling for gold medals in a range of track and field events.

For myself, I had not documented athletics like this for many years. So it was very much a challenge - especially with added pressure this was a global competition.

What made the days even more of a contest for photographers was that the backgrounds were very busy. Trying to find clean angles took a day or trail and error during the running, jumping and throwing.

But at the end of the day, the team beautifully documented these athletes giving it their all. It's always inspiring to witness youth doing something so extraordinaire early in life. I know many of these athletes will one day be in the Olympics - and it was an honor to capture was was for many their first time on a global stage.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

The Big One

"Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident following the checkered flag during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida."

Nothing can prepare anyone for the big one.

A late night, or should say morning, the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola in Daytona started about four hours late following a rain delay.

Just before midnight, fighting to stay awake due to the time of morning, the race began. Yet it wasn't until the last lap that woke the entire venue.

As Dale Earnhardt Jr., took the checkered flag I slowed my shutter speed to get more motion in the cars, tires - then instincts took over.

When Earnhardt Jr., speed across the finish line, I caught a view of sparks and panned backwards. As I caught up with the pack of stock cars speeding near 200mph, I did my best to pick up the machine of Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, as his car flipped over directly into the catch fence.

From more than 190mph to zero, it was a horrific, terrifying and frightening split second incident.

I continued to shoot through the sequence as his car crashed onto the front stretch, engine block breaking away from the front end and the race car eventually landing on his roof. Silence is all I heard as he was then hit by the number two car - before crews from other teams rushed to his aide.

These moments were tense. No one was sure what to expect from such a surreal incidnet, but the family support of the sport really touched a lot of people as safety was the number one concern for everyone in Daytona - competition or not.

It was gratifying to know no one, fans or drivers, were seriously injured. It shows how far the sport has come in terms of keeping everyone involved safe.

As always, a huge shout out to our team at Getty Images. A total team effort, everyone pulled their weight on an extremely late day, night and morning - especially following the aforementioned. I couldn't be more proud to be apart of the team.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Drenched After Rain

"Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays (center) is doused by teammate Chris Archer #22 (left) and David DeJesus #7 (back right) after defeating the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 17, 2015 in Washington, DC."

Weather usually makes great pictures - that is if you're in the weather to begin with.

Venturing down to Nationals Park for a regular game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals I blanked on needing rain gear.

Something I typically keep with me, yet a busy morning loading and unloading the car for home improvements, I totally forgot it.

So as the rest of the photographers weathered the downpour, I documented from a distance shooting the game from the concourse staying dry.

While I was being different, the entire duration of the rain I kept thinking I should just get wet and brave it out. But as hard as the rain fell, I thought it wouldn't be wise to leave gear exposed to the elements.

A brief delay in play gave me the chance to get back tp where I started field level - just in time for the final pictch and a little gatorade celebration for Steven Souza Jr., of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Between his little league style in the park home run to an overall great performance, his teammates thought it was deserving of getting wet again after the rain.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bicycle Speed

"BMX riders race during the East Coast Nationals at Chesapeake BMX on June 13, 2015 in Severn, Maryland."

Each season there are major sports that need coverage - summer is to baseball as fall is to football.

Changing seasons means changing sports and it's easy to feel like you're only shooting one sport, even though many are happening around you.

So it's always refreshing to break away from the normal realm of sports assignments.

When I saw that the East Coast Nationals BMX races were happening close to home I knew it would be a lot of fun. It's been quite some time since I documented bicycle racing in any form, too.

I was hoping this would be a great feature as the Olympic near and BMX racing is now an official sport.

Since a lot of the racing was of those younger than the Olympics typically allows (though some could compete in other Olympic sports), I had fun shooting a majority of the races are very slow shutter speeds to create an universal feel.

This was one of my favorite pans from the many, many races.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Same Team

"Starting pitcher Michael Pineda #35 of the New York Yankees collides with teammate third baseman Chase Headley #12 as he tries to throw out Jimmy Paredes #38 of the Baltimore Orioles in the third inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 12, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland."

Baseball is a game odds.

To start, there are at any given time ten players on diamond - nine defensive players and a batter. Add a couple base runners and there can be up to thirteen.

The problem with that, is one can only focus one place at any given time. To shoot the pitcher throwing, then the batter hitting and then the diving catch at shortstop all in one play is near impossible.

One must decide where to focus the lens during each at bat - rolling the dice - playing the odds.

The game is also one of solidarity. Lots of action of one player doing one thing - throwing, hitting, pitching, catching, sliding, or reacting to a play.

So when there are two or more players in any given rectangle of space, where a photographer is correctly gambling to be, it's a nice surprise.

When pitcher Michael Pineda #35 of the New York Yankees collided with a teammate after a bunt, I knew it would be a compelling picture and glad I had decided to stick with the pitcher as three players merged on the ball.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Indy

"Scott Dixon of New Zealand, driver of the #9 Energizer Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas."

Whenever I hear IndyCar, I automatically think of famous Indianapolis 500.

So when I got the opportunity to join the Getty Images team for the weekend in Texas for the IndyCar Series Firestone 600 - I was beyond excited.

At Texas Motor Speedway, we documented three days of action. A new style of racing, I enjoyed every second at a track I love.

Open-wheeled racing isn't anything I've ever documented - and it's always a great feeling to capture a something fresh.

There is nothing like race cars screaming past at more than 200mph, and there is nothing like feeling an athlete's energy and joy after winning a big race.