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.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Try Seven

"Garrett Smith #7 of Navy scores a try on Benjamin Burmester #12 of Air Force during Day 1 of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships at PPL Park on May 30, 2015 in Chester, Pennsylvania."

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I love trying something new - and rugby certainly wasn't something I thought I'd ever try. 

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to document the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships.

Until the matches begun, the only thing I knew of rugby was playing it on a Sega Genesis as a kid - with zero understanding of what I was doing while glued to the television.

As any other assignment, I spent the days leading up to the weekend doing my homework and learning the rules. The only issue was that I hadn't looked closely that it was sevens rugby - only seven men aside with seven minute halves.

Otherwise the same game, I shot matches from sun up to sun down as 20 teams battled for the top spot.

I couldn't have had a better venue to work, as access was limitless. Locker rooms, tunnels, catwalks and more.

After lots of action and witnessing the blood and bruises first hand, I now have a new found respect and love for the fast paced, physical sport.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Walk Off to Chocolateville

"Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals has chocolate sauce dumped on him by teammate Max Scherzer #31 after hitting a two run walk-off home run in the tenth inning against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park on May 19, 2015 in Washington, DC."

Walk-offs are so sweet in baseball - and even sweeter when you're a Washington National.

Let's face it, there is nothing better than celebrating a big win or heroic comeback. Whether it's pre or, post season, and even somewhere in the middle, it feels great to celebrate.

The classic way to do such a thing, is with a Gatorade bath. Always a popular staple in the world of sports.

However, said sports drink has seemed to gone missing in Washington, DC.

Now following any big performance, in this case, a walk-off home run to win the game, the new treat is chocolate sauce. All that is missing is a cherry on top.

It's a new twist to an old moment and I don't think anyone is complaining about it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Behind The Desk

"Victor R. Carrasco #3 jockey of Picko's Pride sits at a desk following being weighed in prior to The Maryland Sprint Handicap at Pimlico Race Course on May 16, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland."

Each and every year I'm typically in Baltimore covering the Preakness Stakes.

If I can think back correctly, this was probably my ninth or tenth I've covered, and my fifth in a row with Getty Images.

I've grown to really love horse racing. My grandfather was major supporter and fan and I think that keeps my interests peaked when on the rail.

The challenge thought is that the Preakness occurs at the same venue where the same events happen each year. It's an early morning with lots of preparation before the main event per say.

It's no different than driving to the same office building each day for work. You see the same things in passing and as hard as you search for something new to look at, you don't always see it.

So there are many factors that make Preakness different each year, yet finding a new, fresh image from the event can be a major challenge. Especially when one of my favorite images was shot behind the scenes there a couple years ago.

Nonetheless, we had an amazing team as always and tackled the event from every angle. While not nearly as telling as the main race, or a picture of the horse who will possibly become a triple crown winner, it was this moment behind the scenes, and behind the desk, that I thought was a new scene.

The image doesn't smack you in the face, but it makes you ask questions and look around the frame. To my eye, these types of images are often the most complex and visual at the end of the day even if they don't directly relate to the big picture.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Look Out

"Fans attempt to dodge the loose bat of Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 12, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. "

As photographers, we build up getting to the biggest events in the world.

But the reality is, and something I always share with students, that the best pictures often come from the daily assignments.

It's easy to downplay something like a regular season game early into the year, however, the biggest moment in sports history can occur during that match-up - one must be prepared.

The other night, the Toronto Blue Jays came into town to play the Baltimore Orioles. Aside from an early season win, there wasn't much on the line as playoffs are months away.

That didn't stop me from approaching the game as a big deal though.

In the first inning, a bat was broken. Not totally rare, but always interesting photographically. As the game progressed more rare things continued to happen. A bat was let go into the crowd. A fan fell onto the field. The ball got stuck in the catchers mask. Players made dramatic catches and tumbling over.

It was a magical game photographically thus proving every game is just exciting as the World Series and must be viewed that way.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Down, Up

"Kent Bazemore #24 of the Atlanta Hawks attempts to block Drew Gooden #90 of the Washington Wizards during the first half in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center on May11, 2015 in Washington, DC."

As soon as basketball began, it ended in the district.

Just as playoffs began for the Washington Wizards, they were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

It was fun to get back into the rhythm of basketball after it went missing in my workflow. And much like any other sport, the playoffs take the atmosphere to another level. From the fans, to the players on the court, and on the bench - every second and play matters.

During Game Four, as the quarter was winding down, Kent Bazemore of the Hawks went to block Drew Gooden of the Wizards and miss judged the play. It sent him flying by and gave Gooden a clear path.

Always interesting when players leave their feet - either into the air or to the floor.

Up and downs of playoffs are always fun and I'm already looking forward to next season.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Preparation

"Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals powders his bat before playing against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on May 10, 2015 in Washington, DC. "

Walk-off home runs are great and jubilation following is even better - but neither would be possible without proper preparation.

Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals has been on a hot streak - belting home run after home run last week before being named the National League Player of the Week.

Following a three home run game, I found myself documenting a pair of games after the milestone performance - and it was challenging not to focus on the superstar.

He ended up blasting a walk-off home run the day before this image and again had an all around standout day on Mother's Day.

While the rectangles of all these hits, catches and celebrations with teammates spoke volumes - it was images like this of quiet moments preparing in solitude that spoke louder.

One must prepare every day for success and Harper is no different than the rest of us.