Thursday, August 28, 2014

Eye See You

"Larry Mooney poses for a portrait displaying his eyes in the back of his head tattoo during a preseason NFL game at FedExField on August 7, 2014 in Landover, Maryland."

Sports can be a difficult thing to document visually - one can miss the big play, a career-ending injury or even a momentous play if not paying attention.

But there is more to the action on the field. The sidelines and behind the scenes of the players are filled with compelling moments, too. Yet the spontaneity of a sporting event sideline is magical sometimes when looking away from the superstars.

As I made my way onto the field during a preseason NFL game in Washington, DC, I turned around because I saw a pair of eyes looking at me. When I made eye contact, I realized it was simply a tattoo.

It was too eye catching to pass up. The more I look at this, the more I see within the picture, like the wrinkle in his head that looks like a mouth. I am wondering though what this employee can see behind him.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I Want The Football

"Fans try to grab the ball from wide receiver Brian Tyms #84 of the New England Patriots after he scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins during a preseason NFL game at FedExField on August 7, 2014 in Landover, Maryland."

It's Fall and time for football.

Although baseball is still in full swing, and in Baltimore, the Orioles are thriving, it feels as if everyone is ready for some pigskin action.

Typically preseason is about photographing as many players as one can, and that can be challenging, when some players only are on the field for a play or two.

It was an exciting game for preseason, and just when the game was about to end, Brian Tyms of the New England Patriots caught a ball right in full stride and couldn't hit the brakes hard enough before going into the stands.

Usually, leaping into the stands is done on purpose after scoring to bond with fans, but this time, the player ended up in the oppositions hands after failing to stop.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

General Greene

"U.S. Army soldiers carry the flag-draped transfer case containing the remains of U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base on August 7, 2014 in Dover, Delaware."

Covering a dignified transfer is never easy and these type of stories always need to be told.

I approached this dignified transfer the same way I always cover them - with respect for our fallen and wanting to grab the attention of the viewer.

This time I wanted to change my viewpoint and I decided to silhouette my wider camera, which was a remote camera on the ground, for a graphic picture that no one else was photographing that day.

In the end, it was eye-catching during a solemn moment in our world - and if that makes someone stop and pause for a second more, so that understand what is happening in our world, than I've done my job.

Friday, August 15, 2014

President's Race

"Dressed as the gnome giveaway of Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals, a staff member hits Abraham Lincoln with a bat during the President's Race entertainment show at Nationals Park on August 5, 2014 in Washington, DC."

It's easy to ignore the entertainment interludes of sporting events - whether it's cheerleaders, dancers, signers, or productions - most eyes are on the players and their heroic performances.

But these performance acts are just as important as the game being played, and I always make a picture of each to make sure I have my bases covered pending they're a celebrity or simply want to have some fun with it.

Between inning entertainment at Washington Nationals games is always the President's Race. Employees dressed as former Presidents, living and dead, race to the finish line from the outfield wall. How they keep it fresh is beyond my creative skill set, but it's quite comical.

I tend to be transmitting pictures during this nightly race, but when I'm not, I'm documenting the sport within a sport hoping for something off the wall.

This night, dressed as the gnome giveaway of Jayson Werth of the Washington Nationals, a staff member smacked Abraham Lincoln in the face with a bat during the President's Race.

Enough to evoke an emotion from myself, maybe because I witnessed it first hand, I thought it was one of the better images from the race I've documented and wanted to share.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Return Serve

"Kei Nishikori of Japan returns a shot to Sam Querrey of the United States during Day 3 of the Citi Open at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center on July 30, 2014 in Washington, DC."

There is nothing a photographer likes better than variety.

Documenting news, sports and features on an almost daily basis, I often hope that opportunities presented will be very different from one day to the next.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to shoot some tennis for Getty Images during the Citi Open at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Washington, DC.

It has been quite some time since covering this sport, but it was much like riding a bike, and I quickly remembered everything from my past experiences.

Needing to document multiple matches and players throughout the day and night - I did my best to not only shoot the safe images, but also break away from the pack of photographers and look for some more eye-catching photos.

I waited until this spot was back-lit so I could incorporate the players shadow and then clicked the shutter when Kei Nishikori made returns.

It was quite difficult to see through the spot, but in the end, I thought it was different, yet telling.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fletcher

"Darren Fletcher #24 of Manchester United celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal in penalty shootouts against Inter Milan during their match in the International Champions Cup 2014 at FedExField on July 29, 2014 in Landover, Maryland."

As graphic and clean as most sports photographers like to see the games we document, we must always remember that images must also be storytelling.

Our objective is to communicate the story of the game and I am always looking at each and every event as a complete story with a beginning, middle and end.

Sometimes the ending - or even picture that tells sums up the entire story - isn't quite clear until the the clock runs out of time.

Much like Manchester United playing against Inter Milan, it was until a split second celebration after scoring the game-winning goal in penalty shootouts, that told the story.

There are matches like this every day - that if one blinks - they'll miss the picture of the game.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

First Series Win

"Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, celebrates with his team after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana."

Nothing tastes sweeter than your first victory - and Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet - showed the world just that.

During an overcast day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dillon held off the field to take the Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 checkered flag for his first ever win in the series.

Shooting for Getty Images, I had the always exciting opportunity to be perched in the flag stand over-top the finish line, and in Indianapolis, the famed bricks. Not only is this an unique angle, but drivers tend to celebrate right under the stand.

While the kissing of the bricks is the iconic shot, I loved the thrill and pure joy of Dillon. In a sport where driver's faces are typically shielded by helmets, it was a nice surprise to see a fist-clinching driver celebrate on the track rather than in victory lane.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Tiger is Back

"Tiger Woods of the United States looks on during the second round of the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club on June 27, 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland."

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Last week, I had the opportunity to document not only the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club for Getty Images, but the return of Tiger Woods.

Earlier in the year, it didn't look like the man in red would be on roster as he underwent back surgery. But he recovered and made his debut after more than 100 days away from golf.

I haven't covered a full tournament in quite a while, and I quickly remembered how demanding it was roaming the course for everything we needed as a team.

Tiger did not make the cut, and it made for lighter weekend,  but we were still very busy.

On Sunday, I chased not only the leaders, but those leaders who possibly could have qualified for the The Open. Anyone who ever says golf is easy to shoot is far from right.

Despite my feet hurting a little bit on Monday, it was a blast to be back out on the peaceful golf course.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Rocket J. Squirrel

"Sam Daugherty, and his dog, Rocket J. Squirrel, pose for a portrait during the third round of the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club on June 28, 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland."

When I first began shooting pictures, I was very shy and timid of strangers.

As I became more confident in my style, I found that I was passionate about finding more about others and building relationships with those in the community.

Those I passed, whether on assignment or not, made me see daily life in a new light. One might pass the same person in the street every day and know nothing about their character.

I remember waking one morning years ago and telling myself I'd never be afraid to talk to anyone or ask to make their picture - and at the same time - leave them with dignity and respect when posed.

War veteran Sam Daugherty, and his dog, Rocket J. Squirrel, are two of the many that caught my eye recently and gave me a couple seconds to help share their story visually.

This picture reminds me that people are willing to share their lives with others and continue to make my job incredibly special.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Number One Dad

"Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 15, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan."

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Last weekend, more than 40 drivers took the green flag at Michigan International Speedway with hopes of being named the next Sprint Cup Series race winner.

While all of the drivers were looking to be a winner amongst their team, others were also hoping to be in the spotlight with their family, as the number one Dad.

The Quicken Loans 400 raced on Father's Day and it was fun to document the drivers and their children in the garages and on the grid. These are the type of moments I am always looking for away from the action - as these iconic heroes behind the wheel display humility when with their young-ones.

At the end of the day, with risk comes reward, as Jimmie Johnson proved for this year's Father Day that he was the best - gaining his first ever Michigan win and putting smiles on his family's faces.