Monday, January 25, 2016

Push and Shove

"Pierre-Edouard Bellemare #78 of the Philadelphia Flyers lays at the bottom of a scrum between teammates and Toronto Maple Leafs players during the second period at Wells Fargo Center on January 19, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

Hockey is a fast sport. One, if not, the quickest in my opinion.

Take that fast sport and slow it down to one picture every couple of seconds. That's what the best hockey photographers are doing when shooting the sport on strobes.

I've always been interested in hockey my entire life. From playing in the street to on the television screen with video games, I am up to speed on the game. However, I am really behind the curve on shooting on strobes.

Instead of letting the shutter click at 13 frames a second during a great moment, I am now limited to one picture every few seconds. This takes patience and knowing when to make the exposure.

I love a challenge. So when I come away with a perfectly layered moment, it helps my confidence throughout the rest of the game.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cam

"Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs through the tunnel before playing the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Bank of America Stadium on January 17, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina."

Every stadium is different. And no team is the same. But there is always one thing a photographer wishes they could take back to their home town team after visiting a new stadium venue.

Documenting the Seattle Seahawks take on the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs was exciting and everything was fresh to my eyes.

Thankfully our team at Getty Images knew the logistics and of how the show is run in Carolina making our approach powerful.

One of the coolest things was getting access to the pregame tunnel for the Panthers. Lights, fog and energy. A rare glimpse behind the scenes for all photographers to see. In most stadiums, this is forbidden and cut off to photographers.

I loved how they made this portion of the game just as energetic as the game itself. If only all stadiums were so open to photographers pregame.

One can only dream.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Season Turned Over

"Jeff Janis #83 of the Green Bay Packers is tackled by Tanard Jackson #36 of the Washington Redskins during a kick-off return in the first quarter during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at FedExField on January 10, 2016 in Landover, Maryland."

Playoffs are here and not everyone makes it to the Super Bowl.

An exciting run for the Washington Redskins - they found themselves looking to continue winning in hopes of making it to another round of the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the Green Bay Packers decided they didn't want their season to end yet, winning the NFC Wild Card Playoff game on the Redskins turf.

A close game at half turned into a lopsided battle, eventually ending the Redskins hopes at a Super Bowl run.

As the action continues, I think everyone is excited to see who will meet in San Francisco.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Blocked

"Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat has his shot blocked by Otto Porter Jr. #22 of the Washington Wizards during the first half at Verizon Center on January 3, 2016 in Washington, DC."

The first assignment of a new year is always a mind game.

With a new year comes a new beginning. Photographs from the previous year live on, but in terms of building a yearly portfolio, they're gone.

After twelve months of shooting and compiling favorites that tell a story - one must start over.

All photographers essentially start from scratch every year. While sports seasons occur over two calendar years, the year in sports globally starts on January 1 - and rarely are there major stories in sports or unbelievable plays that already occurring on said date.

For photographers, some years start out fast and for others slow. It all comes down to what you're photographing, where you're positioned and the homework you've done as a team.

It's no different than sports itself - some games you'll handle the ball a lot and other games you may never get possession. Some games you score multiple goals and others you don't even get a shot off. Some games you bunt with the bases loaded, and others you swing for the fences.

As the year progresses, things change, some days are great and others are a struggle. Yet that's why athletes and photographers alike return to the playing field each and every year. For a chance to be apart of the greatest moment in sports and better themselves and their teams.

While this above image certainly isn't anywhere near the greatest moment in sports for 2016, it was a reminder to always stay focused - whether the first or last game of the year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best of 2015 | Sports

"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."

CLICK HERE FOR SLIDESHOW

As the year ends, I am humbled by the opportunities presented in 2015 by Getty Images.

This year, my career changed dramatically as I joined Getty Images full-time and my wife and I also welcomed our son, Peyton.

Those two changes welcomed challenges we both wanted, needed and love. While still covering news and features, those days dwindled into the single digits, while my days shooting sports skyrocketed into the hundreds.

My travels continued in the United States with old friends, teammates - yet also found myself in new countries and documenting new sports, with new friends, teammates.

No different from any other year, I've cherished each and every opportunity. Getting to meet and work alongside teammates I've long admired is humbling and refreshing - that goes without saying my comrades at home continually do the same each week.

In addition, I learned from the challenging days and nights all thanks to my teammates, family - photographers, editors and tech support and everyone in-between. I have nothing but the deepest gratitude and respect for the help from the team where our end goal is the same - providing nothing but the best imagery in the world.

Thank you to all of you. Truly.

With that all said, I feel ashamed to be sharing my own favorites when I should be showcasing the work of the entire company. Without my teammates, I am nothing. Without their support and talents these images would not exist in front of my very own lens.

Yet I've done this for many years and it's a great exercise looking back at the year.

Lastly, I'm excited and looking forward to another full-year of health, happiness and shooting in 2016 - and wish each and everyone of you the same.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Focus

"Strong safety Bacarri Rambo #30 of the Buffalo Bills has a moment to himself as he and teammates take the field before playing the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 20, 2015 in Landover, Maryland."

The seconds leading up to kick-off everyone needs a moment to themselves - this includes photographers, fans and players.

No matter what form of preparing for a big game one chooses - they must focus on the end result before the game even begins.

It's very easy as a photographer to feel the energy of the crowd and player introductions - becoming overly excited. I find this to be an interference to my focus, so I tend to close my eyes and take a moment to try and drown out all distractions.

Bacarri Rambo of the Buffalo Bills had a similar moment as he and his teammates walked onto the field to play the Washington Redskins.

This picture made me realize that I too needed to calm my emotions as I sprinted around the feel and tunnel for pregame.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Clipped

"Lucky Whitehead #13 of the Dallas Cowboys is knocked out of bounds by punter Tress Way #5 of the Washington Redskins during a kick return in the first quarter at FedExField on December 7, 2015 in Landover, Maryland."

Some games start slow and others begin fast- yet neither are perfect in the mind of the photographer.

If a game starts slow, you hit the shutter a lot hoping to have compelling images before halftime.

If the game begins with big plays, you hope the mayhem continues so that the great pictures keep unfolding in front of you.

But nothing is ever scripted in sports - one can never predict the flow or intensity of the game.

As the Dallas Cowboys played the Washington Redskins last week, a couple big plays started the game - but scoring was left up to the kickers.

Photographers were continually waiting for the big touchdown to determine a winner. Yet the real sea-saw battle of scoring in the end zone didn't happen until late in the fourth quarter.

In the end, the game driven by field goals, ended on a field goal, proving that no two games are ever alike.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

One Hand Only

"Wide receiver Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants scores a fourth quarter touchdown past cornerback Will Blackmon #41 of the Washington Redskins at FedExField on November 29, 2015 in Landover, Maryland."

If you've heard of the name Odell Beckham - you've certainly heard the hype surrounding his 2014 one-handed catch.

In little words as possible, it was a super-human catch by a tremendous athlete. And as a photographer, you think of the catch whenever you photograph any game.

Why? Because it was a regular season game, in which Beckham's team, the New York Giants, lost. Yet the catch made headlines everywhere. And more importantly, the video and still images were used all over the world.

It goes to show that at any given game, at any given moment, the next big play could unfold right in front of your lens.

Last Sunday, while still an amazing athletic performance, Beckham tried to one-up his last season's catch against the Washington Redskins.

Not nearly as viral, it still made for a stunning picture and restored that notion in every photographers head to be ready at all times - whether it's Beckham - or another superstar.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rammed Over

"Tight end Lance Kendricks #88 of the St. Louis Rams scores a third quarter touchdown past cornerback Jimmy Smith #22 of the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland."

When I shot one of my very first college football games many, many years ago, I remember a photographer friend say something along the lines of - you have all the time in the world once the play starts.

What he meant was that once the quarterback releases the ball, photographers have more than enough time to determine where the ball was going and what lens to use.

While true, it's not always easy.

Yet by remember that little phase, it helps keep yourself calm and collect during what could be a big play of the game.

Last week, in the second half, with the score tight, Lance Kendricks of the St. Louis Rams caught the ball and started barreling straight toward me stationed in the corner of the endzone.

While I had ample time to switch to a shorter lens, these type of close plays happen in an instant - and sometimes all you need to do is keep calm and focus, because if you get yourself overly excited, it could be the difference in nailing the shot and getting nailed yourself.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Flying Through Smoke

"Jeron Johnson #20 of the Washington Redskins and teammates are introduced before playing the New Orleans Saints at FedExField on November 15, 2015 in Landover, Maryland."

The best part about being apart of a team is leaning on one another to make great images.

The end result is always the same - what's presented to viewers as a team - not as a individual. So what holds true on the field for athletes is exactly the same for photographers.

There are days you feel like nothing came your way - or you didn't live up to your own goals to help the team. Whether that's passing for multiple touchdowns as a quarterback or capturing said touchdowns as a photographer.

But that's what teammates are for. To help motivate, inspire and carry one another along each and every week - good game or bad.

Recently the Washington Redskins have been coming out for player introductions as one team. No individual intros. And while the above is singular, I couldn't help not play with the light and smoke as they made their way onto the field.

Maybe next week I'll get more layers with a moment like this to tell that story of being one team.