Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Put Your Hands Up

"Tom Wilson #43 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 13, 2017 in Washington, DC."

Photographing hockey can either be extremely clean or cluttered - rarely anything in-between.

What I mean is that remote cameras above the ice can help photographs be very symmetrical and on an attractive canvas. Conversely, at ice level, the boards are littered in advertisements. This can make a great picture distracting due to logos or even colors of them.

In addition, the crowd and railings on the steps can also take away from a great moment. But there are instances like the above where a simple crop can help communicate the story.

During Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round, Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals rocketed the game-winning goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime.

Being across the ice, I was on the play, yet crossing players, the goal itself and my limited angle through the hole made the image a challenge to get perfect. But all worked out in the end as Wilson and fans threw their hands into the air in jubilation.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Opening Day

"Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman #39 of the Baltimore Orioles prays before playing the Toronto Blue Jays during their Opening Day game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 3, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland."

To many, Opening Day is a holy day.

Each year after 162 games for each team, plus a post-season, the baseball season comes to a end.  There are no fast balls, home runs or game seven for the long stretch that is winter. It's a long break for many, but when it's back, there are lots of excited fans.

I've heard stories of many people considering Opening Day a holiday and taking off of work. Start talking to anyone at the ballpark and there are fans who haven't missed an Opening Day in 20 some years.

Personally, I've always thought Opening Day, or the first game of the year for major league baseball, was also the start of spring. The days are longer, the temperature is rising and the world becomes green again.

In all my years shooting professionally, I've never once been to as a fan, nor photographed, an Opening Day. For whatever reason, be it travel or other assignments, it just never lined up.

Thankfully I got my first this year. It was an exciting one and I'll never forget it.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hold Up

"Travis Konecny #11 of the Philadelphia Flyers and Josh Anderson #34 of the Columbus Blue Jackets push and shove as teammates hold one another during the second period at Wells Fargo Center on March 13, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

If there is one thing I love about hockey as a sport, it's that everyone on the ice constantly has their teammates back.

Sure in every sport teammates will stand up for their comrades. But always clearly obvious in ice hockey. When two players tempers flare and they start to push and shove, everyone typically gets involved.

Whether they're helping to break it up to cool everyone off or protect their star player - rarely is there a player on the ice not involved.

What will usually happen is what one can see in the above picture. A chain-like grappling of opposing players until the referees are able to break it up - and always a fun picture that illustrates the battle.

Without the comradery of a team - there is no team unity - and making that push toward the post season becomes even more difficult.

Looking forward to the playoffs as everything heats up on the ice.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Stick Versus Hand

"Luke Glendening #41 of the Detroit Red Wings pulls in a loose puck with his hand as he is defended by Andre Burakovsky #65 of the Washington Capitals during the first period at Verizon Center on February 9, 2017 in Washington, DC."

I love taking risks shooting sports and hockey is a classic sport for that.

With limited number of on ice positions for photographers, some of those spots mean only seeing a small percentage of the ice.

As the game goes into the final period, many photographers will leave their holes for a higher vantage so that the can document every play on the ice without missing a single play.

I've always stuck to my original game plan and stayed ice level. It's exciting to know that you'll either have the decisive moment no one else has or be burned. So in all the years documenting ice hockey, I've only shot handheld from an elevated position a few times.

However, the other night I thought I'd start from the 100 level instead of finishing there for a fresh vantage and something different than the competition.

Thankfully there was a lot of scoring and action which helped break me from my normal routine at a game.

Looking forward as the regular season begins to wind down and playoffs rev up.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Super Brady

"Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots takes the field prior to Super Bowl 51 against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas."

There is no bigger game than the Super Bowl when in comes to football. And there is no bigger name than Tom Brady.

Each year, thousands travel to the host city to watch and millions tune in each year to see who will hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Much like the organizers of the actual game, we at Getty Images cannot cover the game alone. More than 30 of our staff - from editors, technicians, runners, and photographers themselves - work together to make the week leading up to, and the actual game, operate with zero hiccups.

And as the teams do, we load the field with our talent.

As sports photography goes, one can do their homework, be hungry, motivated, and prepared, yet as the saying goes, sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way.

I played our team's part on the opposite end of most of the action this year. For those big moments that did happen in my view, at the end of the day, they ended up not being the storytelling moments because of the historic comeback by the New England Patriots.

But that's what makes the big game thrilling and I am perfectly content with that. Being a part of the team is what's important.

Knowing that I can put my faith in my teammates to visually document their areas of the field, just as they trust us to do it on our end, feels good. The end result, and our entire take, is what shows and I'm always grateful to be included on the squad.

And if this game teaches anyone anything, it's to never give up, even if things don't go smoothly at first.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Big Moments

"Safeties Coach Steve Belichick of the New England Patriots holds his daughter Blakely Rose Belichick as he enjoys the Patriots defeat over the Pittsburgh Steelers, 36-17, in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts."

One thing I always try to think about in sports is who the game is important to and why.

It's easy to point the camera toward players after a big win such as the AFC Championship Game. They're the ones on the field exerting energy and crossing the the line to score a touchdown.

In addition, fans are the ones we typically hear. So focusing on their actions comes natural, too.

But those in uniform adorning their name on the back didn't achieve those moments alone. Their coaches drew up the plays and helped coordinate when to use them. And I often think besides the head coach, others aren't typically seen visually.

In other words, coaches are very much apart of the team, too.

With a big team ourselves at Getty Images covering the championship, we each have our own roles. Yet when they end, we're left to search for other moments.

Being a father, and with my wife expecting our second child soon, I was instantly drawn to safeties coach Steve Belichick of the New England Patriots as he held his daughter while enjoying the Patriots defeat over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

For him, as a coach, this was a big moment. But being a father is better than any win. I can only imagine that has to be a great feeling to being able to enjoy both at once.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Incoming

"Marcin Gortat #13 of the Washington Wizards and Al-Farouq Aminu #8 of the Portland Trail Blazers battle for a rebound as Otto Porter Jr. #22 of the Washington Wizards falls to the court during the first half at Verizon Center on January 16, 2017 in Washington, DC."

One trap sport photography can often fall into is the lack of layers.

While guilty of it every day, a lot of the time great sports images often include only one player. This is something I've talked about before, yet is unavoidable in some sports where players are their own team; such as golf and tennis.

While you cannot take away from a great picture with only one person in it, I find my eye like to dance around a picture with more humans in it.

So with that, I am always trying to incorporate as many players into one picture as possible. Sport is about competition - the more, the better.

The other night as the Portland Trail Blazers played the Washington Wizards I decided to put a remote on the floor under the basket. This is something new and and positive about the Verizon Center.

Alas, this arena isn't great in terms of clean pictures with basketball. There aren't yet LED lights, so it's dark. The stands have distracting elements such as silver railings. And the house lights illuminate the crowd.

These three things make a clean picture a challenge, so to combat that, I try and fill the frame. This picture helps communicate all the aforementioned and draws a viewer in.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Eyeing Up The Year

"Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan #91 of the Washington Redskins walks onto the field prior to a game against the New York Giants at FedExField on January 1, 2017 in Landover, Maryland."

It's always electrifying to 'eye' up the new year.

While a clean slate isn't the best wording, it's more of a fresh breath, a new season. It's cliche, but it's always nice to look back your work the year before on the first of the year.

Those images are a reminder of what went well and what didn't. More importantly, it's also a visual record of what pushed, challenged you as a photographer and how that helped shape your craft and yourself personally.

Away from the rectangles, the year of 2016 was scary, sad and ugly at times. Yet also amazing, memorable and exciting all in the same breath. I'm humbled for the continual stream of opportunities presented by my employer of Getty Images.

As I echo ever year, I'm excited and looking forward to another full-year of health, happiness and shooting in 2017 - and wish each and everyone of you the same.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Quiet, please


"Cornerback Daryl Worley #26 of the Carolina Panthers takes a moment prior to a game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 19, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. "

Sporting events is all about access.

Unfortunately, professional sports doesn't always lend itself to the best behind the scenes. While there are rare occasions, most of the time finding those moments requires a different type of access.

That means photographers must find moments happening from a far and then document them with long glass.

During the Carolina Panthers taking on the Washington Redskins game over a week ago was no different.

Typically football players will have a moment to themselves minutes before the game in the end zone - whether they're actually praying or just trying to find a moment to focus.

After witnessing it more times than I can remember, I thought that I could try and layer the Redskins band leaving the field with the aforementioned moment.

Just when cornerback Daryl Worley of the Carolina Panthers thought he'd have time to have a second alone, he had to share with a hundred or so band members.

Didn't seem to shake his team's focus, as the Panthers defeated the Redskins.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Cleared for Landing

"Running back Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles scores a two point conversion over top of defensive tackle Michael Pierce #78 and nose tackle Brandon Williams #98 of the Baltimore Ravens in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland."

I love risk taking and that's always exciting when teams do the same in sports photography.

With no chance of making the playoffs, the Philadelphia Eagles took lots of calculated risks as they attempted to close the door on the Baltimore Ravens post season hopes.

A cold, windy game the Eagles put lots of pressure on the Ravens as they kept the game close all day on Sunday.

Two of those risks came in the form of going for two point conversions. The first resulted in scoring said two points as running back Ryan Mathews took off from the ground and soared over Ravens defenders before landing into the end zone.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, they came up short on their second attempt which would have won the game for them late in the fourth quarter.