Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Post Season Leap

"Tight end Mark Andrews #89 of the Baltimore Ravens leaps over defensive back Desmond King #20 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the fourth quarter during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland."

It's a New Year and that rings in the start of the NFL playoffs.

Every snap and down has a much bigger meaning as teams fight for the right to hoist the Lombardi trophy.

Stakes are higher and players are willing to sacrifice everything to play for a chance to win it all.

The Wild Card weekend started at home in Baltimore as the Ravens tried to claw their way back into contention - but ultimately fell to the Los Angeles Chargers.

As always, it will be a fun ride to the Super Bowl - and will hopefully produce those iconic images that make football one of the most exciting sports to photograph.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Helping Hands

"Tight end Jordan Reed #86 of the Washington Redskins is introduced before playing against the Carolina Panthers at FedExField on October 14, 2018 in Landover, Maryland."

Introductions in sports are nothing new, but it's always fun to try and find something different.

With some smoke and some fans, it was a welcomed change for my pupils as the Redskins made their way to the field before playing the Carolina Panthers back in October.

I think most want to be on the field, but I always believe the picture is away from the view of fans.

Or in this case - maybe an obstructed view.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Crabby Cycle

"Nicholas Grala from the United States leads another cyclist as they compete in the IRONMAN Maryland on September 29, 2018 in Cambridge, Maryland."

Like life, sports photography is typically what you see is what you get.

Thus meaning, there is usually not much time to doing any real planning in the day to day assignments. While major events and playoffs are a different monster, a typical assignment means showing up just a few hours before the competition starts.

However, when you do get to scout and plan a day prior, it makes shooting and managing your time much easier.

This is the case when photographing Ironman triathlons.

Having the opportunity to document an event close to home I was able to drive the course prior to find images that would work.

While some didn't line up once I get off of the motorcycle - others like the above did - which helped put a sense of place to the Maryland race.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Water Under the Bridge

"An athlete swims in front of the 6th Street bridge in the Savannah River at the Riverfront Marina as they train prior to the IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta on September 22, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia."

A large majority of the time for photographers, most assignments have no guidelines.

Sure, there is a often a shot list or desired images our clients are looking for. But no one is going to hold your hand and tell you how to achieve those.

It's trusting your own judgement, doing your homework and managing your time wisely that often results in producing both what the client wants and exceeding their expectations.

So to impress, obviously no one is going to tell you to jump into a stinky river filled with snakes for a picture. Those types of photographs come from wanting and willing to get into the body of water in the meaning of a fun rectangle.

I think that's what makes this job so interesting. While you know what you need, you're able to take risks and go for something different if you're a good planner.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

First Win

"Boxer Yueri Andujar (R) shares a moment with his trainer Sensei Guerrido after defeating Crystian Peguero (not pictured) in his pro boxing featherweight debut bout at 2300 Arena on September 14, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

Every time I speak to students wanting to get into this business of photography, one of the many pieces of wisdom I try to instill is that you never know what you'll have the privilege to visually document.

A couple weeks ago, I found myself chasing a story in which I decided to shoot a couple of fights prior to what I was actually in the building for.

Sometimes when I find myself in a situation like this - I think of the future. Will one of these athletes become a superstar later in life? Or will I never hear of them again? I hope for success for everyone.

In one of the bouts, Yueri Andujar won his very first professional fights. But what moved me was the moment he had after with his trainer.

Juxtaposing moments like these are powerful - it shows the quieter side to the physically demanding sport - which is something I'm always trying to show viewers.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Tiger's Prowl

"Tiger Woods of the United States looks on from the 18th green during round two of the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston on September 1, 2018 in Norton, Massachusetts."

There are a few athletes that make sports photography not only a fun challenge, but have a huge historical impact. Tiger Woods is one of those people.

No matter what tournament it is, whether it's The Masters or in this case the Dell Technologies Championship - Tiger is an iconic figure.

In writing this, Tiger has won again, but when this image was captured, he was looking for his next victory.

When photographing athletes in play, I always like to play with possible story lines in my head. How can a dramatic lighting picture of Tiger be used in future stories?  He isn't swinging a club, but his body language and look can say a lot.

Tiger looks focused, hungry and determined to get back to the top. His prowl is evident. An image like this can be used so many ways.

Everyone loves a comeback story and I'm sure all sports photographers are eager to see how 2019 pans out for him.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Shaping an Entrance

"Long snapper Nick Sundberg #57 of the Washington Redskins takes the field before playing against the Denver Broncos in a preseason game at FedExField on August 24, 2018 in Landover, Maryland."

Making an entrance in football usually means lots of pageantry.

From fireworks, smoke and loud music - it's all visual and a great way to start a game for players, fans and photographers alike.

However, I am always trying to look for interesting moments before that. How does one's body language communicate nervousness or even excitement?

Many years ago I photographed referees very similar to the above image. Yet last year I found a most graphic element to this rectangle and decided to explore it the other night.

Shape and color are great - but getting a little moment like looking to the field, fans - is always the cherry on top of the ice cream.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Cool Down

"Sergio Ramos #4 of Real Madrid runs through a sprinkler prior to the International Champions Cup at FedExField on August 4, 2018 in Landover, Maryland."

Documenting sports often means arriving early and leaving late.

Sometimes warmups can feel like a drag - and the joke is echoed - no one ever won, nor lost, a game before the whistle.

However, motivation mixed with a moment can lead to a picture when one is compelled to shoot some images prior to kick-off.

During the International Champions Cup, superstar Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid put himself through some workouts - and also through some water sprinklers - which resulted in interesting picture before the actual game.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Selfie Hint

"Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles and the American League and Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the National League pose for a selfie in the second inning during the 89th MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Nationals Park on July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC."

The world of sports often means players being traded, though even to the media, that can be quite a hidden process.

Manny Machado, now formerly of the Baltimore Orioles, was rumored to be traded for most of the current season.

No one really had a hard confirmation of where he'd land, nor when. However, a few hints led everyone to believe he'd land with the Los Angeles Dodgers including the above moment.

Players never have their cell phones on them during play. However, being the the MLB All-Star game, anything goes.

Machado was traded shortly after confirming he got the first picture of himself with a new teammate.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

World Class Celebration

"Edinson Cavani of Uruguay celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between Uruguay and Portugal at Fisht Stadium on June 30, 2018 in Sochi, Russia."

With a global following - and considered one of the biggest sporting events on the planet - there is nothing like the World Cup.

Having had the opportunity to travel all over Russia documenting the superstars of soccer for the last month I can truly say the hype is real.

From iconic celebrations to stunning goals there is no wonder why each venue is packed full of fans from the group stage to the final match.

My respect for the sport has only grown and looking forward to the event coming to North America in coming years.