Thursday, October 05, 2017

Behind the Ropes

"Kevin Chappell (R) of the U.S. Team celebrates with caddie Joe Greiner after playing from the bunker for eagle on the second hole to go one up over Marc Leishman of Australia and the International Team during Sunday singles matches of the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club on October 1, 2017 in Jersey City, New Jersey."

Whenever I talk to friends, neighbors or even an emerging sports photographer they always envy the access.

What I mean is that they're in awe of the sideline vantage - be it kneeling on the sideline of an NFL game, sitting in the photo-well of a baseball game or being inside the ropes at a golf tournament.

But what they don't always see is that being away from that opportunistic access often leads to a unique image. A picture no one else has.

This past week I found myself mingling with spectators as I documented a fan's perspective of the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club.

Having an assignment like this challenges photographers to see and document sports differently in a good way. More than 99 percent of the time I spent away from any other professional photographers. And the one percent I was next them, I was shooting at a contrasting focal length on purpose.

One of my favorites was during the Sunday singles matches. Far away from everyone, using a mid-range zoom lens resulted in a picture that not one other fan, nor professional photographer, had all week - which was also story telling and had a sense of place - cannot complain about any of that.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Anthem

"Ryan Anderson #52, Chris Carter #55 and Niles Paul #84 of the Washington Redskins lock arms as they kneel alongside standing coaching staff and teammates during the United States national anthem before playing against the Oakland Raiders at FedExField on September 24, 2017 in Landover, Maryland."

Documenting sports doesn't always mean strictly the action the field.

Sometimes it means photographing an on-going news story regarding: a player, a coach or even the stadium itself. And in this case, more or less, the league.

Prior to week three of the NFL regular season, U.S. President Donald Trump chastised the NFL and its players publicly on Twitter regarding those who kneel during the national anthem.

Because of that, more than 200 players league wide showed their solidarity by demonstrating in the form of kneeling, sitting or joining arms during the playing of the anthem.

This was a known situation going into the game and we had to prepare for shooting these images at every game to help tell the story.

Splitting the field with my teammate, I documented the Washington Redskins sideline - while he took the Oakland Raiders - as players, coaches, and even the team's owner, united by standing, kneeling or locking arms to show their disapproval of the President's comments.

Although the game was why we photographers were there, this protest is what the world was talking about and was the real story line for the night and maybe weeks to come.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Eyes on the Prize


"An athlete competes in the bike portion of the IRONMAN 70.3 Women's World Championship on September 9, 2017 in Chattanooga, Tennessee."

Sometimes there is no explanation of how incredible athletes can be.

Having the opportunity to document the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship was certainly one of those moments.

Working in a team format, we documented both the men's and women's race which is half the distance of the the full-length IRONMAN.

This race is a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run which equals the obvious 70.3. And did I mention, they're doing all of this is about four hours?

Unbelievable to say the least, as most non-athletes, or even the word's best, would probably be exhausted completing just one of those segments.

We had a lot of fun and it was a challenge finding clean, compelling backdrops. But in the end, told the story immaculately and we're looking forward to doing it again soon.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Are You Ready?

"Defensive tackle Terrell McClain #97 of the Washington Redskins takes the field for warmups before playing the against the Cincinnati Bengals in a preseason game at FedExField on August 27, 2017 in Landover, Maryland."

Revisiting the same venues can be a challenge visually.

How can we make this like new, fresh? That's what I am always thinking before I even get out of my car for a game.

Sometimes it comes naturally. A big play. A change in the weather. Shifting light. Something that organically happens and keeps all photographers testing their skills.

Yet most other times it comes from trying to find a new angle or moment. That is when an eye comes into play - not simply pressing the button when something happens in front of you.

In all my years at FedExField, getting from one side to the other isn't always the quickest when not on the field. So in trying to see if I could traverse underneath the stands, I found a new picture.

Now I just need to wait for the franchise player or bigger moment - which now makes the challenge even more fun.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Worlds Best

"Karsten Warholm of Norway and Kerron Clement of the United States react after crossing the finish line in the Men's 400 metres hurdles during day six of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 9, 2017 in London, United Kingdom."

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Anytime a sporting event includes the word 'championship' one knows it's going to be a good one.

I had the amazing opportunity to document yet another IAAF World Athletics Championships - this time in London.

Much like any major event, it couldn't be done without an amazing team at Getty Images. From the work before anyone arrives, to everyone pulling their weight during, and everything that happens when everyone is home and resting.

The collaboration helps everyone focus on the continual stream of compelling moments that make a package for our clients and viewers nothing short of stellar.

I always say if you're having fun then you're making good pictures. This event was proof of that for our entire team. It doesn't hurt when you walk away with some images that perfectly told the stories of the games for yourself, too.

Loving the world of athletics and always looking forward to the next meet.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Hosmer Almost Homers

"Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals runs the bases after hitting an RBI double against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 31, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland."

Baseball is quickly nearing the end of the season - and that means a push to make the post season.

Performances on the diamond are becoming crucial with every swing and catch. These plays can make or break a chance to make it to the World Series.

On the last day in July, I found myself documenting the Kansas City Royals taking on the Baltimore Orioles.

Like the players, I wanted to elevate my game and try to be as different as possible. This meant taking early risks in the game to create a different image than those also documenting the game.

A slow shutter speed helped me achieve that as Eric Hosmer almost hit a home run as he hit an RBI double in the first inning.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Par Three

"Michael Thompson of the United States plays a shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the Quicken Loans National on June 29, 2017 TPC Potomac in Potomac, Maryland."

One of the easiest thing with documenting golf is making it look pretty.

Golf courses are typically immaculately groomed. Lush green grasses, blue skies, sunny weather, and clean backgrounds.

With a little zooming and panning of the feet, any photographer can shoot a clean game of golf with a long lens. That means stock and action images alike.

However, much like every other sport, shooting with a wide angle can often make a more compelling image.

Despite there being no real environment markings helping viewers identify what course the Quicken Loans National was played on, I still like the graphic elements of the above image.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Track Fashion

"Tara Davis competes in the Women's Long Jump Final during Day 3 of the 2017 USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships at Hornet Stadium on June 24, 2017 in Sacramento, California."

Over the past couple of years I've been finding myself documenting more and more track & field events.

And to this day, I still find it to be one of the most challenging sports to photograph.

Time management is everything in the controlled chaos that is athletics. With multiple events occurring at the same time, I am thankful to always be a part of a team that helps us document everything successfully.

What I am often finding though is there are so many details in this sport. From hair, to nails, shoes and everything in between. Every athlete has a style that helps them stand out, yet be one of the United States team.

During the 2017 USA Track & Field Championships, I found a familiar face, or should I say hair, of young star Tara Davis. I had photographed her a couple years ago at the Youth Championships, and she was back again.

He talent helps her stand out amongst her competition, but it's her hair that often helps us photographers make an interesting image.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Gloves, Sticks Optional

"The Pittsburgh Penguins mob goalie Matt Murray #30 as they celebrate their, 2-0, win over the Nashville Predators to win the 2017 Stanley Cup in Game Six of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Bridgestone Arena on June 11, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee."

As a photographer documenting the final game of the season, it's easy to think about the entire season leading up to this moment.

While caught up in thoughts of pictures of the final celebration before it happens, after 'The Cup' is hoisted, one must remember that preseason, regular season, the entire playoffs, and everything in-between are just as important as the final jubilation of the year.

Every game, every practice is an opportunity to fine tune skills and techniques. Studying the game and players to help anticipate what could happen in a moment like this. Without all the ups and downs of the regular season, there is no tension and no thrill.

The games prior to the finals build the narrative - and this is what photography is all about - telling the story.

And this year, the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrated by hoisting the Stanley Cup for the second straight year. An incredible moment and opportunity that I won't forget.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Blocks Away

"Classic Empire walks on the track past row homes located on West Belvedere Ave., during a training session for the upcoming Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 17, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland."

I love sports action images, but if I can communicate something more in my photographs, I lean toward features.

Each year, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course is an important race, and often called the middle jewel, of the Triple Crown.

So every morning we photographers find ourselves looking to tell the story of the year - which is typically the Kentucky Derby winning horse training.

But this year there was a lot of talk if Pimlico Race Course was in its final year, or years, of hosting the Preakness.

According to Baltimore Police, a fatal shooting occurred just a block away from the track, days before the race, so I wanted to help anyone writing that story, a visual.