Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Light Them Up

"James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots in front of Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards during the second half at Verizon Center on November 7, 2016 in Washington, DC."

Every indoor arena in the United States for the most part uses strobes for still pictures.

These lights are mainly used by the team's team photographer, typically for basketball and hockey. To the naked eye, fans and athletes probably don't notice the continual flashing on white light.

While there are some athletes that train to play with the flashes, including Michael Jordan, photographers often have images ruined by others photographers flashes. The term is literally called 'strobed' when one is exposed properly, but catches the flash of another, and it washes out the image.

However, I often try to use it to my advantage. I'll set a custom exposure and try to catch the strobe to help freeze the action with a slow shutter speed.

The results vary and it's a risk, but when it works, it's a nice mix to daily coverage.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Power Tackle

"Cornerback Jerraud Powers #26 of the Baltimore Ravens attempts to sack quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland."

Each and every week as a photographer you never know what you'll document.

No matter what the sport, when something unique happens, it occurs so fast sometimes that one cannot even process what occurred until the play ends.

Last week as the Baltimore Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers, I saw cornerback Jerraud Powers coming around the backside of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. As quickly as he was running for the sack, I wasn't sure if he'd actually make contact for the sack.

His speed was quicker than I anticipated, and Roethlisberger also predicted the pressure. Powers ended up going head over heels to eventually pull him down.

The power of the two players was something I've never seen as they battled to make a play - and the moment ended up making an interesting picture that was also telling of the game.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Eight Wins It

"Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Winnipeg Jets during overtime at Verizon Center on November 3, 2016 in Washington, DC."

One of my favorite places to shoot hockey from is the crash box - this is the open seating box between the two team benches.

Players can literally crash into you non-stop throughout the game whether they're skating toward the goal or changing lines because there is no protective glass. Considering dangerous by many photographers - it's a huge rush.

Typical shooting positions can limit you view of the ice - both because of location and the small cutout hole in the glass. But from the crash box photographers see the entire ice at all times.

Thankfully I was in there in the third period when the Winnipeg Jets came into town to play the Washington Capitals.

An active period with lots of goals, the game went into overtime where Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winning goal and turned back toward the bench helping capture a telling image of the night.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Eyeing the Win

"Daniel Hemric, driver of the #19 DrawTite Ford, sits in his truck during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series fred's 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 21, 2016 in Talladega, Alabama."

The greatest thing about sports photography is that the little things can make everything seem completely new.

For motorsports, while drivers always race at the same tracks, the drivers change, the sponsors are modified, and the outcome is always different.

So even when a photographer goes into an assignment maybe feeling things will be repetitive, there is one small moment that will make the job feel world's apart.

For Talladega, the most obvious change for this year's fall race was that there was no big one. No major on track incident that would shake up the playoff field. But during my assignments, it was a brief period of light on a driver that made an rather busy picture turn into a studio portrait shoot.

As I walked through the Camping World Truck Series garage shooting drivers waiting to take to the track, the light perfectly hitting driver Daniel Hemric in the eyes - caught my eye.

With the sun to his back, his crew opened his hood of his truck bouncing light back onto his face, helmet.

While this is a typical image in our line of work, the low angle through the net to get a clean white sky background made this loud, controlled chaotic scene feel more like a quiet peaceful studio session.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Moving On

"Adrian Gonzalez #23 (L), Josh Reddick #11 (C) and Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate in the clubhouse after winning Game Five of the National League Division Series over the Washington Nationals, 4-3, at Nationals Park on October 14, 2016 in Washington, DC."

As excited as everyone was for playoff baseball to begin - it has ended in Washington, DC.

While the actual post season hasn't ended, my year of documenting baseball has come to and end as the local two teams are now out of contention.

The other night the Los Angeles Dodgers won Game Five of the National League Division Series over the Washington Nationals.

With any clinching win, there is celebration, and I had the great opportunity to get into the clubhouse to document the jubilation.

These moments behind closed doors of fans is always a challenge.

The biggest difficulty is trying not to smile too much behind the camera as these mega athletes enjoy and let loose as they take another step closer to the World Series and possible title as world champions.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Stay Loose


"The Presidents Race mascots William Howard Taft (right) and George Washington rehearse prior to game two of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 8, 2016 in Washington, DC."

It's a busy time of the year with a lot happening - yet always an exciting time as Major League Baseball post season has begun.

While it tends to be a dry during this part of the season, weather still occurs and gets everyone soaking wet.

Prior to game two of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park everyone was waiting around as the rain continued to fall.

Heavy rain had been falling all day and there was that feeling that the game would be postponed.

As any photographer should do during these situations, I made a couple laps around the field and in the tunnels to help illustrate the wait.

Along the way, I stumbled across The Presidents Race mascots as they rehearsed prior to the game.

A funny candid moment that helped keep the afternoon relaxed before the game was eventually postponed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Stretched Out

"Adam Jones #10 of the Baltimore Orioles cannot make a catch on an RBI double hit by Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays (not pictured) during the third inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 15, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland."

One of the fundamentals of sports photography is that you want two players and a ball in your image.

Thus meaning, documenting a football game, a photographer will want an image of player rushing with the ball eluding another player. This in it's basic sense gives the viewer a feel of competition.

While that is a very elementary concept, I continually believe it makes a stronger picture.

A lot of sports photography is singular in terms of action. One player performing on their stage. While I am guilty every day of shooting that way, it cannot be avoided as a lot of sports are just that - singular.

Golf is a prime example of having one athlete appearing alone in a frame a majority of the time.

It's not until another element comes into play that makes the image more appealing or complex. Be it fans, or a teammate, or the opposition.

With that all said, there is nothing wrong with a peak action moment of one player. We must continually capture these plays, yet if we can predict an extra element coming into play we'll be ready for the next great image.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Standing

"Marshal Yanda #73 of the Baltimore Ravens and teammates stand during the national anthem as a bald eagle flies above before playing the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland."

One thing never changes in American professional sports - the game always begins with the national anthem.

However, of recent, it has become a news topic as select athletes have been taking a knee during said anthem with hope of raising awareness of social injustice.

While this controversial topic evolves, it's our job as photographers to continue to document what happens before the game begins.

Last Sunday, before the Buffalo Bills played the Baltimore Ravens, there were no protests. But in staying alert, a bald eagle, which typically symbolized as American pride, was trained to fly above players during the anthem.

While no players opted out of the anthem, I thought the image helped tell the other side of this ongoing story that players are still standing.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Orange Homer

"Fans cheer under a sunset as Pedro Alvarez #24 of the Baltimore Orioles rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run against the New York Yankees during the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 2, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland."

One can never get comfortable, because when you're covering what you think is simply another regular season game in a familiar ballpark, things will change.

The other night as the New York Yankees took on the Baltimore Orioles the sky began to change. A very small hint of beautiful clouds began casting over the stadium. So I decided I needed to get to a higher vantage point looking west.

A gamble to step away from a high scoring affair very early in the game, getting to the upper deck proved to be the best spot.

After working what was probably a more magical scene, I camped out behind some fans hoping for a reaction.

With a sliver of orange sky still showing, Pedro Alvarez belted a two run home run that got fans out of their seats.

A great view, celebration indeed for birds fans.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Achieving Gold


"Usain Bolt of Jamaica kisses his gold medal on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 100 metres on Day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil."

Success is defined many ways, by many different people.

For most, being happy and healthy is their main goal in life - and I can only agree that this is the most important thing that extends to my friends and family too.

But being driven with a competitive spirit, I also understand the desire of achieving a shiny object like an Olympic gold medal to help show the world that you're apart of the best team on the globe. It also doesn't hurt to help quiet your biggest critic, which for most motivated people, is themselves.

After covering the Rio Olympics it really interested me about the athletes. I'm not sure why now, maybe because of out intense schedule of non-stop high caliber sports action, but I become obsessed with those winning.

What do athletes sacrifice in order to reach the top of their sport? What are they like away from the competition arena? What have they done to get there? Did they come from nothing? Or did they have everything handed to them?

These simple things make one become a fan - or not - and make one think if the medal made them even more competitive and their family happy.

Having the humble opportunity to document so many successes, and failures, on the biggest stage there is for sports was an amazingly overwhelming experience. So much goes into these games happening on both ends of the spectrum to make it come together in the end for all involved.

I learned a lot and it opened up my eyes to even more of the wonderful world of sports. An incredible experience with the Getty Images team that I know I'll be apart of in just a few short years again.