Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Preakness at Pimlico

"Jockey Victor Carrasco poses for a portrait after jockeying Never Stop Looking in The 2nd Running of the Old Bay Race prior to the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 21, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland."

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There is nothing more challenging then covering the same event year after year.

I've covered the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course for six years in a row - and that doesn't count what I've documented not in succession.

Obviously, each year variables change. The weather may be good or bad. There may be a policy changes for fans. A horse could scratch from the race. And so much more.

But for the most part, the venue and purpose of the assignment are relativity unchanged. So trying to capture the week long of morning workouts and then the one day event in a new light is always fun, but a huge challenge.

This year, lots of rain already changed our game plan at Getty Images. That in turn changed how I approached and documented the week.

Not only did we walk away Saturday night with brilliant coverage as a team, I thought I had one of my best Preakness weeks to date, and that goes back to my teammates doing the same.

Monday, May 16, 2016

All Hands On Pit

"Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Rheem Chevrolet, comes in for a pit stop during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ollie's Bargain Outlet 200 at Dover International Speedway on May 14, 2016 in Dover, Delaware."

Each and every venue has it's gems - yet it's finding them and knowing how to use them that makes it a challenge.

For motorsports, some tracks have different shooting positions that make routine documentation a bit more of a calculated risk.

As an example, at most race tracks, pit stop walls are solid concrete. And going over the wall with any part of your body and camera as a photographer is strictly prohibited.

However, at Dover International Speedway, the pit road wall is more of a guard rail with an opening below. This allows photographers to wedge their camera underneath the opening and spray frames blindly as cars come speeding in for tire changes.

Maybe it's because in all my years at Dover I was playing it safe when I covered pit stops. Whatever the reason being, I'm glad I went for something different this time around.

There is nothing better than getting multiple layers of action in one sports image.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

One to the Chin

"Lucian Bute of Canada (right) is punched by Badou Jack of Sweden in their WBC super middleweight championship bout at the DC Armory on May 1, 2016 in Washington, DC."

Timing is everything - and in boxing that's not always easy.

Learning  and adjusting to punching speeds is one of the most challenging things in documenting sports.

While not always necessary, I always show up to boxing matches early to get a my rhythm and timing down with the under card fights. Not to mention, a lot of the times these matches before the title fights are just as good, if not better, photographically.

With this being my third boxing night in a little over a month, I had a good night of connecting my clicks with connecting punches.

While one of the two title matches at the DC Armory ended in a majority draw, all the images that night showed the heart and hard-hitting action that boxing is known for.

As always, much respect to the fighters. There is nothing more vicious in sports than a night ringside.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Presidential Selfie

"Abraham Lincoln impersonator Ron Carley (left) takes a selfie picture with WBC Champion Badou Jack in front of the White House prior to Jack facing Lucian Bute (not pictured) in a super middleweight title fight, set for April 30, 2016 at the DC Armory, on April 27, 2016 in Washington, DC."

Reactions from the general public often make the most of assignments where a majority of the day are posed portraits.

A press tour helping promote a double-header headlined title fight had a group of photographers posing four professional boxers in front of iconic monuments in Washington, DC.

These clean portraits helped place international boxers from the fight card in the district - and were great for clients worldwide.

Yet it was another notable man that helped bring a candid moment to the otherwise set schedule day.

That man was Abraham Lincoln, well, an impersonator of the famous president with the top hat.

The best part was is that Abe sought out the selfie - making the moment even better.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stealthy Play

"Marcus Johansson #90 of the Washington Capitals takes a high-stick to the face from Andrew MacDonald #47 of the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 24, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

Everyone near and on the ice needs to have quick reflexes.

From the goalie tracking a fast moving puck to make a save, to the star of the game lining up the game-winning shot. But even those such as officials and photographers need to have quick response times.

The other night as the Washington Capitals were trying to close out the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Philadelphia Flyers reflexes came into play.

Nothing is routine in the playoffs, but what seemed like a simple face-off turned into a high-stick penalty. A quick reaction to turn the camera resulted in documented said play.

One of my favorite images from the game I thought it symbolized the series where the Capitals and Flyers put everything on the line in order to advance.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

High Check

"Evgeny Kuznetsov #92 of the Washington Capitals is checked into the goal by Brayden Schenn #10 of the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 14, 2016 in Washington, DC."

It's playoff hockey time - and the excitement is just beginning.

There is something that changes from regular to the post season where the fire is lit underneath the players. From the first puck drop until the Stanley Cup, the level of play is simply different.

Each goal matters. Each check is bigger than the last. Each game is one step closer to being named the greatest team.

We at Getty Images are always trying to capture the big moments from different angles. For game one of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, I thought I'd go back to the classic overhead remote. While I wanted something different, other photographers placed their remotes on the opposite goal, so I stuck to my regular routine.

At the end of the night, nothing telling happened - no major saves or goals. Yet a check that sent the goal flying off of its moorings ended up communicating that intensity of the playoffs.

Friday, April 15, 2016

En Garde

"Sancchi Kukadia (left) and Holly Buechel fence in the epee gold medal final during the USA Fencing Division I National Championships at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on April 11, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia."

There is nothing better than shooting something for the first time.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to document some fencing action during the USA Fencing Division I National Championships in Richmond, Virginia.

In no way have I ever photographed the sport, so I was excited, and nervous to get south.

With lots of help from one of our freelance editors who fences when not working, I was able to get up to speed quickly on the different types of fencing, as well as, who the Olympians were.

While I only had a couple hours to work, I had a lot of fun and wish I could have spent more time with the Olympians.

One thing I noticed is there is a lot of emotion and a lot of freedom to be creative. This was one of my favorites of the latter despite loving the great jubilation that continually occurred.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Fight Must Go On

"Guillermo Avila of Mexico drips blood after taking a punch from Gervonta Davis (not pictured) in their super featherweights bout at the DC Armory on April 1, 2016 in Washington, DC."

No one likes to see anyone hurt - but in boxing the theme heavily weighs on knocking your opponent out cold.

Covering a handful of fights at the DC Armory last week, not many fights ended quickly. These conditioned athletes stood toe to toe for all rounds showing how resilient they are.

While a few did end in knock out or technical knock out, only one fighter shed a lot of blood. That was Guillermo Avila.

With upper cheek slashed open, blood poured out of his face briefly before being tended to by his corner.

It's always an amazing feat when boxers continue a fight after a gnarly gash, even more so, is that their corner is able to stop such a massive, bleeding wound so quickly.

I have nothing but respect for these tough athletes every time I document boxing.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Shred

"A skateboarder rides a concrete bowl that is covered in graffiti at FDR Skatepark on March 30, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

The saying goes: one man's trash is another man's treasure.

For my photographer friends living in Philadelphia, they've been to and worked the famous FDR Skatepark near the stadium complexes to no end. They probably think it's cliche. They avoid it because they've documented the action time and time again.

But for someone who has known about it for more than ten years, yet has never been, it's like gold to my eyes.

The other day I had to be in city of brotherly love to shoot a Flyers hockey game. Since I had a lot of time to burn, I thought after all these years I'd get over to the concrete paradise.

It's hard not to find every moment attractive as graffiti perfectly covers every section of the park.

While I know what makes a compelling action photo with extreme sports, I was continually drawn to the environment more than the skaters catching air off of the lip of the rail.

I've now checked this off my want to shoot list, however, I am now already wanting to go back for more.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Box Out

"Isaiah Miles #15 of the Saint Joseph's Hawks, Jordan Bell #1 of the Oregon Ducks, Chris Boucher #25 of the Oregon Ducks, DeAndre Bembry #43 of the Saint Joseph's Hawks, and Tyler Dorsey #5 of the Oregon Ducks, battle for a rebound in the second half during the second round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 20, 2016 in Spokane, Washington."

Basketball can be very similar as ice hockey - being up close and personal on the court or ice doesn't always translate to the cleanest imagery.

What I mean is that advertisements can quickly distract viewers eyes. While each venue is different, some have cleaner backgrounds than others, setting up a remote camera is one way to clean up a frame.

Most if not all of the basketball I cover locally doesn't allow for clean angles for remote cameras. So when I jetted west, I knew I'd bring my remote gear to document the first and second round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

I had no idea what possibilities I'd have, and without bringing the right gear, I would have never been able to find out otherwise.

After two days of basketball and six games, the above was my favorite remote image. Basically firing blindly from the opposite end of the court, the players interlocking and battling for a rebound communicated the fierce competition of March Madness.