Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Kings, Again

"Brandon King #36 of the New England Patriots celebrates after defeating the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia."

Not every sporting event is a high-scoring affair - and that's certainly true in even the biggest of games.

In one of the world's biggest games, Super Bowl LIII lacked time in the end zone.

Some may say that made it interesting, but most would have probably liked more near 100 total points scored rather than under 20.

Despite the score, Patriots secured their sixth Super Bowl title by only putting up 13 points over the Los Angeles Rams - once again being crowned the kings of the NFL.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Dreamy

"Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals warms up before playing against the San Jose Sharks during the first period at Capital One Arena on January 22, 2019 in Washington, DC."

What I love about sports is often what I hate the most.

Being in the same venues time and time again without a doubt becomes repetitive. It's a grind. But it's also a challenge that you have to love.

Much like the games being played in front of our lens, you never know what can happen or how well you'll perform.

Having an open mind and pushing yourself to be great often leads to simple moments making an interesting picture - much like the above.

A warmup skate can make a dreamy scene that will push me to try and better it next time in the building.

Friday, January 25, 2019

No Flipping Way

"Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled by Jonathan Jones #31 of the New England Patriots in the first half during the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 20, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri." 

It's down to the nitty-gritty in the NFL season and everyone is on edge.

From wild-card weekend to the AFC and NFC Championship games - teams are doing whatever it takes to get to the Superbowl - including the New England Patriots.

The Patriots rallied back to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs on their home field to advance to the Super Bowl yet again.

Looking forward to the big game in Atlanta next weekend and hoping for another exciting finish as they have been in recent years.

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.