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.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Space Gold

"Olga Kharlan of Ukraine (L) and Yana Egorian of Russia compete during the Women's Individual Sabre Semifinal on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 3 on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil."

Going into the second week of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and we are still not close to the end.

Long days, little sleep and lots of pictures has summed up the games for every photographer documenting the chase for gold here in Brazil.

Easily one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, assignments I've ever gotten to be apart of so far in my short career. It's been a great learning experience and absolutely fantastic opportunity to work alongside the best we have at Getty Images. Powerful moments and pure art coming out of these games despite all the challenges.

It will take me a long time to dig through the more than two weeks of images once we all get back home, so I thought I post one of my favorites so far while I had a second of time.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Securing a Spot

 "Chrishuna Williams reacts after placing third in the Women's 800 Meter Final during the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on July 4, 2016 in Eugene, Oregon."

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For athletes, there is no greater destination than the Olympics - but first you must make it there.

It's no easy journey for the thousands of athletes that descend to a host city every four years to participate in the world's largest event in sports. As cliche as it sounds, it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

For what many call one of the best track and field teams on the globe, you just don't show up and make secure a spot on the U.S. Track & Field roster.

Whether you're the face of the sport or a newcomer fresh out of high school - everyone is put on the same level on day one at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Having the opportunity to photograph athletes as they got the chance to make the squad is no easy task. It's no walk in the park for them nor the photographers.

It was an adrenaline rush documenting the men and women who have sacrificed so much for a chance not only to put on the jersey, but that may now get the humbling opportunity at bringing home a gold for the United States.

These images are the faces, moments and action of the trials in Tracktown.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Street Meet

"Ronnie Ash, Orlando Ortega, Aleec Harris, Spencer Adams, and Jason Richardson compete in the Mens 110 meter hurdle during day two of the Adidas Boost Boston Games on Charles Street between the Boston Common and Public Garden on June 18, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts."

Every so often, a great promoter thinks of a way to bring sports closer to fans.

Whether that's better access for spectators or putting a venue in a place it normally isn't, these things help those familiar, and also new to a sport, enjoy it on a new level.

With the Olympics getting closer, the Adidas Boost Boston Games took their event to the actual street. On Charles Street between the Boston Common and Public Garden, they built a track environment for their branded athletes to compete.

It was really awesome to document something unique like this for the first time despite it being a common type of event in Europe. I can only hope more events like it start popping up in the States.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Like grandfather, like grandson

"Motor racing legend Mario Andretti looks on at grandson Marco Andretti, driver of the #27 Snapple Andretti Autosport Honda, in his car during Star-Telegram Qualifying for the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas."

There is nothing better than when everything lines up.

Recently while documenting the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, I was assigned to cover a handful of cars during a session of qualifying.

This included drivers preparing, gearing up and getting into cars. The process can be lengthy, as IndyCar qualifying is one car at a time. So after grabbing images for your own assignment, you then have a lot of time to work pictures of other drivers, teams.

With a last name like Andretti, everyone with a camera is drawn to the Snapple Andretti Autosport Honda. I waited a couple minutes for the photographer crowd to calm down around him before venturing back over for a rather standard mirror shot.

As I squatted low to line the shot up, all while making sure I wasn't being seen in the mirror, I noticed racing legend Mario Andretti looking on at his grandson, Marco.

A simple moment that lined up now gives the rectangle a little more shelf life for clients.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hanging On

"Aram Keshgegian #5 of St. Joesph (left) eludes Shane Demsey #2 of Arizona during Day 1 of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships at Talen Energy Stadium on June 4, 2016 in Chester, Pennsylvania."

Sometimes in sports it can feel like you're dragging a ton of weight around due to many different variables.

Whether it's weather related such as extreme heat or cold, bad backgrounds at a venue, or other life events unrelated to the game. These things and more can make a regular match feel like a major challenge whereas it might not otherwise.

Much like the image above for the collegiate rugby championships, you have to push on, keep running forward and work hard. By worrying about what might be dragging you down, you'll never be able to succeed visually.

With that said, photographers are often the first to complain about things like weather, yet we should remember this minor nuances are only temporary.

While that may seem difficult at the time - there is nothing worse than constant complaining. Prove not only to yourself that you can overcome the obstacles, but to your team, too.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Snapping Win

"Raymond Henley #2 of the New Mexico Vatos Snapchats on his phone with teammates under the grandstands after defeating St. Mary's College of Maryland, 31-7, in the NSCRO Final during Day 2 of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships at Talen Energy Stadium on June 5, 2016 in Chester, Pennsylvania."

There is nothing like winning the big championship - and then sharing it with the world.

For the second year in a row, I had the opportunity to document rugby sevens action for two days at the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Knowing the lay of the land this time around I tried to change my style of visual coverage for us at Getty Images. And one thing I wanted to look for was a big moment of jubilation or dejection away from the field.

After the New Mexico Vatos defeated St. Mary's College of Maryland in the NSCRO championship, I followed them under the grandstands to their makeshift locker room.

I didn't think anything of it because they weren't in a proper locker room - and as excited as they were - simply taking off their jerseys wasn't a picture. But something told me to stick around, and I am glad I did. 

Moments later, Raymond Henley lead the team in Snapchat showing the world what they've done.

It's this type of access, and these types of moments, that make sports special - and it would be possible without them allowing a total stranger into their world for a brief couple of minutes.