Thursday, March 31, 2016


"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.

Friday, March 11, 2016


"Angel Aispuro is punched by Palmer Park in their featherweights match at the DC Armory on March 5, 2016 in Washington, DC."

If there is one thing I hope for when documenting sports, it's a clean background.

A backdrop that isn't cluttered with advertisements or distracting elements is the greatest canvas. It makes shooting action much easier. You're not constantly running around the venue looking for the cleanest angle.

Late last year when documented boxing, large sign boards ruined a lot of great images in my opinion. Some will say that a moment always defeats a busy background. But I feel lit advertisement boards will always be an eye sore.

So when I arrived at the DC Armory last weekend for a large fight card, the first thing I did was notice how clean the backdrop was. I only wish all indoor sporting events were lit only on the athletes and not the fans.

The contrast from the sweat, water continually helped make pictures throughout the night. And while there were a lot of bloody fights, I kept coming back to this frame just for the fact that it's clean.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Tied Up

"Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers gets tripped up by the stick of Dougie Hamilton #27 of the Calgary Flames during the second period at Wells Fargo Center on February 29, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

Anything and everything happens in sports.

When one thinks they've seen it all, something new occurs. The problem with that is picturing an image before it occurs. And the real issue is that sets oneself up for failure.

What I mean is that we envision something happening. The most insane of moments - lets say - a ice hockey player upside down with their ice skates fall off midair next to them.

These dreamy type moments will probably never happen. It's a great feeling to hope it happens and be able to document it. But realistically you'll only get maybe the player in midair as thier skates probably would never come off.

Conversely, being ready. Having those grand fantasies do help capture what could actually happen.

For  Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers a quick burst between players ended up with him going a little airborne and spinning around a couple times after getting tied up by Dougie Hamilton of the Calgary Flames stick.

Not the most insane picture of the year for hockey, yet great for the game and enough to keep dreaming of even bigger hits.