Thursday, October 05, 2017

Behind the Ropes

"Kevin Chappell (R) of the U.S. Team celebrates with caddie Joe Greiner after playing from the bunker for eagle on the second hole to go one up over Marc Leishman of Australia and the International Team during Sunday singles matches of the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club on October 1, 2017 in Jersey City, New Jersey."

Whenever I talk to friends, neighbors or even an emerging sports photographer they always envy the access.

What I mean is that they're in awe of the sideline vantage - be it kneeling on the sideline of an NFL game, sitting in the photo-well of a baseball game or being inside the ropes at a golf tournament.

But what they don't always see is that being away from that opportunistic access often leads to a unique image. A picture no one else has.

This past week I found myself mingling with spectators as I documented a fan's perspective of the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club.

Having an assignment like this challenges photographers to see and document sports differently in a good way. More than 99 percent of the time I spent away from any other professional photographers. And the one percent I was next them, I was shooting at a contrasting focal length on purpose.

One of my favorites was during the Sunday singles matches. Far away from everyone, using a mid-range zoom lens resulted in a picture that not one other fan, nor professional photographer, had all week - which was also story telling and had a sense of place - cannot complain about any of that.


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