When I photograph sports, I attempt to freeze and frame images in a way that the player at the center of the action stands out to viewers. I hope by isolating a moment in the middle of movement and suggesting the excitement inherent in an incident my photo will capture energy and emotion.
Sometimes I also like to highlight an outstanding play during my processing of a picture, as I have done here by contrasting the featured figure taking a shot depicted in color with everything else fading into a black-and-white backdrop.
Swollen Stream After Overnight Snow
The weather has turned significantly colder the past few days, and morning temperatures over the weekend dipped into single digits in some locations around the area. Consequently, the scenery has become more wintry, especially during the early hours of the day, as can be seen in the accompanying photograph.
Soaring for a Score
I photographed the Valparaiso University men’s basketball game against James Madison University yesterday, and I snapped this picture of a player soaring toward the basket for a score.
During halftime as I was sitting in the media room and speaking with a couple of the newspaper reporters, one asked what I liked about photographing sports compared to nature and landscape. I explained I enjoyed both forms of photography, but I found capturing sports images more challenging.
I also mentioned how the images in sports photography often exhibit an additional dimension, the suggestion of movement and action, which invites the viewer to project with a bit of uneasiness toward what might happen, while landscape photos offer a passive and usually serene experience that allows for relaxation. I enjoy moving back and forth between the two types of photography.
Fighting for a Rebound
As I have mentioned in the past, during this time of year the focus of my photography tends to be on college sports as much as nature and landscape. In addition to the men’s games in football, baseball, basketball, and soccer at Valparaiso University, I photograph some women’s sports as well, including softball, soccer, volleyball, and basketball.
I have noted in previous posts my admiration for the women in these sports, whose talent and physical abilities are sometimes incredible. In a recent entry, I especially commented upon the grace, quickness, athleticism, and agility displayed by the volleyball players.
Last night I shot photos at the regular season opening game for the Valparaiso University women’s basketball team, and I tried to capture images that reveal the strength and determination exhibited by these players. As can be seen in the accompanying photograph, their competitiveness is intense. Indeed, moments after this picture was snapped, one of the players inadvertently received an elbow in her mouth and had one of her teeth chipped, which led to her leaving the game for medical assistance to stop the bleeding.
Following the Movement of the Ball
When I photograph sports I am often very close to the activities and the players. Among the advantages of such close proximity, I am able to watch the focus of the individuals during play.
For instance, while most in the audience usually view the backs of players’ heads at any given moment, I am able to follow the eyes of everyone on the playing field or the court. As can be seen in the accompanying photo, all those pictured are intensely tracking the movement of the ball, and their concentration is rarely broken before the whistle blows to halt action.
Lakeside Trail in Late Autumn
The end of autumn’s vibrant appearance seems to be nearly here, so I thought I’d post this picture displaying a stretch of trail still exhibiting a bit of fall foliage. The trail stretches alongside a local lake, and the route offers vivid imagery this time of year, even as the little leaves dropping from trees litter its path with color.
Strong thunderstorms and tornadoes moved through the region yesterday. Valparaiso was under a tornado watch all day, and gusts grew to 65 mph at times, while nearby communities experienced gusts above 80 mph. However, we were fortunate since some locations in Indiana and Illinois suffered tornadoes sadly resulting in deaths and devastating destruction.
As I noticed reports of numerous downed power lines and upturned trees in our county last night, I thought about the image of a toppled tree that I have included here, which I photographed just last week after a lesser wind storm had done some minor damage at a local park.