Archive for June, 2013

I remember the first time I took a picture and thought, "Wow, I can actually do this." It was at the 2008 USATF Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. The picture was of AG Krueger, a leading US hammer thrower. The camera was a Nikon D3; the lens a 14-24. The sun was setting, and Bill was busy with finals on the track, so setting up the wide angle remote in the hammer cage became my responsibility. I was nervous. I had seen Bill set up remotes before and had even helped, but I had never been solely responsible for the success of the picture. I was still learning the ropes, so to speak, and I was learning by fire. Seven weeks later, I would be in Beijing assisting Bill at the Olympic Games. One camera on a PocketWizard was technologically advanced for me then. I was still working out what depth of field was and how to use it. Exposure was a trial and error experiment. And I still didn't quite understand what wide angle distortion was. Looking at the picture now I see what I did wrong. It was good for me then, but I wouldn't consider it very good now.

AG Krueger won the 2008 USATF Olympic Trials

That was five years ago. Since the Bill and I have been to two Olympic Games, two IAAF World Championships and countless other assignments, both big and small. Remotes no longer scare me. In fact, I expect them. They expand the creative possibilities. I can now "see" things that aren't directly in front of me. I can visualize the picture and figure out the technical parts I need to make it happen. I've learned a lot and have had a very patient teacher. Those Olympic Trials in Eugene solidified my decision to pursue the visual arts. Because of that, I have always had a soft spot for track and field. I have been to every USATF outdoor championship since, and every year I visit the hammer cage at least once to try and make that picture better. This year in Des Moines, Iowa, I made an image I like. The athlete AG Krueger. The camera is a D3; the lens a 14-24.

AG Krueger won the 2013 USATF Outdoor Championships.

History repeats. The difference is that now I'm not nervous. Now, I know what I'm doing. Now, I expect to get it right and am excited to try.

Today, our piece about Nebraska's Sandhill Cranes is featured on Altpick.com. Have you haven't viewed Migration Home or read about the behind the scene process, definitely check it out.

The New Media Consortium is an international group of visionaries who specialize in educational technology, and that takes many, many forms. They asked me to do a presentation on creativity at their 20th annual summer conference. During my talk, Mary Stall was watching in the crowd and made this sketch of what I said. I found it especially poignant given the topic of my presentation. A really lovely gesture.

I always enjoy my time with these folks. I've learned so much from them and this was a nice chance to share.

This week Bill is the guest writer for Peachpit Press. Check out his article and find out why this image shows his favorite sports photography moment.


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