I have always looked at things with a different esthetic. I mean, I see what others have done and if I have to make an image in the same space, I ask myself, “What will make your images different from those others and do you have the heart to go bolder?” I rarely walk away from a challenge. Early on in my college photography classes, I know I drove a couple of my professors nuts with questions often 3-4 weeks ahead of where we were in the course. It wasn’t that I was antsy or in a hurry, rather I have a thirst for knowledge and information fed by a creative streak that is just natural to me and I’ve accepted the cravings!!
One of my favorite images for a few reasons and the first of which is that the colors just seem to work together on all levels. There is a mood that resonates confidence, coming of age, strength, beauty, protected innocence and accomplishment… all of which is displayed with lighting and the use of a 300mm portrait lens!! Ok so the lens I shoot typically shoot sports action with was an obvious choice for me in this instance because it just felt right and truthfully, we were doing a shot on the track and I wanted to show distance in the frame and the easiest way to make that happen is with a long lens. Plus, I happened to have borrowed it from my mentor and friend, so off I went!! As it turns out, this kind of a thing with me… I dig making portraits with long lenses…!!
This is one of my earliest images and by far an all-time favorite for one reason– ok, well a couple of reasons, but the first is that this my “little” cousin during the pre-game routine and this was the second time I got him on field level for a college football game. Everything about this shot is as magical now as it was when I made this image, let me explain. I shot this with a 400mm lens at 25-30 yards away on the sideline and he is at about the 15 or the 20-yard line which is why the goalpost pad is there as a bit of a reference marker, at this point in the stadium there is a shaft of light striking him from behind creating the most beautiful gold rim or edge light that took my breath away. Then there is the gaze… it looks as though I called out to him and he just turned into me but truth be told, he never new I was down the field much less wth the game shooting until I showed up with this 12×18 inch metallic print that got me the WOW moment of my life. Did you notice the light on the front side and the nonexistent glare on the clear visor ? That’s from the stadium lighting and warm sunlight from behind him. Sometimes the Photo Gods just hand down gifts and you gotta be present to win.