Our first submission period for our Pacers Fan Photographer of the Game has come to a close! The first time around is always a learning experience for us at Roberts in terms of making sure we are clearly communicating the contest. We tried to make the requirements minimal in that we would just like to see a person or even some “people action” as the primary subject of the photograph. While landscape and outdoor photos produce amazing images, we feel that if we are going to send someone to shoot some of the best athletes in the country, we want them to be comfortable with their subject matter!
With that said, we just have to start out by saying, WOW! We received some beautiful images of beloved sports players, loved ones, loved sports, gorgeous days and meaningful icons. We appreciate so much that you took the time to enter our contest and put your art and your images out there – because that is NOT an easy thing to do.
Without further ado – we sat down with Frank McGrath, the official photographer of the Indiana Pacers, to determine our winner. We want to offer big congratulations to Kevin Matson of Indianapolis, along with three runner-ups; as well as a few comments from Frank.
Winner: Ohhh…This is Going to Hurt!
By Kevin Matson
Comments from Frank: This photo stood out to me from the very start. The timing is perfect and it is an incredible action shot. The photographer perfectly utilized the beautiful outdoor light and therefore, the color on this image pops like no other. The clarity of the image is impressive and the overall composition is great. All in all, this picture stood out to me as a clear winner for this first contest.
With that being said, I was blown away with several of the other photos as well. I saw many other photos that also contained the same perfect timing and clarity that I love in photos. Here are our runner ups:
First Runner Up: Splash and Save
By Dave King
Comments from Frank: This is an excellent picture. I have shot soccer many times and it is very hard to shoot. This photo contains a great image and great emotion in the goalie’s face. Without being at the game, you can almost feel the tension in the crowd. Truly, there is very little in the photographer’s control that they could have done to make this picture significantly better. Slightly better lighting would make the color really come out at you, but when you are in outdoor light, there is not much you can change. Overall, a very impactful image.
Second Runner Up: The Block
By Rob Baker
Comments from Frank: Again, the timing on this photo was impressive. The composition could have been improved slightly by zooming in on the blocker and filling the frame a little bit more. It is also always great to have a face in pictures – seeing the face of the person making the block would have been ideal (but that may not have been possible at that specific game). The editing and color correction on this is also nice as I have to assume you were in a gym with fluorescent lighting, and that can be tricky. With some different zoom and editing, you would have a killer picture.
Third Runner Up: Racing
By David Johnston
Comments from Frank: I felt like I was watching this accident happen! The clarity of the crash, the other rider and the grass flying up behind the ATV is awesome. Being able to see the faces of the people of the crowd and their expression as they watch the crash makes for a great picture, so some additional zoom and focus in that area would improve the picture. This picture, from a composition perspective, is very nice, but there could be some editing improvements. I would take this picture in Photoshop and brighten it up with backlighting, even at the expense of brightening the sky a little bit. I would also crop this in a little tighter and especially take the leaves out of the top of the picture.
Overall comments: When shooting people in a moment of action or even in a moment of peace, timing is everything. Timing can change the entire feeling of the picture. In the Pacers field house there is a saying on the wall that states, “Luck is preparation, plus being in the right place at the right time.”
You can only prepare so much, but when you get that perfect shot, it is truly because your timing was right on target, AND probably because you were lucky. The images that I have chosen tell a story about what was happening at the time the picture was taken.
It takes so much to put your pictures out there an open them up to comments, so I truly appreciate viewing all of the work that I saw in this contest.
There were also many wonderful images that were not mentioned here and we encourage you to view all of the entries on Facebook! We would also like to keep all of the images and enter them in the next submission period so that we might consider them for the next Pacers Fan Photographer of the Game! (You may submit additional images for the next round even if your picture from round one is being kept.)