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Archive for Sunday, August 24, 2003

Behind the lens: Creative framing counts

August 24, 2003

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Photographer: Thad Allender

Camera: Nikon D1H

Kansas defensive end Monroe Weekley, above left, defensive tackle
Phil Tuihalamaka and defensive end Chuck Jones at KU media day.

Kansas defensive end Monroe Weekley, above left, defensive tackle Phil Tuihalamaka and defensive end Chuck Jones at KU media day.

Lens: 17mm

ISO: 200

Aperture: 9

Shutter: 1/400

This is a portrait of a trio of linemen from Kansas University's football team media day event at Memorial Stadium. Since the event was scheduled for mid-afternoon, I brought along two lights to help overpower the sunlight and rid the photo of any harsh shadows. I positioned the lights equally distant from my left and right side to expose the scene evenly. Technically, I was ready to shoot; all I needed was my subject and a concept.

I was interested in shooting through the face mask of a helmet to give the reader a similar perspective to that of a football player. The face mask also helped frame the players and add a layer of information to the image.

My next hurdle was to convince the players I wasn't crazy for shooting their portrait from inside a helmet and that they'd look really cool if we could pull it off.

I staggered the players, asked the man in the foreground to squat down, and I began shooting. After firing off about 30 frames in 5 minutes, the shoot was over.

It might be the only time I can strap on a helmet in front of a trio of 300-pound football players and make it out alive.

-- "Behind the Lens" is an ongoing weekly series that features an image selected by the Journal-World photo staff that previously ran in the newspaper or online. Wondering how a certain picture was created? Nominate it for "Behind the Lens" by contacting chief photographer Mike Yoder at 832-7141 or myoder@ljworld.com.

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