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Archive for Sunday, April 25, 2004

Agony of defeat as important as jubilation of win

April 25, 2004

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One constant at athletic events is one team wins and the other loses. While covering these events, photographers are always looking for pictures that tell the story of the game. Sometimes it's the jubilation of the win, other times it's the agony of defeat.

If your best photo is an action play by the team you are covering, chances are that photo won't run if that team loses.

While I'd like to always portray a positive image for the athletes who try so hard, the fact remains that my job is to tell the story of what happened. If the team I covered lost, it makes no sense to run a photo of players celebrating a basket, run or touchdown. Likewise, if a team wins, I don't want to run pictures of strikeouts, missed catches or someone getting out-rebounded.

What we do as photographers is try to hold up a mirror of what we see. We can't just run off with the flashy image of a player celebrating a basket when his or her team lost the game. Through the course of whatever I cover, I am looking for balance -- celebration in case of a win and dejection or frustration in the event of a loss. What I can't control is what players do or when they do it.

So I'm always shooting both until the end of the game in case the players and coaches don't react at all in the end.

- "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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