Photographing sports is as much about capturing the action as it is about presenting the athlete. These days, I'm off of the sidelines for many assignments, instead working in studio environments for editorial and commercial projects. Athletes portraiture is all about showing the athlete's personality, strengths, weaknesses, motivation, intensity. But for the Powder Sports series, a personal project, I wanted to step away from all that.
My initial approach was to shoot athletes in silhouette during action moments exaggerated by colored powder that had been spread on the equipment. With each unidentifiable player, I hoped, the focus would shift from the athlete to his or her interaction with the ball, the bat, the golf club. The powder was there to represent the anticipation, the energy and the power behind each frame.
But nothing goes as planned. As I reviewed the initial images, I felt my focus was torn between the subject and the sport. So, in collaboration with my retoucher, George McCardle, we started striping down the images. First, we shot the scene with all elements covered in powder, in postproduction, we removed all elements except the powder. All that remains is an ethereal sports moment, full of energy and vibrancy.