Thursday 2 August 2007

Art - Sports Photography

I wrote last week about how I found it so easy to appreciate photography. A good photo, like any piece of good art, will make an impression that will resonate for long after its first viewing. I have never needed to know where it's from, what it's about, or who took it to appreciate its brilliance. Nonetheless, some sports photos can make an even greater initial impression. This genre of photography is definitely more subjective. Captures of a classic sporting moment will resonate far deeper with someone who is aware of its background. Sports photos can create an instant rapport, a yearning for that frozen moment in time which still reverberates in the now.

When I was younger, I would read all I could about Muhammad Ali. I had a poster of this photo below on my bedroom wall.


Visually, the photo is stunning. The colours and shadows are subtly balanced and the two boxers are positioned so perfectly you would think it was posed. The image encapsulates so much about Ali - his strength, braggadocio, beauty, power. He is so utterly dominant over Liston who is floored and submissive. The crowd seem relatively emotionless and the surrounding darkness refocus your attention on centre stage - on Ali.

Despite its naked brutality, boxing seems to be the most photogenic and cinematic of all sports.


And no better subject than Ali.

The Irish sport of hurling also lends to striking images.

Ballet- Irish Style by Johnew on Flickr.com

29 comments:

Ashley Pomeroy said...

The one where Ali ducks is brilliant - from what I have read, Frazier was a brawler and Ali was a dodger, and it captures them brilliantly. The low angle, the movement, the lights, everything.

carrie meurer said...

Hi there! I have been looking everywhere for the very poster that you posted of ali, your childhood poster, with his arm on his chest. I was wondering if you could help me know where to locate and purchase such a poster. Thank you so very much! Carrie Meurer
smileycarrie@gmail.com

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