World Cup Edition - 3 Cool Things (You Might Not Know) About Sports Photography

Diego Maradona

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As most of the US goes along its merry way this week, the rest of the world will come to a standstill as the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off in South Africa.

Panathanaeic Games1. Image capture: As any Nike ad can convey,  sports photography shows the height of the abilities of the human body. Human civilization has gone quite a long way in capturing these (often once-in-a-lifetime) moments. We've gone from Greek vases to some complex and expensive camera technology. Different sports need different equipment and skills to record these events. For example, since soccer is so fast-paced and everyone moves around a lot, the photographer can stay in a relatively fixed position and just use an auto-focus camera. In contrast, golf photographers need to carry all their equipment around all 18 holes. Closer look: Greek vase, Three Participants in a Footrace at the Panathenaic Games, 6th centrury B.C.
Sports Illustrated Cover2. Not just bikinis: In addition to its famous images of beautiful women, Sports Illustrated magazine also depicts sports - it's the biggest, most famous place for sports photography. Famous photographers include Walter Iooss and Neil Leifer. Their careers have spanned decades and they have taken photos across a wide variety of sports, celebrities (including Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali), and key moments in sports history.
Diego Maradona3. Blink: Photography has the power to catch what the human eye can miss. I'm no expert in soccer history, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but in this legendary situation, Diego Maradona's handball actually scored a goal against England. The referee had missed it, and (to make a long story short) Argentina won that match and went on to win the World Cup. Furthermore, the recent Falklands War had added a political component to all of this. (P.S. I also chose this picture because I've been to Boca Stadium. Also, Maradona isn't that much taller than I am!)

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3 Cool Things (You Might Not Know) About Banksy's Public Art

Banksy What Are You Looking At

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You're walking down the street, minding your own business. You happen to look up and see the image above and crack a smile. Banksy is best known for his street art in unexpected locations around the world. Made with intricate stencils and layers of spray paint, Banksy's stunt-like work goes beyond London's walls, from zoos to the wall in the West Bank. Taking viewers by surprise, his work invites them to question their assumptions and look more closely at the world around them.

Banksy Cart Monet Japanese Bridge1. Brandalism: Like Andy Warhol, Banksy repurposes recognizable images in pop culture. Banksy's "brandalism" is often an irreverent, visual satire on society. Closer look: Banksy's spoof on Monet's classic makes a statement on consumerism. Similarly, here's one on The Jungle Book characters and environmentalism.
Banksy In Disguise Putting Painting In Museum2. Mystery: Banksy keeps his identity secret. This anonymity is practical in order to avoid arrest (even though he's been arrested before), but also makes the voice of his work seem more ubiquitous. Here's some speculation on his real name. Closer look: Banksy in disguise, putting a spoof painting on a museum wall.
Banksy Maid3. It's everywhere: Banksy's work is not limited to street art - his work has been displayed in museums and auctioned off for large sums. You walk by public art every day, from decorative murals to Banksy-like stenciled "revolutionary" statements behind the newspaper boxes at Stanford's post office. For public art with a more cheerful spin, look out for Katie Sokoler's whimsical work in the streets of New York. Closer look: Another example of Banksy's work

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All images, videos, and articles are linked to their respective sources. Elements of this post were also drawn from the following: