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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