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Saturday, February 19, 2011

"It's a Boy!"

A fan's reaction can often provide a far better photo than the athletic competition.

A gymnastic fan expresses her surprise as she spies one of the only boys participating in the Lowell Recreation Department gymnastic competition (© Michael Maher, The Lowell (Ma.) Sun).

The Photo:
While shooting a gymnastics meet, I concentrated on the gymnasts doing their routines on the balance beam, parallel bars, and floor exercises, but didn’t take much notice of the crowd of spectators. However, when a boy was announced and began his routine, one spectator jumped up and expressed her surprise when a boy was participating in what was usually a girls’ gymnastics competition. The spectator had a wonderful expression, and it was so spontaneous, I don’t think she could ever repeat it if I missed the photo. Her reaction lasted long enough that I had time to change my focus from the event to the stands of fans in time to capture this wonderful moment.

3 Tips:
1) Fans can be very intense while watching a sporting event and potentially provide very strong photos.
2) Scan the crowd of fans periodically to look for compelling expressions or behavior.
3) If possible, include some element of the competition in any photo highlighting fan actions or reactions.