Seeing the Best of Walter Iooss Jr. and Michael Jordan
Just before going on the photo walk last Monday I went on a little side trip that I have been meaning to take. In front of the field museum they have set up an exhibit of the works of Walter Iooss Jr. He covered Michael Jordan like nobody else did during the career of the greatest basketball player ever. He published a book of his works called “Rare Air” a while back, and this exhibit is called “Open Air.” These are some of the images that I consider iconic. I was very excited to see the exhibit, but I had not had the time to visit it yet. With less than a month to go I finally made it, and it was worth it. If you have some time to kill in the Windy City you should make your way to see this exhibit. Heck make it a reason to head to the Windy City.
This is an interesting photo for a couple of reasons. The first is that this capped off a great sports weekend in Minneapolis in 2004. It was May and in the span of two days I saw five sporting events. I saw two baseball games between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday morning. From there I went to the Metrodome to watch the Twins play my White Sox. The next afternoon I saw the White Sox whip the Twins to cap the baseball off. From there I ate in town before going to see game two of the Western Conference Finals between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Lakers. At a time when I was not getting out too much it was a great weekend away from work and my apartment. The second great thing about this game is the fact that several future NBA Hall of Famers were playing in it. Minnesota had Kevin Garnett who has since left for Boston. The Lakers were loaded with two stars ending their careers in Gary Payton and Karl Malone, and two in their primes in Shaquille O’Neil and Kobe Bryant. This was a lot of talent on the floor, and a great reason to pay to get into the Target Center that night. The T’Wolves won the game which was nice to see the home fans get what they want. I had no real dog in the fight so I rooted for the home squad. I felt that I had to because of the noisemakers anyway. I couldn’t beat them together if I was rooting for L.A. You can see them all over the arena in the picture. This was a nice way to cap off a great weekend.
I picked this photo out specifically so that I could use Focal Point 2.1 which is part of the On One Photo Suite 7. I bought this program shortly before heading to Colorado, and I really have not gotten too much into it yet. I was part of a webinar on it Monday morning though so I picked a few things up. I really like the fake tilt shift look that Focal Point allows you to do so I wanted to try it out on something. This shot seemed to be a perfect candidate. Before sending the photo to Focal Point I made all of my adjustments in Lightroom. Then I made a copy of the photo to send over. This was the second image that I played around with in Focal Point. It took some getting used to the controls, called ‘the bug’, but in the end the program is very simple to use. I just picked where I wanted the focus to be, and then the program does the rest. I did use the brush in the program to ‘paint in’ focus on the scoreboard. I think that it gives the arena a little more of a toy feel that way. This program has some promise, and I think that I will try and get some shots in the future with it in mind.
I purposely postponed this section for a couple of days because Michael Jordan turns 50 tomorrow. Growing up he was the man living near Chicago. The slogan ‘I want to be like Mike’ was true for almost every kid that I grew up with. A short, slow, white kid from Indiana like me for some reason thought that if they stuck their tongue out while driving to the basket that they could score like Mike. Of course I could not, but the dream was always there. It is something else to think of number 23 turning 50. It just does not seem possible.
I took this picture in 2001 as the Wizards were playing the Pistons. I wanted to see Michael play one more time, but tickets to see him in Chicago were just too hard to come by. They were much easier to get in Detroit so our road took us there. I had seen Michael play before, but my friend had not. We had tickets that would let us see Michael sort of up close, but would not break the bank. Michael did not have the best of nights, but still scored 19 points. He did not play much in the second half because the game was so out of hand. It was nice to see him play one last time though.
This shot had nothing done to it. I actually downloaded it off of the internet from my sports site so that I could use it. This was made with my parents Sony Mavica camera. I have said before that I think that camera was ahead of its time. I would not use anything like it until my first dSLR in 2006. The main story here technically was how the camera was even brought in to make this shot. This game was played on November 4, 2001. The world was still in shock from what occurred on September 11th of that year. Security was at an all time high, and they would not allow cameras inside of the stadium. As you may have known from previous posts about this camera it took many floppy disks for a small shoot. We had to sneak both the camera and the disks past a very alert security staff at the Palace at Auburn Hills. My friend took the camera while I took the disks, and we both made it in. I did not shoot much early on for fear of getting booted. When MJ was at the line for a free throw though I knew that it was now or never. That camera did not do very well in the low light of the stadium so I had to try and get a shot when he was not moving so much. This was about the only usable shot from the night because of those circumstances.
Photo of the Day
A couple of years ago I went to Fort Wayne to watch a couple of former Boilers play against each other in the NBA’s developmental league. Both Christ Kramer as well as Keaton Grant helped turn the Boilers into a very good program. The good thing about going to an NBAd game is that you can get close to the action without breaking the bank. I had a seat court side that allowed me to get a couple of good pictures during the night.
This is another shot that was edited very quickly. I used the medium sports preset in Lightroom that Matt Kloskowski gives away for free on his blog. From there I just performed a small crop and a temperature change to get to the final picture. This one did not need too much done to it. In reality I liked the original picture, but the preset just makes it pop a bit for the web.
Today I guess that I have decided to change things up a bit. This was originally supposed to be for pictures taken before I picked up an SLR camera. I already had one for a while when I took this, but it was not with my SLR. I actually took this with my Blackberry Storm. Yes before I converted to the iPhone I was a Blackberry user. I liked the idea of the phone, but it never lived up to the promise. It was a first generation of the Storm, but that didn’t excuse it always locking up in my mind. I had the battery cover off more than it was on.
Okay rant over. Now time to talk about the photo. I took this just outside of the Toyota Center prior to a Houston Rockets game. I didn’t take my Canon because I didn’t. Know if they would let me take it in. We were in town to see Purdue play Duke in the NCAA Tournament, and a pro basketball game seemed like a good idea. I really am not an NBA fan though, and I was quickly bored. This bronze sculpture commemorating the career of Rocket great Hakeem Olajuwon sits right by the front entrance. I really liked the idea of this picture, and I was happy with how it turned out.
Nothing to report here. This was straight from the phone with zero editing. That is a rare term on this site.