CUTLINE: Lakeside’s Angellica Prather competes in the one-meter dive Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011 at The Augusta Aquatics Center in Augusta, Ga. Four schools, Evans, Greenbrier, Grovetown and Lakeside all met for the Columbia County area championships. Lakeside won overall.

THOUGHTS: I really don’t classify myself as a “sports shooter.” I suppose I don’t like confining myself to be just one thing or title. I suppose if you asked me what I think of myself as, I’d say, life shooter.

If life is happening, I want to be there. If a person and people are there, there’s a story. Because, well, as they say, everyone has a story to tell.

This image was from a daily assignment. I set up lights 45 minutes prior to the event to make sure all was in place and secured. I always make sure my lights are far enough from water — there’ s no fooling with electricity, water and lives.

I shoot very emotionally, meaning, I listen to my heart, my personal Jimminy Cricket. Sometimes I ask myself with the analytical nature of journalists, “Why?” You know, “Why shoot this?” “Why is it important?” etc. etc. It helps to keep you questioning your own work in a good way. In this instant, my answer to myself to the question “Why?” was, “Placement.”

The elements came together. Moment? Check. Light? Check. Sense of place? Check. Does the frame have resolve with the water at the bottom? Check. Can you push it further and add the expression of the judges? Check. Can you fit her in that nice white dead space? Barely. But check. The flags is what makes this frame for me, start taking away elements, you have a less impactful photo. Without, you have a straightforward photo. I suppose I like to shoot “dangerous” when I can. Meaning, taking risks in the hopes of a more elevated frame.

In the end I was happy with this frame because it just fell into place, literally. I had one shot to get it right but had about 30 chances for that one. When you “work” a situation like that it’s more of a Sam Abell approach where you find the composition and let life happen through the frame. Life of the Photograph.

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Camera data: 130mm, f/2.8, ISO 1000, 1/250 second
Date Taken: 18-Jan-2011 22:21:50

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