It’s been a while since I posted here. I could provide a list of excuses but that is all they are. Today, I want to talk about pictures, the stories they tell, and the stories behind them.
I have always loved taking pictures. From my first Kodak Instamtic to my present Nikon Z6, I have loved to capture moments. I don’t like to stage the moments (which is why I abhor portrait photography). I refused to spend money on a “good” camera for many years because it was just a hobby. Then one year I asked my wife to buy me a camera for Christmas – which she did!
I started by taking pictures of the birds in our backyard. When the snow melted, I took pictures of my son playing tennis.
Any parent who has watched his/her child compete in sports understands how nerve-racking this can be. I found it calmed my nerves. It allowed me to enjoy watching my son and his friends play without excessive nervousness. So I kept doing it.
Taking pictures of my son playing tennis evolved into taking pictures of my son, his team, and his friends. Eventually, I started taking pictures at Augustana sporting events. Sharing the pictures with the student-athletes and coaches. (I have taken pictures at all sports except golf (I tried but got the time wrong), track, and cross-country (maybe someday).
(still my favorite picture)
Truth is, I am not very good but I occasionally get lucky. I have no formal training. For every picture that turns out, there are ten failures. I have spent countless hours going through the pictures and deleting them. Nobody sees that side of the hobby.
I try to capture moments – like this.
And action like this.
Behind every picture is a story. The picture at the top of this post has a great story. I will think of the story every time I look at it. It’s not a great-quality picture BUT it captured a moment. The picture is of legendary Augustana basketball coach Dave Krauth. Since 1989, he has been the Head Women’s Basketball coach at Augustana University. Thirty-two seasons with only one season below .500. He coached his last game this week. A heartbreaking one-point loss in the NCAA Tournament.
I took this picture a couple of weeks ago. It was taken during the pregame of his final coaching win. I was wandering around the arena during warmups. As Coach Krauth was heading into the locker room, a fan named Scottie (if have been to Augie games you know who this is) began thanking Coach Krauth for his service and wishing him good luck in the game. It was a special conversation. As the conversation started, my camera was off and the lens cap was on. I noticed the smile on Coach Krauth’s face. It was genuine, kind, and rare in the arena. Quickly, I turned my camera on, removed the lens cap, and tried to capture the moment.
My autofocus didn’t fully focus and my framing was off. Yet, I mostly captured this moment. This picture will always be special to me because I know the story behind the picture. And now you know the rest of the story.