June 5 2010 will go down as a day I watched two people I genuinely care about lose their fights; James Moore and Yuri Foreman. That’s the bad news. The good news is they both fought with tremendous courage and pride and neither one of them gave up. The first thing they teach you at the University of Missouri School of Journalism is to never get involved with the people your photographing or filming on any level, period. I’ve not only believed it but I’ve told scores of other photographers and filmmakers the same thing. What a hypocrite I must be, I did everything I could do not to get close to either one of these guys. Even though the relationships are radically different, I would’ve loved to had seen them succeed in their goals. Success is a good thing. Winning is a good thing but I guess we all have to learn from our non successes. I can’t use the f word because failure is not an option- it’s never an option. I’ve spent 5 years working with Harry Keitt, James Moore, Yuri Foreman and several other very bright, talented people.
I remember Floyd Patterson beating Ingemar Johansson, then it was Cautious Clay (Muhammad Ali) against Sonny Liston. I think a lot of people will remember this fight- Yuri Foreman against Miguel Cotto. As most of you know, I’ve been working 5 years on a documentary and Yuri Foreman is the main protagonist along with Harry Keitt, James Moore and several other players.There hasn’t been a fight in Yankee Stadium since 1976; Mohammad Ali against Ken Norton. In my opinion, the key to any great sport’s photograph is timing, shutter speed, timing, and yes, timing again. You study a boxer and you know he throws combinations of 3 lefts, 1 right, 2 lefts, 1 right, and then a hook to the body. You try to time it. Peak action is absolutely critical. There’s a point where a glove moving very quickly stops for a millisecond on a person’s chin. In a perfect word, that’s what your looking for. As a photographer and former photojournalist, you’re not supposed to root but that’s hard not to do. On the evening of June 5th, I’d love to see 2 people win, James Moore and Yuri Foreman. A simplification of
What I’m about to say has absolutely nothing to do with F stops, apertures, depth of field, or depth of focus. It has to do with the photographic community, how I was brought up in it and how it translates to 2010. When I started (x) number of years ago, there was an unwritten law that you would always try to help out a fellow photographer. As the age of the computer and internet arrived, things became a little less personal. I don’t believe anybody made a change in attitude with malice of thought but there was obviously some changes. Maybe it had something to do with business becoming tighter and tighter. To be quite honest, I really don’t know. Yesterday, I had an hour and a half conversation with one of the greatest photographers of our day, John Iacono. Johnny Eye stated at Sports Illustrated when he was 16 and I think he’s now 29, maybe a little older. We’ve been friends and neighbors for a long time and Johnny is just one of the nicest people God put on this earth. In case I didn’t mention it, he is also a great photographer. Earlier yesterday, I ran into another great photographer, Marty Rosengarten from Ringside Photos. Marty is a world class boxing photographer. There’s an old Italian adage for someone like Marty, he’s a mench. Marty was kind and generous enough to make a photograph of me with my dear friend Yuri Foreman. In the five years I’ve known Yuri, no one has ever done that- so Marty was the first. Exactly what is the purpose of this blog? What I’m trying to say is the family/community of photographers is alive and well. Thank you Marty, thank you Johnny, thank you Yuri.
I make it a practice of never gambling on boxing matches or horse races for that matter. I try not to predict winners, it’s just not what I do. With this upcoming WBA Junior Welterweight Fight, it’s simple and straight forward; Yuri Foreman is bigger, stronger, faster, moves better left, right, back, and forward. He is never a stationary target and is always a moving offense. I forgot something- he’s probably the most dedicated trained fighter I’ve ever seen. I believe he will win convincingly. I hope for the safety of both fighters, it’s a great fight, and no one gets hurt.