Yeah, it was cold. And ugly. And unbeknownst to me, I had lost an hour driving from Denver to Liberal. (Thanks iPhone!) So I was really running an hour late for the early morning activities of the 62nd Annual International Pancake Day races.
There are 3 themes that continue to reappear inside my weird sports bubble: costumes, horses and mud. Hey, I go where the pictures tell me.
And so that’s how I ended up in New England, photographing the annual World Championship Mud Bowl in Conway, New Hampshire
Chances are good that you’ve never seen most of the sport that Portland based photographer Sol Neelman photographs. He’s been photographing a lot of these weird sports these past few years, including events that you’d be hard pressed to call sports. There is definitely sporting involved; people in his pictures are doing things that generally require exertion and there are often balls and specialized clothing involved. But not always.
If 6-year-olds created a bike race, it’d easily be a form of cyclocross. It’s fun to ride, fun to watch, fun to shoot.
I crisscrossed the state to Bend a week ago for the final day of the national championships to see what I could see and to test out my new cold-weather gear before the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
AFTER STAFF – Sol Neelman, diversifying to support a ‘weird sports’ personal project | RESOLVE — the liveBooks photo blog:
Photographer Sol Neelman left a staff job at The Oregonian in 2007 after ten years as a newspaper photojournalist. Although he’s won a Pulitzer and been honored twice by POYi, Sol does not claim to be an expert at the “After Staff” transition — and that’s exactly why I wanted to share his story. Burnt out on low-paid editorial, exploring commercial and wedding, and pursuing the personal project he’s passionate about, Sol echoes the experiences of almost every photographer I talked to for this project.
It was so easy, I laughed. Caught a trolly to the border, went through the lab maze and was spat out in Mexico. Jumped into a cab and there I was, taking photos of all the folks dressed in Lucha Libre masks. My face hurt that night from all the smiling.
Ok, so the Games are over. Over dinner with friends, Rob Gauthier of the LA Times and I were talking about how during the middle of the Games, we felt like it’d never end. But then, the night after the Closing Ceremonies, we wondered where did the time go?