Category: Sports photo

Gonzaga’s Elias Harris and South Dakota’s Trevor Gruis (50) battle for control of a rebound in the first half Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Nikon D700, Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review

I shot the Gonzaga vs. South Dakota basketball game today and this was the one photo that stood out from my take. I like how the energy the shot is coming right at the viewer. Check out this large format gallery of other shots form the game.


Chasing the action up and down the length of the football field for four quarters is exhausting. I was relieved after nailing this shot of EWU wide receiver Greg Herd making a one-handed touchdown reception just a few minutes into the first quarter. Getting one decent snap early in the game helps settle my nerves down. After 25-years of shooting sports, you’d thing I be over having performance anxiety issues. In the old days (the ’80s) If you had a few (manually focused) shots that were decent (sharp) from a half-dozen rolls of  exposed film, you were golden. Now photojournalists are expected to produce images for not only their print newspaper, but a gallery of storytelling images for the website as well. It makes the tempo of how you shoot a game different. You shoot it more like a story instead of just thinking of peak action moments. I shot this snap with a big honkin’ 400mm f/2.8 lens, which weighs more than a M1 Abrams tank. This is the standard pro lens for shooting football. Notice the nice clean background without any distractions? That happens when you shoot the lens wide open at an aperture of 2.8. The camera’s autofocus snapped in just as the ball landed in Herd’s hand. I shot a burst of 5 or 6 frames and this one was the best. You can see a large-format gallery of my other game photos on my newspaper’s website here. Colin Mulvany photo/©The Spokesman-Review


In the first period, WHL linesman Anthony Guzzo collides with Spokane Chief Jeremy Mcintosh (4) and Vancouver’s Austin Vetterl (24) Saturday in the Spokane Arena.

This was my first hockey game of the season that I’ve shot. I was a little rusty at the trigger, but I’m glad  I was able to get this snap of the linesman ref getting upended by players. I don’t think in all my years of shooting the Spokane Chiefs have I captured a photo like this. Hockey snaps all kind of look the same to me. Getting a different kind of peak-action moment was a bonus, plus I love the reaction of the women behind the glass . Nikon D3s, Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review

Andrew LaVoie with Jung Kim’s Martial Arts, breaks two boards with a double split kick during a tae kwon do exhibition at Valleyfest Saturday in Mirabeau Point Park. This is one of those snaps you just have to spray and pray. In other words, hit the shutter and fire off a blast of frames hoping you’ve captured the moment. I like the sawdust coming off the board on the right. I used my 85 mm  f/1.4  lens wide open to soften the background up and make the subject pop. With  only a few inches in focus, I caught the moment just as Andrew passed through the plane of focus. With many DSLR cameras having fast motor drives these days, it is much easier to shoot a burst of frames while letting your subject pass through a point of focus. You should get a least one useable image sharp like I did. Whew! Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review Nikon D700 Nikkor 85mm f/1.4

I was told the all-day track and field meet would last until 4 p.m. When I arrived at the field at 1:30 p.m., I found the 16oo-meter relays were the only events remaining for the  meet. Yikes. Pressure was on to come up with a sport’s page cover from one event. I shot the baton handoffs, but this shot of the winners hugging was my favorite. Nikon D3s, Nikkor 300mm f/4

Members of the Community Colleges of Spokane woman's 1600-meter relay team, left to right Shayle Dezellem, Mikel Elliott, and Jessika Hardgrove celebrate their first place win at the NWAACC track and field championships held Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at Spokane Falls Community College. Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review


This is one of those spray and pray shots you make when shooting sports. As Cheney High School’s C.J. Skillingstad scored the winning goal in overtime, I swung my lens from the ball in the net to the celebration happening on the field. I hit the shutter, unleashing my machine-gun fast Nikon D3s’ motor drive. I didn’t realize I had  C.J. in the photo because they all jumped on him. I like his hand in the air flashing the number one. Ahhh the drama. After the game, I sat on the sideline and downloaded my snaps into my iPad. I went directly to this photo first and edited and captioned  it in a super-cool $7.99 app called Photogene. I then sent the photo to the newspaper via the app’s FTP client. It’s nice not having to cart my 17-inch laptop around for assignments like this. Nikon D3s, Nikkor 300 f/4

Cheney's C.J. Skillingstad, bottom right, is mobbed by teammates after scoring the winning goal in overtime against East Valley Tuesday at Cheney High School. Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review

This snap was published in the Sunday Spokesman-Review newspaper, but was not seen by anybody. Well, technically only about a quarter to the photo was visible on the page. A production error led to my rugby image being cropped in a nonsensical way. Though these problems happen infrequently, when they occur, they always make me cringe .  I wonder what people thought when the saw this scrum photo that was only bits of arms and faces. I am publishing it here for you to see before it fades into our photo archive, never to be seen again.

In a scrum, members of the rigby team Butte Crabs of Montana, left and Spokane Razorbacks, fight for possession of the ball during their Fools Fest rugby tournament game at the Spokane Polo Club Saturday. Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review

Almost missed this shot in my edit tonight during a Spokane Chiefs vs. Portland Winterhawks game in Spokane. I’m happy anytime I can get a interesting and different snap during a hockey game.

Spokane Chiefs Dylan Walchuk losses his helmut as Portland's Tyler Wotherspoon pushes back at the Winterkawk goal during the first period Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, in the Spokane Arena. Wotherspoon was called for roughing and was sent to the penalty box.Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review

Covering a state championship track meet today, I came across this fellow who collapsed at the  finish line of his 4X4 relay  race. Some of the photos I take defy a journalism category. Sometimes it is just a creative exercise on my part to fight off the numbness I feel at shooting the familiar.  The color of the pink mohawk, contrasting with the black track surface is what caught my eye. It is not a photo that would normally make the sports page, but Snaps and Frames is a good place to share it with you.

"I almost didn't make it," said Coy Hanger of White Pass who collapsed at the finish line of his 4X4 relay preliminary race Friday during the WIAA 1B, 2b, 1A, Track and Field Championship held Friday, May 27, 2011 at Eastern Washington University. Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review


Good sports photography is mostly about anticipation and timing. My Nikon D3s digital SLR camera allows me to shoot a burst at nine frames per second. That sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t when trying to capture a peak action sporting moment like these to high school soccer players. I shot this snap with a Nikkor 400 mm 2.8 telephoto lens ( the beast weighs more than a boat anchor.) The wide aperture and long focal length helps throw the background out of focus, which make the subject stand out. As I was sitting on the bleachers downloading m photos onto my iPad to send back to the newspaper, a spectator looked over my shoulder and said:  “Your camera takes great pictures!” Hey, give a shooter some credit will ya. Technology is great, but someone still has to know when to push the shutter button.

Ferris Saxon's Josh Sharon (in front) and Mead's Colin Shockman compete for control of the ball during their soccer match Friday, April 22, 2011 at Ferris High School. Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review