Photographer Walter Iooss (YOHSS) once described himself as "consumed by sports and form." Pursuing these twin passions, Iooss has become, according to Steve Fine, Sports Illustrated’s director of photography, “an artist who is quite possibly the best sports photographer ever.”
We've created a puzzle of one of Iooss's photographs that appeared in "And Something Magical Happened": Baseball Photographs by Walter Iooss. Visit the virtual exhibition to learn more about Iooss and his oeuvre, and read on below for Curator Andi McKenzie's description of the image.
Click here to see the entire photograph.
His peers in sports journalism often comment on Iooss’s near prescient capacity for knowing the perfect angle and instinctively positioning himself for the shot. With self-assurance and the endearing swagger of the athletes he photographs, Iooss himself has remarked, “The angle I shoot is the best angle. There is no other angle.” That said, Iooss’s aptitude for composition goes far beyond innate talent. He is also thoughtful and deliberate; he holds an image in mind, enduring the waiting game that every great photographer inevitably faces. This photograph, taken at Dodger Stadium in 1979, represents the fruition of just such an idea.
The stadium had recently been painted its now characteristic "Dodger blue." Iooss had a shot in mind, but he needed the visiting team’s away uniforms to cooperate. After a couple of close calls, the Cardinals’ powder blue uniforms finally hit the mark. Iooss remembers sitting in the Cardinals’ dugout, waiting and watching the players interact. Finally, as pre-game warmups began and the press cleared the dugout, Iooss turned to find outfielder Tony Scott (left) and shortstop Garry Templeton (right), calm, confident, and a bit amused, looking back at him.
The saturated, vibrant colors and the two athletes’ expressions bring the national pastime to life—the blue of the summer sky, the colors of the American flag, the glint of competition, and the joy of playing.