Behind the Camera: 2014 Year in Review (Part 1)

January 15, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

2014 was a banner year for UltiPhotos, with our 30+ photographers covering over 70 events including WUCC, WJUC, National Championships at every level, and two different youth ultimate camps, CUT and NUTC! Our Behind the Camera blog has always aimed to provide a voice for our hardworking photographers who so frequently are only heard through their images. Here, several of our well-traveled photographers reflect on their favorite moments from 2014. Stay tuned next week for Part 2!

Jeff Bell: There were many great moments I was fortunate to see in person in 2014: the beginning of the Vancouver Riptide franchise; seeing future stars at BC Junior Championship and Douglas Bowl; the Vancouver Nighthawks win at the Western Conference Championship game.

I got to follow the Canadian teams as they battled at WUCC.  The best stories for me were probably the Vintage Women’s Masters win and FIGJAM’s run to the Masters finals.

My favourite game and photos probably came from Traffic vs QUB in the WUCC Power Pool. National rivals in a pivotal Worlds matchup. QUB looked so hungry and Traffic looked so strong, just a highlight filled battle. Can’t wait for Canadian Nationals 2015. 

wucc2014_day5_20140806_140656_JBP01620wucc2014_day5_20140806_140656_JBP01620Ellie Hand (Traffic #8) and a QUB player bid for the disc during day 5 of the 2014 World Ultimate Club Championship in Lecco, Italy. Aug 6, 2014. Jeff Bell Photo. All Rights Reserved.

WJUC Day 4 - ThursdayWJUC Day 4 - ThursdayLECCO, ITALY: Israel U19 Open throws over the Italy U19 Open zone in quarterfinals at the 2014 World Junior Ultimate Championships. July 24, 2014. © Brandon Wu / for UltiPhotos.

Brandon Wu: Most sports photography is done with big telephotos to get you close to the action. But when the action is right there on the sideline in the front of you, a wider angle can give a refreshingly different sense of drama. At the World Junior Ultimate Championships, some of the showcase games were played in a gorgeous stadium in Lecco, Italy at twilight, and I really wanted to go wide to capture some of that beautiful environment.

This photo came right after Israel (throwing) took a time out against the Italian zone. I fully expected the Israeli handler to throw a swing pass back to the middle of the field, which wouldn't have made for a very good photo at all. But he immediately went for the up-line huck instead, which gave me the opportunity to grab this photo. I like the stadium in the background, the hint of blue still in the evening sky (just a few minutes later it would go totally black), and of course the bodies and faces of the thrower and the defenders. For the photography junkies this was taken at 14mm with a full-frame body - it's cropped in a little bit, but basically I was sitting right there a couple yards from the thrower, enough to give him plenty of space to pivot but still making the ultrawide lens a viable option. I'm not the only UltiPhotographer who spent some of 2014 experimenting with wide-angle lenses, and this probably wasn't the best of our wide-angle shots - but I'm pretty happy with it. 

Alex Fraser: How not to pick this kid for my favorite photo of the year? USA Ultimate did a great job at the US Open of getting ultimate in front of 8,000 potential new fans by putting a showcase game and a couple of kids skills booths in front of a crowd arriving for a soccer game. This girl hit three targets in a row, and got a brand new disc and a hat. I got the pleasure of taking a photo that will always make me smile every time I see it, and one that I hope makes others remember how happy the sport makes them.

2014 USAU US Open Friday Showcase Game2014 USAU US Open Friday Showcase GameTWIN CITIES, MN: Kids take part in USAU skills booths for prizes in front of the showcase game between Drag'n Thrust and Union at the 2014 USAU US Open. July 4, 2014. © Alex Fraser for UltiPhotos



CUT Camp Session I 2014CUT Camp Session I 2014CHICAGO, IL: Day four of Chicago Ultimate Training (CUT) Camp Session I. June 19, 2014. © Jolie J Lang for UltiPhotos


Jolie J Lang: Prior to joining UltiPhotos, I had only been on a plane once. In 2014, I went to Chicago, Texas and Italy - my first trek outside of the US - to shoot ultimate! I'm so thankful for all of the cool places my job takes me and all of the fantastically talented and kind people I meet. 

CUT Camp was very special to me. Instead of a normal two-day tourney, I was shooting for four days straight, morning to night, covering these (ridiculously talented) youth players training harder than I ever will in 90+ degree heat. It was physically and mentally exhausting, but by the end, I didn't want to leave. 

The highlight of the camp for me was the Slip 'n Slide layout practice. The campers laid out one by one, but some of the coaches decided to go head to head. I had perched myself near the end of the slide and let the perfect layout shots come to me! If only every layout was this easy to capture. 



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UltiPhotos is made possible by the collaboration of dedicated photographers whose shared goal is to showcase the amazing action and wonderful moments experienced in the sport of Ultimate.  This blog shares their perspectives on the photos they take and provide updates on UltiPhotos plans and initiatives.

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