Behind the Camera: 2016 Year in Review, Part 1

January 10, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Throughout 2016 you've seen our photographers' work, from the smallest college tourney to the biggest World Championship. You've seen the skies and the layouts, celebrations and defeat. But what you haven't heard yet are the stories behind the camera. Here, a few photographers reflect on their favorite photos, moments, and tourneys to give you a glimpse past the photographs you've known and loved this year. Keep an eye out for Part 2!

Sunday bracket play at Women's College Centex 2016. Sunday bracket play at Women's College Centex 2016. Sunday bracket play at Women's College Centex 2016. Sunday bracket play at Women's College Centex 2016.

 

There’s been crazy weather at Women’s Centex before, but the incredible wind storm of 2016 might take the cake. It’s hard to play in the wind! The games were low scoring and long. 

In the finals, Texas was playing Michigan and the teams were trading points. I was following the action from the Texas sideline, close to the endzone. Texas was moving the disc well when a player put up a long throw towards the endzone. The disc started to cross the goal line, but it hung high and started angling out of bounds.

I saw what was happening and started to follow Texas’ Dre Esparza as she ran towards the corner and jumped from inbounds to bat the disc back into play. Two Michigan defenders couldn’t recover in time and the disc sailed over their heads and into the waiting arms of Julia Schmaltz, who secured the catch.

It was awesome to witness a Greatest happen just feet in front of me, knowing before I looked at my camera that I’d captured it. All the other Texas players and fans were screaming around me in excitement. It was a great moment and a fun way to cap off the tournament. Texas went on to win their first Women’s Centex in 13 years of hosting the tournament. - Conrad Stoll

 

Action from USAU College Division 1 NationalsAction from USAU College Division 1 NationalsVeronica Cruz (Stanford University #2) makes the game winning catch during the semifinal game between University of Oregon and Stanford University at the USAU Division 1 Nationals in Raleigh, NC on May 29th. © Paul Rutherford / UltiPhotos

I photographed three USA Ultimate Championship events last year—Beach, College D1, and Club Championships. Each one had their great moments and allure.

Is it possible not to have fun playing ultimate on the beach?  In Virginia Beach, the weather was beautiful, the play was outstanding, and I even got to stay with my Grandma! The Club Championships proved to be even more exhilarating. Being from Boston, not only was I able to see all three local teams capture a championship, but I was also able to take photos of many of my friends celebrating their victories.

The College D1 championships was a lesson in grueling heat, unpredictable weather, and emotion.  The emotion is there every play because only one team gets to finish on top. All the others see their seasons come to an end. 

This photo is from one of the women’s semifinal game between Stanford and Oregon. I've always heard that the best photos can sum up a game in one image. I think this is the first time I've been lucky enough to capture that moment. The intensity of the game, the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat all come through in the game winning goal. Stanford would go on to win in it all. 

Thanks to everyone I've photographed because these photos wouldn't be possible without you! - Paul Rutherford

 

 

 


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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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