Thursday, April 30, 2009

Torretta Elected to College Football Hall of Fame

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame today announced former Hurricanes great Gino Torretta as one of the 2009 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) Class of inductees, which includes the names of 15 other First Team All-America players and two legendary coaches.

Below is Torretta's bio from the National Football Foundation's press release:

A key factor in many of Miami's national championship- contending teams, Gino Torretta became one of the most decorated players in college football history, claiming unanimous First Team All-America honors, the Heisman Trophy, Davey O'Brien, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, Maxwell and Walter Camp awards in 1992.

As a freshman on the 1989 National Championship team, Torretta posted a 3-1 record as a starter while filling in for injured quarterback Craig Erickson. As a junior, Torretta led the Hurricanes to the 1991 National Championship game and was named the Big East Player of the Year. During his senior season in 1992, Torretta once again led Miami to the National Championship game and a Big East Championship. Torretta again took home Big East Player of the Year as well as the 1992 Tanqueray World Amateur Athlete of the Year. He currently holds the conference record for lowest career percentage of interceptions (1.94), passing yards in a single-game (485) and longest passing play (99) yards, also an NCAA record. Torretta led Miami to a 26-2 record as a starter and was part of Miami's NCAA record 58-game home winning streak.

Torretta was drafted in the seventh round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. The quarterback played five seasons in the NFL and spent time with the Vikings, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts.

Founder, President and CEO of Touchdown Radio Productions, Torretta currently resides in the Miami area. He is also the vice president for Institutional Sales with Gabelli Asset Management.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Shot(s) of the Week

Today's Shot of the Week is the one frame I was able to capture from Edgerrin James' 12 second long acceptance speech at last Thursday's University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner. However, James' induction video contains many of my shots from his days as a Hurricane, and can be viewed below:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

One More Hurdle (Updated)

Despite the experts predictions, mine included, Frantz Joseph did not become FAU's first draft pick this weekend. 256 names were called and Joseph's wasn't amongst those selected.

It might actually be a good thing. Current and former players like Tony Romo, Adewale Ogunleye, Wes Welker, Adam Vinateri, Willie Parker, Antonio Gates, Priest Holmes, Rod Smith, Kurt Warner, Jeff Garcia and Warren Moon would agree. None of them were drafted by a NFL team before eventually starring in the league.

While players drafted in the late rounds make more money short term, they can't pick the team that would provide their best opportunity at making a roster. What's called a "priority free agent” often is approached by multiple teams.

16 teams watched Joseph at FAU's "pro day" last month. One of those teams will give him a shot.

UPDATE: Frantz has signed with the Oakland Raiders.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Higher Still

Meet Frantz Joseph, FAU's soon to be first ever NFL draft pick. Frantz and his family's story will be the subject of ESPN's "Outside the Lines" on Sunday at 8am with various repeats.

My dedicated readers have already met Frantz. Last fall I shot Frantz for a feature story in the late Unrestricted Magazine. The shot above was one of the many outtakes. He was also on the cover of last year's FAU Football media guide.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shot of the Week

The Miami Hurricanes' Murielle Ahoure sprints to the finish during the 100 meter trials at the ACC Track & Field Championships in Coral Gables on Friday. The next day Ahoure would go on to win the conference championship in both the 100 & 200 meter events.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Old School - Slides

Recently I was discussing the evolution of photography with a student, mentioning I used to shoot slide film. The student said, "slides? What are those?"

Photography has evolved tremendously in the past 15 years. Everything from capturing images, processing, editing and publishing has changed. In this occasional series, I'll revisit photographic topics that have vanished in the digital age.

Reversal film is a type of photographic film that produces a positive image on a transparent base. A slide is an individual transparency (one frame or exposure) mounted in a cardboard or plastic housing which can be used in a slide projector. Slides were also the preferred format for many publishers, due to its high reproduction quality.

During a typical NFL game I would shoot 40-50 rolls of film, then have it processed at a professional lab upon my return to South Florida. The next day would typically be spent retrieving the slides from the lab and then editing them on a light table or light box like the one shown below. The "selects" would be identified, sleeved and FedEx-ed to the NFL office in Los Angeles.

Do you think the advent of digital technology has lightened the workload? Think again. Every frame I shoot still gets edited and scrutinized, now its on a computer screen instead of a light table.

I actually miss using slide film. Looking at slides from an NFL game on a light table was like opening a pack of baseball cards as a kid. It was the highlight of my week during the fall.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shot of the Week

Kasey Kluge of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University tries to recover after falling completely in the water during the 3000 meter women's steeplechase event at the Miami Elite in Coral Gables last Saturday. See a slideshow of the fall here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Screaming In Digital

The entrance to Alex Rodriguez Park shines in this HDR image from last Saturday night. Seven different exposures were merged using Photomatix to create this image. Exposures were taken in seven one stop increments varying from 1/15th of a second to four seconds at f4 at an ISO of 200.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Shot of the Week

Scott Lawson of the Miami Hurricanes signals himself "safe" after stealing second base during the 'Canes 6-4 victory over Florida State on Saturday night.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Another Day in Paradise

Last Tuesday I jam packed three assignments into a 7 hour period. Only in Paradise could a photographer attempt such a feat on the last day in March. Well, it was almost Paradise, until Mother Nature decided differently.

My day started at 8am at Shula's Golf Club in Miami Lakes, where client Lynn University's women's golf team was competing in the Barry Invitational. Above: Maha Haddioui tees off from the 3rd on Shula's Congressional Course.

Then it was on to Ft. Lauderdale Stadium, the spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles, who were facing the St. Louis Cardinals. I arrived earlier than normal to try to get something different. Above: Chris Duncan poses briefly in the Cardinals dugout.

After a couple of innings I left for not so sunny Boca Raton, where a previous rainout forced that day's rescheduled doubleheader onto my schedule. Mother Nature again intervened, as the game was called in the top of the third inning due to lightning. Above: Amber Havnar winds up in the rain.