In the summer of 2014, Gary Lloyd McCullough came to Colorado Springs to take part in the Summit Sports Photography Workshop. It was there that he met the esteemed faculty and staff that would help take his photography to the next level. The former Summit student utilitized those tips and information and landed a photo in the “Leading Off” section in Sports Illustrated magazine.
In McCullough’s own words, he describes the Sports Photography Workshop as well as the faculty and staff that provided him with the information and tips necessary to accomplish the now-published photograph.
“Arriving in Colorado Springs for a week of what is the world’s most respected sports photography workshop, I was overwhelmed.
Vendors, industry leading photographers in numerous specialties, publishing gatekeepers, and living legends like the workshop founder, Rich Clarkson — you don’t want to miss anything including late-night cavorting with sports photography trailblazers.
I came to the workshop with an idea for a first-ever sports photo opportunity, making an image of a live NFL game from underwater. Off-season improvements to the Jacksonville Jaguars home field included two pools from where fans are able to watch the game through a Plexiglas wall.
I specifically received shot-making advice for this idea from:
- Jody Grober, Director of Professional and Commercial Sales at Roberts Distributors with advice as to where best to rent the underwater housing.
- Deanne Fitzmaurice, awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 2005, expounded from her personal experience to expect obstacles and persist despite setbacks. (The team’s management told me “no” to access to the pool at least six times.)
- Mark Terrill, Associated Press photographer with unparalleled innovation with remotes shared how lenses work underwater and how water affects focus.
- Chip Litherland, award-winning photographer based in Sarasota, Florida, who gave me insight as to gaining access.
- Brad Smith, Director of Photography for Sports Illustrated, answered my emails and calls to guide my photo into publication. It would take much more room than I have to list all the instructors, vendors, and fellow students that encouraged me and shared experiences and insights in regard to creating this image. The July 2014 Summit Sports Photography Workshop made this image happen; the first underwater images of a live NFL football game. Summit also provided me with a dream come true in seeing my first image published in the print version of Sports Illustrated. It will appear in the “Leading Off” section of the December 8, 2014 issue.
Thank you Mr. Clarkson and crew. I certainly got more than I expected from my week with you.”
-Gary Lloyd McCullough