Same shot, different angle

Working with the talented bunch at The World-Herald, we often have the same idea for a photo but execute it to our own unique style. One recent example was when I was shooting the Elkhorn-Elkhorn South boys basketball game. One dominant feature of the Elkhorn gym is the giant Elk painted on the wall. I spent about a quarter of the game trying to frame the on-court action with the giant animal staring down on the court. I wasn’t able to get any people in the photo, but I did get a photo of the Elk appearing to stare at an errant shot.

The Elkhorn mascot keeps an eye on the ball as Elkhorn takes on Elkhorn South at Elkhorn on Jan. 26, 2012. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD


Fellow staff photographer Mark Davis was able to capture a blocked shot in the Omaha Bryan-South Sioux City game underneath the fearsome Bryan Bear earlier in the same week.

The Cardinals' Mike Gesell (10) blocks a shot by the Bears' Ethan Montalvo in the second quarter on Jan. 24, 2012. MARK DAVIS/THE WORLD-HERALD


That started a conversation about whether a photo like that is creative or cliche. My thought is it can be creative if all the pieces fall together well to form a well-composed image. I personally prefer it if it appeared that the action and mascot were interacting. Those factors are out of my hands, and like a close basketball game, can be decided be an errant bounce.

Looking through The World-Herald archive, I noticed that three separate photographers made that kind of image at Millard North in three different ways within about three months.

Millard North's Josiah Gustafson (40) outjumps Lincoln Southwest's Dylan Heath during the opening tip on Jan. 18, 2011. MATT MILLER/THE WORLD-HERALD

Millard North’s Josiah Gustafson shoots over Benson’s Cal McCoy on Feb. 11, 2011. MARK DAVIS/THE WORLD-HERALD

Omaha South's Lyle Hexom (left) and Millard North's Josiah Gustafson battle for the opening tipoff during the district final on March 1, 2011. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD

Chris Machian

About Chris Machian

I was born in Omaha, graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a journalism degree in 2004 and have spent most of my life here. I was a photo intern with the Omaha World-Herald in 2003 and had various roles with the company before becoming a staff photographer. I love to shoot UNO hockey and last year placed video and still cameras inside the goal to provide our readers with another unique perspective. My goal is to use available technology in ways that help our readers understand the stories we cover. For instance, in 2011 I used Gigapan technology to provide a wide view of flooded areas while allowing users to zoom in on the smaller details. My love of this job extends beyond disasters and sporting events; I also enjoy covering the events that help define Omaha's cultural landscape.
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  1. Dean Jacobs says:

    Hey Chris,
    Great article, thanks!