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Great moments in sports happen extremely quickly — one play, one drive, one pass or one shot — and it’s all over within a couple of seconds. Great moments in sports photography sometimes happen in less than one one-thousandth of a second. Within that extremely narrow time frame, given the proper equipment and timing (one part skill, two parts serendipity), a photographer can capture the essentials of story-telling with a photograph. An athlete’s pose and facial expression are obvious components of a good shot. Underrated but also important in composing a picture that engages the reader and complements a story are the little details. For instance, when the flakes of powder a snowboarder kicks up or the chunks of rubber a soccer player disrupts on a turf field. The same little details, such as a runner casually spitting as she races, can disqualify a photo from being front page material, unless perhaps the story was on the new trend of tobacco chewing on the womens’ cross country team.
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