Heinz Kluetmeier's Favorite Shots
SI KIDS Next Snow Search
This snowboarding event was run after dark on a poorly-lit mountain slope in Killington, Vt. Normally, this light would be the kiss of death for taking pictures, but I was saved by the wonderful ball of fire that set off each time a snowboarder went over the jump. The hard part was figuring out which way the skier would go. A bit of luck helped. This one took a line straight in front of the fire, which showed him to be a snowboarder in mid-flight.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1D Mark II, EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM, shot at 1/1000 f/5.6.
SI Golf Plus wanted a story about Larible, the star of the Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus. He's an avid golfer and plays every chance he gets, including in this unusual sand trap with the elephants from the show. A great subject, and the shoot gave me good practice for golf season.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, shot at 1/1000 f/5.6.
Oklahoma at UCLA
This game was billed as an early-season showdown, but UCLA made it look easy while upsetting No. 21 Oklahoma, 41-24, at the Rose Bowl. It was a tough, well-played game, and occasionally helmets flew. At least this guy's head stayed on.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1D Mark II, EF 500mm f/4L IS USM, shot at 1/1000 at f/5.6
We wanted to create an underwater classroom for Michael, who had just matriculated at the University of Michigan, for an SI On Campus cover. We had a great subject who was totally amused by our efforts, and who could hold his breath for two minutes at a time while I struggled with scuba gear. We lit the setting both above and under the water to get the necessary light. And by the way, that's a real computer underwater.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, EF 20mm f/2.8 USM, shot at 1/200 f/11.
During the Sydney Olympics, the world was focused on Jones, because her husband (shot-putter C.J. Hunter) was embroiled in a steroids controversy and Jones was the premier American athlete at the Games. I place a remote at the start of the 100-meter finals. A lot of photographers like the finish line, which is possibly the best and most obvious spot to shoot. But in this case, I thought the start of her first Olympic final would be the way to go. It worked out well, as Jones won gold and this photo ran as a two-page spread in the magazine.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1v (film camera), EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM, shot at 1/125 f/5.6.
Arguably the premier event at any Winter Olympics is the men's downhill, which is often the first of the Alpine competition. I chose for my spot a stark mountain face that dropped steeply from a ridge. From there, it was impossible to see the skier until he was almost upon you, so you really had to guess in terms of timing the photo. That made the shot a real gamble, which happily worked out in this case as Austria's Stroble won the gold. I probably missed half the skiers coming down, but I got lucky on this one.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1v (film camera), EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, shot at 1/250 f/11.
University of Miami "Hurricane cloud"
The best thing about college football (other than the action, obviously) is the spirit and enthusiasm that surround the event. This is wonderfully personified when the University of Miami Hurricanes strut their stuff at the beginning of each home game, exiting the tunnel through a cloud of smoke. It sets the tone and makes for a wonderful, ethereal picture.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1D Mark II, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, shot at 1/1600 f/5.6.
Say what you like, the French put on a great Grand Slam tournament. The red clay, the flowers and the invariably full house make for a great scene-setter with Federer in the foreground. It's fun during the longer men's matches, especially in the earlier rounds, to try for some creative motion and make things look a little different. In this case, as Federer served, I zoomed in and simultaneously turned the camera in the direction of the serve to give a wonderful feeling of action in the middle of the crowd.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1D Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, shot at 1/15 f/16.
Other than being a terrific tennis player, Nadal provides great emotional reactions on court. He does it often, especially at the French, where he's never lost a match. The red clay of Roland Garros was a perfect backdrop for his emotions.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1D Mark II N, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM, shot at 1/2500 f/11.
The assignment seemed difficult at first: to gather a few hundred students and national championship coach Urban Meyer. And it was daunting. We lighted outdoors, requested students to show up with or without war paint, and invited the new recruits in Florida's freshman class. The shoot turned out to be a dream, with a very gracious and urbane coach and a great student body posing for this portrait. This was one of those fun assignments in which everyone was terrific and patient.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L IS USM, shot at 1/200 f/11.
This year's world championships took place in Melbourne, Australia. Tactically, the setting provided a real challenge: an indoor pool with poor light, making it difficult to shoot. But the experience also shows that great pictures do not need to be of the winning swimmer in an event. Often there are great opportunities during the heats when you can take chances and play. That was the case here, as I shot Chinese swimmer Qi Hui during a backstroke leg of the 200-meter individual medley.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, EF 400mm f/4.0 DO IS USM, shot at 1/800 f/2.8
The French Open offers wonderful locations from which you can shoot low angles behind the players as they reach out to strike a backhand. Henin is not always easy to shoot because of her low-worn hat and her serious demeanor, but in this instance, I caught a perfect pose.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, shot at 1/2000 f/4.
The real challenge of the day was fighting the rain. As you can see, the track is just a field of mud. At the Derby, the thundering herd always makes a wonderful picture heading toward the finish line the first time around. Smarty Jones (15) is in the pack here, though he ultimately won it going away. In weather like this, the biggest challenge is making sure your remotes run and your camera is well-protected, because if the heavens open just before the race -- as was the case here -- you can't re-cross the track to reset everything. You're at the pleasure of the elements.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, EF 35mm f/2, shot at 1/1000 f/4.
Penn State at Michigan
This was surely one of the most exciting college football games I've attended -- a seesaw battle in Ann Arbor, Mich., that ended dramatically with Michigan defeating No. 8 Penn State, 27-25, on the final play. I like the wide-angle look here because it provides a feeling of place, with 100,000-plus fans in Michigan Stadium glued to their seats until the very end. I thought this would run big in the magazine. As it turned out, the Notre Dame-Southern California game down the road in South Bend was, unbelievably, even more exciting. <br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1D Mark II, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, shot at 1/1000 at f/4
Chicago Bears vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When the final kick determines the outcome of an overtime game, a photographer can find a great angle at the other end of the field, looking at the defensive line as it hopes for the unlikely blocked kick. On this, the final play of the game, the Bears won by three points. End of story.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1D Mark II, EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM, shot at 1/640 at f/2.8
Figure skating is one of the premier events of the Winter Olympics, especially given the glamour and athleticism of the women's competition. Sasha Cohen was no exception when she took the ice for her long program in contention for a gold medal. This scene-setter with the Olympic rings visible was taken from the arena ceiling. I had to place my remote 24 hours in advance, due to security issues. It worked out for a lovely shot.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1D Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, shot at 1/1000 at f/4
During the long program, it's always a debate whether to shoot high for a pristine ice background, or low, which offers a more dramatic visual but a cluttered background. Here's a counterpoint to my remote shot from overhead, with Sasha during her long program coming right at the camera.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1D Mark II, EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM, shot at 1/1000 at f/2.8
Underwater shots during competition are difficult and unpredictable, both in terms of where the best graphics will occur and, occasionally, in terms of where the swimmers are seeded. We did our homework and placed a camera underwater at 6 a.m., before that day's competition began. It all worked, with this photo giving you the feeling that Michael Phelps was gliding through the clouds as well as the water.<br><br>Shot with: Canon EOS-1D Mark II, EF 15mm f/2.8, shot at 1/640 at f/11.