Renowned photographer Tim Mantoani's first real job out of college was photographing off-road racing. He's come a long way since, working for the likes of Coca Cola, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated, among other achievements. Here are some of his favorite sports shots, beginning with Lance Armstrong.<br><br>" I made this portrait of Lance in a hotel banquet room for a magazine cover. Lance has given hope to so many, and being a cancer survivor myself, it made the opportunity to make this image even more special to me."
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I had the opportunity to work with Tony several times and was asked to make an image of him with his silver bats. These bats are the actual trophy awarded to the baseball player with the highest batting average each season. Tony has eight titles, which ties him with Honus Wagner for National League titles. Ty Cobb holds the American League record with 11. At the top of each of the bats you can see the reflection of a baseball. This was created by placing a large, translucent print of a baseball over one of my studio lights and positioning it so it reflected at the proper angle into the camera lens.
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Kevin Garnett and Randy Moss
It was Kevin's idea for them to switch jerseys during the shoot. Moss and Garnett were both playing in Minnesota at the time and the story was about their history together and how they were both happy to be working in the same city.
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Gaborik is the only player in the 21st Century to score five or more goals in a single game. I wanted to create a portrait that captured the intensity he processes on the ice.
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Since Polaroid has stopped making film, this image is from one of the last boxes of black and white Polaroid film I will ever shoot. Hard to believe film that once was "instant" photography has gone the way of the Dodo. Sad, but true.
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Pro Bowl Photobooth
I have a 1946 photobooth in my studio that has provide hours of entertainment for clients, subjects and friends. It became my inspiration to set up a photobooth at the Pro Bowl in 2003. It is amazing how a group of super cool pro athletes can turn into kids in a matter of seconds.
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Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison
It is strange to see this year's NFL season starting without this dynamic duo together. Peyton is always fun to have on set, a true pro who wants to bring his best to the shoot. Aside from this photo, I have photographed him many times, including in 1998 when he was a rookie. I photographed him prior to the season for a trading card company and he told me his dad had a "dorky" photo on his rookie card and to make sure I made him look good. A 10 Graded Card, featuring the photo of him I took that day, is currently on eBay for $5,500. I hope he likes it.
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Growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, I always enjoy the opportunity to work with a 49er. I photographed Michael and 33 other NFL Rookies in a single day in Los Angeles a few months back. Working at such at fast pace, it can be difficult to get players to relax and be themselves. Some players can "bring it" in front of the lens, Michael is one of them.
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Michael Ho, Big Wave Surfer
I built a small water tank outside my studio to create this image of surfer Michael Ho. I've always been amazed that surfers can conquer such massive waves while standing on their feet and wanted to force the viewer to think about the point of contact between the rider and the board.
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Linsey Corbin, Triathlete
I was asked to create an image to illustrate that triathlete Linsey Corbin was the top American finisher in The Ironman World Championship. We shot the image at a sporting goods store that had an underwater viewing window that allowed customers to watch people in their pool during scuba lessons. Using radio triggers, I fired strobe lights through windows in the parking lot while I shot from inside the store and never got wet!
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I've been fooling around with making tintypes, a wet plate collodion process that dates back to the mid 1800's. Every image is unique due to the imperfection of this magical process.
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NBA Rookie Polaroids
Yep, these are actual Polaroids, shot at the NBA Rookie Premiere. It was fun to watch the players shake the image as they watched them process before their eyes.
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Glen "Big Baby" Davis
There are some players who make your job easy, you just have to get them in front of the lens and they do all the work. Glen is one of them. A kid at heart, just turn him loose and start firing the camera.
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USA Softball Team
I've been working with Team USA for years and was able to "pitch" them on the idea of shooting some photobooth style images of the team for their press book. The girls were great and let their guards down. I love these images as a group because you get a feel for the team as a whole, yet the individual personalities of each player.
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This picture was made just a few days prior to the Indy 500. The 3 feet of bricks that remain today are part of the original 3.2 million that covered the track in 1910.
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Adrian Petersen and Sydney Rice
I shot these guys together when they were rookies, not having any idea of the impact they would have on both the Vikings and the NFL.
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Knowshon's first name is a combination of his father's nickname, Knowledge, and his mother's name, Varashon. When shooting portraits, I often try to keep the backgrounds dark and let the player do the talking.
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Oscar was born with congenital absence of the fibula in both legs and at 11-months-old his legs were amputated below the knees. He is known as "the fastest man on no legs." Whenever I think that I can't do something, I look at this photo and it quickly puts things into perspective.
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Jesse Billauer , Surfer
I made this image of Jesse in a wheelchair a few months ago and I still love it. Sometimes it is best to strip away the background and let the image speak for itself. Jesse was injured while surfing and still is out catching waves today. His motto is "Life Rolls On."
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This portrait was shot in St. Louis after Mark broke the home-run record in 1998. I had the opportunity to work with him numerous times during his career; he was always a class act and a pleasure to have on set.
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After we did the still shoot with Merriman, a video crew set up and conducted a short interview. They asked him how he got the nickname "Lights Out!" He replied that in high school he knocked out four players in a single game.
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6'4", 295 pounds.....glad I'm not playing quarterback in the NFL this season.
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If you can stay on enough bulls for 8 seconds, they will give you one of these buckles!
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Chrissie has won the Hawaiian Ironman the past two years and set the world record on July 12, 2009, in an Ironman distance race at the Quell Challenge Roth. She beat the old record by 13 minutes and 49 seconds! She is a quiet giant of the sport and I think she is just getting started.
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Deadly Comet and Highlander, Lucha Libre
I am fascinated with Lucha Libre and have been working on portraits of Mexican wrestlers for several years. These images were taken in Tijuana, Mexico, at a school for Luchadores. Viva Santo!
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I love shooting at sunrise and sunset. We scouted this location the morning prior to the shoot and set up our lights in the dark at 5 a.m. The great thing about shooting wakeboarders is that they are used to getting up early to catch the flat water on the lake.
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"Terrible" Terry Norris was one of the first athletes I ever photographed. I remember setting up my 4x5 view camera in the practice gym and being very nervous. In many ways, getting the opportunity to photograph Terry launched my career as a photographer and helped me to realize what I wanted to focus on.
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This picture was made of Dale at Sears Point Raceway. We had limited time and I was only able to make four exposures.
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This portrait was made in my studio just prior to this year's Tour of California. I was fortunate to photograph Carlos and many of his teammates the year prior, when he won the 2008 Tour de France. Carlos is a gentleman. This image is taken with a rare, mammoth, 20x24 Polaroid view camera.
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Sarah Reinertsen, triahtlete
Sarah is one of those special people you just can't be around enough. In 2004 she entered the Hawaiian Ironman in Kona but missed the bike cut off my 15 minutes and was forced to stop the race. She returned in 2005, and on Oct. 15 completed the race in 15 hours and 5 minutes. Amazing!
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Joe Duarte, MMA fighter
It has been fun to watch the evolution of MMA. My wife went to high school with Mark Coleman; it has been exciting to see a sport grow in popularity and appreciation. I had Joe in the studio for an advertising job shoot and took a few extra moments to make this portrait.
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Ivan "Ironman" Stewart
My first real job out of college was photographing off-road racing for Toyota Motorsports and traveling around to cover the races of Ivan Stewart. He got his name from completing and winning the Baja 1000 several times without a co-driver.
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When Billy was a young kid, he would sneak onto the course at the San Diego Country Club to get in a few holes at dusk. We made this image on that course, just after sunset.
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Being the son of Olympic cyclist Davis Phinney and speed skater Connie Carpenter-Phinney doesn't hurt the odds of your DNA being right to be a pro athlete. However, it is Taylor's work ethic and determination that have taken him to the top as a cyclist. I think we have just begun to see him on the podium.
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