Fire and the Mountain


A photographer friend of mine once told me of this theory he had that adding the element of fire could instantly make any boring photograph 10 times more interesting. I'm not saying he was walking around tossing lit books of matches into dry grass and then pulling up his camera. He was, however, simply making an observation on how enamored we are with fire and how it grabs our attention whether by its beauty or by the triggered responses of danger and alarm we feel when we see it.

Sure I'm impressed by fire-eaters and fire jugglers as much as the next guy, but I'm by no means a fanatic. I will say now, after spending a couple days in El Paso, that I am a fan of the mountains and specifically football stadiums that are built up against them. What a cool idea.

Last Saturday's game at the Sun Bowl wasn't unexciting because it simply wasn't. From a fan's perspective, there existed plenty to be impressed with, such as Meier's bomb to Briscoe, Daymond Patterson's interception tip to Justin Thornton and Maxwell Onyegbule's and the D-line's overall performance. From a photographer's standpoint, however, it's not like Jake Sharp was diving Superman-style over the pile for his touchdowns. He didn't need to. Despite the ease at which the Jayhawks eventually began to score, pulling an interesting photo out of a one-yard touchdown run can sometimes be difficult.

During those times when things just aren't going my way and I'm faced with a difficult decision, I refer back to a fail-safe question I always ask myself: "What would Sports Illustrated do?" There, right in front of me, was the answer. The ultimate symbol of strength. A mountain cradling a football stadium in its bosom. So that's the course of action I decided to take. Hang back. Stop shooting so tight and take in some of the scenery. Had this photo been shot by an SI photographer, I'm for certain that he or she would have made a photograph that would have incorporated this natural wonder into the background, captured a moment of peak action with Todd Reesing hurdling No. 93 at the goal line in a glorious fashion that completely encapsulated the essence of sport. Oh wait, and the little person in the red jacket on the side of the mountain, if you go straight up from Reesing's head, that person would be signaling touchdown. Unfortunately for myself there won't be a mountain range outside every away venue I travel to. However, if you flip on your TV and suddenly the cameras turn to a pylon that's engulfed in flames, you'll know what I'm up to.


bastardsonofgarybedore 11 years, 10 months ago

nice work, nick.

for this week, please ask mangino if you can mount a camera to sharp's helmet. i'd like a close angle of what it looks like to fly by duke's linemen.

bg_duck1 11 years, 10 months ago

VERY SWEET PIC! but we need to be able to click on the picture and make it bigger so we can see little details b/c i sure can't see some dude sitting on the mountain

11 years, 10 months ago

I concur, that is an awesome pic, Nick. The stadium reminds my a little of the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, with its surroundings. Very cool location.

bg_duck1 ~

I can't see him either, however I was in attendance, and there was a guy sitting about 3/4th the way up at one point during the game. The fans in my section thought he was going to slip and roll down the side of the mountain. When the clouds became ominous, he quickly got down off there.

Nick Krug 11 years, 10 months ago

Good call guys. My bad. Forgot the photos only go 900 pixels wide. I'm preparing to cover the Free State High football game and don't have access to the photo at the moment. However, I'll try to fix it or at least post a zoomed-in version of the dude on the mountain later this evening. Cheers.


5DecadeHawk 11 years, 10 months ago

This is rapidly becoming my favorite feature that shows up on

It's fun to get your perspective, Nick.

I do find it strange that Nick's blog... a blog from a PHOTOGRAPHER... doesn't have a photo next to the link on the home page. What's up with that? If Nicks face is horribly goofy lookin' ... can't they post one of Nick's cool pix there instead? :) hehehe

Personally, I think it should be an action shot of Nick at work on the sidelines, but are Nicks arms long enough to get a good shot?

Jonathan Kealing 11 years, 10 months ago

We'll get a photo of Nick with his blog soon. We've just been busy and wanted to get the blog rolling as quick as we could.

Jonathan Kealing

waywardJay 11 years, 10 months ago

The color contrast is also very interesting.... Our white's stick out against their blah Orange on orange Unis..... im glad we didn't wear our red's for this one... that would have been an Eye sore..... maybe we'll break them out against Duke.... as they are similiarly two tones blue and white.... That should make for some interesting shots.

justinripley 11 years, 10 months ago

I like that Reesing is passing away from the mountain. Nick, does this represent the quarterback's inherent fear of larger, more menacing things? What would Jung say of the modern athlete's bicep infatuation?

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