Nikon Learn & Explore
Andrew Hancock's Nikon World Winter 2013 cover photo of a motocross rider on a track, panned.

© Andrew Hancock

Andrew Hancock's challenge was choosing just the right shutter speed for "enough blur for the great lines from the railing, track and cable fence I shot through, while still keeping the detail." One-fifteenth second did the trick as he panned with the rider. D4, AF-S Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED.

If you don’t pay attention to the commerce, you don’t get to create the art. Of course, it might be the pressure of the commerce that drives the creation of that art.

That’s what we got from the first few minutes of talking with Andrew Hancock, who shoots sports and action images for a number of clients, perhaps most notably Sports Illustrated.

“When you’re on assignment for SI you have to come back with the best photos,” Andy says. “That’s what they expect, and that’s what I expect from myself, but there are a lot of good photographers out there and it’s a constant challenge. There’s always the pressure of being surrounded by the best shooters in the business and trying to outthink them.”

Andrew Hancock photo of a horse being hosed down in morning light, for Nikon World Winter 2013 issue

© Andrew Hancock

"In the morning, when the light's good, there are some special pictures to be made in the stable area of a racecourse. In this one, all the water droplets just lit up and exploded in that great light. It's all about depth of field here, and I shot at 1/8000 second wide open to get blur beyond the point of focus." D3S, AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8D IF-ED II

So for a swim event, put the camera in the water. Motorcycle race? Bring out the tripod for extreme pans against a graphic background. Basketball game? Set up the strobes for some creative shadow play.

“There’s a lot of stress,” Andy says, “but I enjoy it. It motivates me to always be thinking out of the box, always trying to come up with something different, something no one else is going to get.”

What did we get from many more minutes talking with Andy? That every picture has its competitive edge.