Prequel to the Sequel

A week full of pole vaulting

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 03/02/2011

Over the weekend I stopped by the Big Ten Conference indoor track championships that were held in the Armory to grab some photos for the paper. I’m naturally attracted towards the pole vault competition because I vaulted for two years in high school. I also knew that we had a freshman, Matt Bane, on our team that is really good, and was probably going to place high in the event, which is content the paper was looking for. Bane ended up taking first in the vault and set a new personal record.

While watching others jump, I became aware of the super clean graphical background, something rare in the Armory, behind the crossbar and wanted to grab a frame using it to my advantage. I also decided to include the entire cross bar and use the standards as “bookends” for my photo. I’ve also got this thing going on where I’m composing and cropping my shots for a a 2:1 ratio format.Hopefully I don’t exhaust it too soon.

Illinois’ Matt Bane clears the bar in the pole vault competition during the Big Ten Indoor track championship held at the Armory on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011.


After his stellar performance, Matt ended up being awarded Illini of the Week from the Daily Illini, and I was asked if I could go out and make a portrait or him for the paper. I agreed to shoot him, but quickly realized I had no idea on how to make a pole vault portrait interesting, I had a case of writer’s block. When I arrived I was told I wasn’t allowed to have him take a couple jumps because he wasn’t dressed to do any physical activities, nor was I allowed to shoot his feet, because he was wearing sandals. Knowing I had a very limited amount of time with him, and had certain restrictions, I just had him hold his pole right in front of him. There are probably a ton of different things I could have had him do, but my brain fart prohibited me from it. I am fairly happy with my lighting on it, and I think it produced the most three dimensional looking photo I have ever churned out. My only gripe about the photo is the weird shadow on the right side created by one of my rim lights.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini