sweet home chicago

Chicago Blackhawks center Dave Bolland hoists the Stanley Cup to hundreds of thousands of cheering fans Friday, June 28, 2013 during the team’s championship celebration rally in Grant Park.

 I’m proud of this picture because it didn’t just happen. Sometimes all the headaches of remote cameras pay off.

When the City of Chicago announced the location of Friday’s Blackhawks celebration rally, I pictured the photo possibilities from that area of Grant Park. I immediately thought about the great view of the city skyline facing north from the south stage during Lollapalooza. This stage would be in the same place, so I thought about the view from the back that would include the team the foreground leading up to the massive crowd and then the city. I photographed this event in 2010 and knew the best photo would come at the end when the team takes turns holding up the Stanley Cup and confetti flies.

I asked Tribune director of photography Todd Panagopoulos to begin talking to the city on Tuesday about permission to mount the camera. They came through and with the help of several city employees who went out of their way to help we were able to make it happen.

We were told that we’d have to mount the camera on Thursday night and wouldn’t be able to adjust or turn it on Friday morning because of a security lock down. This led to me spending most of eight hours in Grant Park on Thursday waiting for the stage to be constructed and calculating how long camera batteries might last or whether I could run it off an external source. The workers eventually realized when the backdrop banner finally arrived that they had the wrong size pole supports and wouldn’t be able to hang it until Friday morning. This was a problem for me because the only thing on the stage higher than four feet was going to be this banner, and if my camera wasn’t mounted to the side of it would be blocked by the dozens of other people on stage.

Fortunately the city came through with permission for me to arrive early Friday morning and at 6:30 a.m. I was in a forklift at the top of the banner. From the photo pit during the rally I couldn’t tell what the camera was capturing or even if it was still on, so it was a big relief to climb up afterwards and see that everything had come together pretty much just how I had hoped.

This image and all of our great team Tribune coverage is meaningful to me not just because it makes Chicago look awesome, but because it shows our value as photojournalists. In light of everything that’s happened in our local media lately, I hope the photography shows how important images are in recording and sharing in one of our city’s proudest sports moments.

Also check out lots more Tribune images, Tribune videos, the PDFs of our pages.


12 thoughts on “sweet home chicago

  1. Pingback: Pictures Don’t Just Happen | Visual Journalism

  2. Cracking shot Brian. Well thought out and superbly captured 🙂

    I’m a friend of Scott Strazzante on FB …. I met him during the NPAC conference in 2011 in Winnipeg, MB … ironically, the same weekend that the Jets were accepted back in the NHL and when Canucks lost the Stanley Cup and I was able to shoot my second (2nd) riot in Vancouver 😮


    Jack Simpson

  3. Gorgeous photo – the blue of the sky, the gray/silver of the skyline, the red of the fans, the red & black of the confetti. I predict it will become THE iconic picture summarizing the Blackhawks season. Thank you for sharing it with the city – it truly is a gift to all of us who love the Blackhawks and Chicago.

  4. I dunno, I guess this is a little better than the ones the Sun Times guys took with their iPhones. I mean, not by much, but yeah, I guess it’s ok.

    Seriously… Holy crap this is amazing.

    Biggest bunch of beauties in the league.

  5. What a great story. Shows you that those classic photos just don’t come by easily. And great photography comes from real photographers !!! Great work and thanks for the insight into the background work behind what will prove to be a classic Chicago sports photo…

  6. Great photo and great article. I was operating the confetti canon on stage right and I noticed the camera mounted early in the day. It captured a great shot of our work! Wondering if I could get a copy of the file for the memory of being a part of the production. Please let me know. Thanks!

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  8. Pingback: The Stanley Cup of photography - Spudart

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