Capturing the moment: the man behind the lens

Zelkin combined a passion for photography with his daughter Annina’s participation in multiple sports as a way to give back to the LB sports community. Although Annina           participates in track and field and field hockey, Zelkin makes an active effort to photograph as many sports as possible.

photo by Annina Zelkin

Zelkin combined a passion for photography with his daughter Annina’s participation in multiple sports as a way to give back to the LB sports community. Although Annina participates in track and field and field hockey, Zelkin makes an active effort to photograph as many sports as possible.

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Looking down the sideline at any LB sporting event, a familiar face is often found. Gregg Zelkin began taking photos of LB sporting events three years ago when his daughter, junior Annina Zelkin began playing field hockey and participating in track and field. Zelkin began just shooting his daughter’s teams before he decided to pursue other sports. Now Zelkin shoots events at LB four to six days a week.

“I spent too much time at work, and my photography helps reduce my stress,” Zelkin said. “I enjoyed shooting all different types of sports and wanted to shoot a variety of LB sports.”

Zelkin’s passion began when he took a photography class in high school. That passion continued when he went to Penn State, where he began working for the school newspaper. He began taking sports photography because of the challenge it presented and the great photos that came as a reward.

With that reward came some challenges. Because of the fast pace of the athletes, sports photography can be very difficult. Zelkin, however, finds this as one of his favorite parts, he said.

“I have two favorite things about photography,” Zelkin said. “First, the challenge of capturing an athlete’s emotion in the moment of a great individual or team victory. Second, I enjoy being able to share what I do with athletes, coaches, families and friends as a way to give back to the community.”

Zelkin shoots many different sporting events such as football, swim and dive, basketball, track and field and tennis. He takes between 1000 and 2000 photos at each event he goes to. From these he takes the best 200-400 and posts them on his Shutterfly account where the public can access the photos.

“I do take many pictures at every event to insure I have a good selection and pictures of as many athletes as possible,” Zelkin said. “The longer the event or the more the athletes, the more photos I end up taking. Editing takes several hours after the event.”

Zelkin said the easiest sport for him to cover is tennis because it is always played in nice weather and it is easy to see the athletes’ faces. Many other sports present difficulties, often times due to the angles or lighting.

“Most indoor sports and events at night are difficult because of the lighting,” Zelkin said. “Wrestling is difficult to get the best angles. Lacrosse is very fast, and swimming has most athletes with their heads underwater most of the time.”

Although most of his photography is sports related, Zelkin also enjoys taking pictures of animals and other elements of nature. Soon he will be shooting his first wedding, an LB graduate who enjoyed his sports photography. Many parents have said to Zelkin that they like his photography because it allows them during the game to watch their athletes compete knowing he will have captured great moments for them to cherish for a long time.

“It’s great having a photographer at the games because he can take pictures of us in action,” junior Glenn Vega said. “We can show them to people so they can come to our next game.”

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