The main reason I got serious about photography is because of sports. I remember when I was out on the soccer field trying to take photos of a recreational soccer game with a point and shoot camera and almost get hit by the ball or run into by a player and I just got feed up and decided at that moment that I needed an SLR. With that being said Neil Leifer inspires me to be a better photographer.
I think it so neat how sports photographers have to try to capture the emotions of a live sports contest in a matter of seconds. My favorite Leifer shot is when Mohammed Ali had just knocked out Sonny Liston in the first round. The timing of that shot was incredible. To get Ali pumping his fist while Liston was laying down and looking crushed in that moment. Is probably the greatly display of emotions between winner and a loser there ever will be!
Leifer didn’t just shoot sports. In his career he worked for TIME and LIFE magazines which shows his versatility and willingness to step out of is comfort zone. He photographed Presidents, actors, murderers and wildlife to name a few. He’s photos have been on the cover of hundreds of magazines over the years.
If I’m able to have a tiny bit of success as Leifer was I’d consider myself luck.