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ROBERT BECK

That's me there on the left...On top of the world or as close as I could get when I was south of my teen years. Actually I'm in Denver during a cross country trip my family took prior to the Beatles U.S. invasion. Dad drove the two tone '59 Ford Galaxie 500, Mom navigated and Sis and I watched the cornfields wiz by from a backseat bigger than most hotels we checked into. We always seemed to be 20 miles from somewhere and 30 miles from somewhere else. No seatbelts. No airbags. No Seven Elevens. A very simple and humble slice of Americana. I read a lot of comic books, became quite artistic with an Etch-a-Sketch and told my sister to "Go fish" a little over a million times.

My Dad took a lot of pictures on that trip. I don't think I took one. I didn't get the photo bug until my mid twenties. But I've been snappin' a lot of photos since then. First as a staffer for Surfer Magazine where my only job requirement was to go to a beach everyday and make beautiful pictures. Hawaii, Australia, California, Mexico, Brazil, France. How hard was that? Not very.

In 1986 I shot my first assignment for Sports Illustrated, the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. An image from that take became a spread in SI and one of Life Magazine's Pictures of the Decade. After the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, SI made me a staffer. I've covered a lot of big events through those years...The Masters, Super Bowls, the World Series, NBA Finals, Olympics, Stanley Cups and so on. But it is the one on one stuff I enjoy the most. I have been lucky enough to work with some great people: Wayne Gretzky, Rod Laver, Karch Kiraly, Kelly Slater, Shaq, Tony Hawk, Shaun White, Pele, Brandi Chastain, Michelle Kwan, Tiger, Emmitt Smith, Dwight Howard, Wilt, Bill Russell, Monica Seles, Jimmie Johnson and Will Ferrell (!) to name a few.

Working with those athletes, among many others, is a perk that comes with the territory at SI. I honed my skills shooting action and features. I learned how to provide editors with interesting portraits, usually in a short time frame. Now I'm looking to spread my wings a bit. The Magazine has loosened the reins and I have time to work on outside projects. If you've got one, drop me a line. I'm ready to go.

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SALES

PRINTS

If you are interested in ordering prints please contact me via e mail. If it is on this site, I can have it custom printed for you. Just drop me a line. All images are printed on Ilford Smooth Pearl paper and they look great. Epson's Ultrachrome inks deliver stable, long-lasting (92 year display rating), photographic quality. I print 8 x 10, 11 x 17 and 13 x 19. If you would like a different size let me know and we will work it out. You can also order Giclee prints. These are normally printed on watercolor paper and also look fabulous. Those prints are outsourced and may take a little longer to ship out. Please drop me a note if you have any other questions or for a quote.

LAMPS

I am working on a line of distinct lamps. Each one is currently handcrafted by San Diego woodworker Del Cover. We have used a variety of woods from rich cedars to walnut to oak and mahogany. Each lamp showcases various sports. The lamp shown on this page is a square model (3 rows by three columns) and houses 36 original chromes from the "original" Los Angeles Laker glory years. The images include several each of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and James Worthy that are set in African Mahogany. The lamp top rotates so all of the images can easily be viewed. The slides are backlit by a cool energy efficient CFC light source. The slides look great illuminated day or night. I currently have two more "tall" lamps (two columns by five rows) for sale. One features brilliant surf imagery from around the globe (plus Curren, Slater and Hamilton) and another features 40 of my top images from Tiger Woods' stunning victory over Rocco Mediate in the 2008 U.S. Open. The samples of the tall lamp can be seen on the back end of my "pages" gallery under the "in print" heading. I am also taking custom orders for these beautiful pieces of woodwork. I can load just about any image into a lamp of your choice. Send me a request or ask questions through my contact link.

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EQUIPMENT

When I am out in the field shooting, I get these questions in this order:

1.How far can you see with that thing?

2. Who do you work for?

3. Do you get to work on the swimsuit issue?

The first question confounds me a bit. I mean, if nothing is in your way you can see for miles on a clear day. What are they really asking? The second question is easy...Sports Illustrated. The third answer is slightly embarrassing. I have worked on two swimsuit issues. For one I shot Laird Hamilton, the famous big wave charger. The second time I shot Kelly Slater, the nine time world champion of surfing. So, yeah, I've worked the swimsuit issue....But both times I shot, um, guys. At least Kelly was teaching a swimsuit model (female) how to surf. If I hang around long enogh the fourth question is always about gear. Even if the questioner doesn't know the difference between a millimeter and an f-stop I am happy to go into some "techography" with them.

All of my field gear is Nikon. At everything I shoot I bring a few Nikon D3 bodies, a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8, a Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 and a 14-24mm f2.8. At sporting events I will include the Nikon 400m f2.8, Nikon 600mm f4, maybe a fast Nikon fisheye, a couple of Nikon SB900 strobes and the Nikon right angle finder. If I need a lighter "grab" camera I'll include a Nikon D300 or Nikon D700.

Why Nikon? The gear can take the work. The files are superior to anything out there. The quality, even in low light, is flat out superior. One of my editors once told me the Nikon files shot in low light looked better than "the other guys'" files shoot during the day! 'Nuff said. The glass is second to none as well. The color is true, the contrast crisp and the sharpness, well, sharp. Because it either is or isn't. I need it to be "is."

When on the golf course I keep a set of Aquatech raincovers nearby. They have kept my gear dry in wet weather for about fifteen years now.

I pack most of my stuff around the fields of play in Lowepro bags and backpacks. They are sturdy and last forever. I've got them in a size to fit every job and travel space from roll aboards to backpacks to computer bags. I also make frequent use of their lens pouches when shipping gear.

When gear is shipped via cargo it is always packed safely in Versaflex cases. Large lens cases can carry a ton of gear and get it there and back in one piece.

All computer work is done on a Mac. I tote a 17" MacBook Pro on the road and run a dual core Mac Pro tower at the home office. Images are viewed on the Apple 30" Cinema Display.

Lighting info to come soon.