Photo: Sports Photography - Mike Powell
He's photographed the London 2012 Olympics as well as a number of sports editorials. His level of photography is remarkable.
Powell is able to capture a serene moment in the photo above. In the foreground we see the winner of the Silver medal from Kenya, and blurred behind her is the Gold medal winner from Ethiopa. The aperture was well chosen because the subject is completely in focus with a shutter speed slow enough to give her a soft focus. The shallow depth-of-field from the aperture is also very important in this shot. It blurs the other contestant in the background but not too much to the point that she can't be seen.
The shot above is very well exposed and composed. Using ample foreground, middle-ground, and background in the shot with a deep depth-of field helps provide the shot with a context of scene. The shot is exposed in a dramatic way, the scene looks tempestuous and that's definitely something that Powell did intentionally. One of the most important components of the shot is the placement of the runner. First of all he's in a perfect stance to show his stride with legs far apart as he's landing. Secondly, he is placed towards the edge of the frame. What this does is creates a sense of the fact that the man is leaving the frame, and that he has already traveled a great distance in this vast landscape.
Being an editorial photograph, incredible lighting is a requisite. If you look closely you can see that a flash setup was used above the runner pointing down on him. the shadows on his body and bellow him are the evidence. This main light is what's often called the "key-light". Aside from the key-light in this shot there's also what is called a "fill-light" hitting the runner from in front. If you look at his shoulder you can see the reflection from the fill-light as well as softer shadows moving backwards of the direction in which he is running. The composition of this shot puts the runner at the edge of the frame running into to rest of the frame to emphasize his speed in this. Putting him at the "beginning" of the frame gives the shot more of a dynamic feeling to it as one should have at the starting line of a race.
For more from Mike Powell click here.