Polo Blackshirts

By: Gustav Hoiland

Aug 29 2010

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Category: bike polo

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Focal Length:18mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80

Bench Minor Revisited

The panic is over. I was searching through my archives for photos from this polo tournament (Bench Minor in NYC) and just. couldn’t. find’em. Not on my computer. Not on my backup drives. Not on my alternate backup drives… thankfully a trusty last ditch effort using a search function turned up the precious folder. And yes, reorganizing my bulging archive is one of my current projects.

The files are stored on mirrored terabyte drives – one stays in my apartment, the other hidden in my car. Sure it protects my legacy in the event that one of the locations becomes unexpectedly engulfed in hellish flames or otherwise ceases to exist in any recognizable form, but mostly I just feel like a badass ferrying around vital documents on hard drives in unassuming shoeboxes.

So this photo shows the entirety of the black shirted team at the tournament, whose captain (fourth from right), is Boston’s own Jav. He managed to get most of the rest of the Boston crew onto his roster as well as some of the finest players in the nation (man left’s 3-man team just won the world championship in Berlin).

Suffice to say I really like it. To me I see what is usually a boring staged photo (think the posed wedding shots with the different permutations of family members) that escapes the treachery of fake smiles and other stifling miseries. There’s a warm genuineness to this.

Also the structure in the composition is perhaps nontraditional and all things wonderful. There’s this parabola in the heads as well as below in the feet to a lesser extent. And the heads themselves are all of these light fleshy circles above thick black masses of cloth. The buildings in the background scream Lower East Side, the brick wall behind identifies the location as The Pit, and there’s some mallets and polo bikes around to further set the stage. Also I was crouched way down so everyone’s looking at me from above which I find … interesting.

Enough! All is well.

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