michael mullady

Editor’s note: ‘WIDE angle’ is a photo commentary by Michael Mullady

Stage four of the Amgen “Tour of California” bicycle race was in and out of town quicker than the city realized its anti-Mardi Gras forces were a waste of money.

In San Luis Obispo Thursday, the 130-mile stage ended on the fan-packed streets of Chorro and Monterey. The energy was radiant; as some fans climbed trees, others dove for Cliff bars and cycling accessories that were flying through the air.

What was most interesting to me was the amount of digital cameras that were present.

Everywhere I looked eager fans were hanging over guard rails and photojournalists from all over the state pushed their way into position to capture the finish with their cameras. At one point, I counted at least 30 people shoulder-to-shoulder all looking through a viewfinder.

From the day I picked up a camera and decided to take photojournalism seriously, I have been determined to always pursue a different vision.

Do we need to see another tight-cropped photo of a guy on a bike to get the story across? I say “No.”

Too many times today all I see are the same images, just different days, leaving me with a feeling of dejA­ vu. In an ever-growing field boasted by digital technology, finding images that are just a cliche cropped and framed is getting much harder to do.

What I witnessed as the riders flew by wasn’t static. It was movement and fluidity as flashes of color raced by in a blur.

My image tells the story of “Tour of California,” but gives the viewer the chance to enjoy a different perspective, my perspective.

What is great about this image is that it was shot with a wide-angle lens and it’s cropped into the action because I am close to the action, not because I have a 2-foot, $2,000 telephoto lens.

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