Design Journal 15:
This image is one of the most iconic images in Philadelphia sports history as Carlos Ruiz and Brad Lidge celebrate after clinching the 2008 World Series in 5 Games. The image was captured at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia where the clinching game was played from a camera well next to the Phillies dugout on the first base side of the field. As I mentioned earlier this image has become one of the most iconic photos in Philadelphia sports history as it captures the raw emotion of players, and fans in the background, associated with breaking the Phillies nearly 30 year World Series drought. From a cultural perspective, sports are huge in Philadelphia as all of the major four sports receive huge support from the people in and around the city, which made winning a World Series culturally significant. Personally I am a fan of all Philadelphia sports but especially the Phillies since I am a big baseball fan, which makes this photo all the more important to me.
The actual dynamic of the photo is fairly straightforward. The flow of the picture moves from left to right as the eye is inclined to follow Carlos Ruiz into Lidge’s outstretched arms. Ruiz and Lidge share the focal point of the image as they are the only two clearly distinguishable people in the photo. There is another Phillies player charging in to join the celebration in the background as well as several rows of fans in the outfield bleachers rejoicing which only adds to the overall feeling of euphoria going on in the photo. The two players going in for the embrace is obviously the most striking feature of the photo as it is the focal point, however the fan celebration going on in the background shows why the image is culturally significant given the reaction that thousands of other fans not pictured were having at the same time across the Philadelphia region. In this photo analysis I will look to highlight how although the main focal point is Ruiz and Lidge celebration, but also look into how the background of the image shows the importance of the event to so many people.
The lighting for this photo comes from the massive stadium lighting structures that project down onto the playing field, which creates strong lighting for most of the photo. The lighting becomes slightly darker in the background of the photo where the fans are seen since the stadium lights do not focus on the stands. When it comes to the gaze of the subjects in this photo, no one is focused on looking at the camera. The shot is a candid, reactionary photo to the team winning the World Series as Lidge looks to the heavens, Ruiz is looking at Lidge to embrace him, and no one in the background is aware that a photo is being taken. Cropping is key in this photo as the image is cropped so that Lidge and Ruiz are the focal points, clearly highlighting their celebration, but as I mentioned earlier the fans reaction in the background is just as significant. Including the fans celebrating in the background not only shows the cultural importance of the Phillies winning but it also helps frame Ruiz and Lidge’s celebration. If the background of the image was cropped out, the happiness of the moment would still be captured but not nearly to the extent that keeping the fans in creates.