‘Legends Behind the Lens’ Honors Sports Photographer George Tiedemann

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MELVILLE, N.Y., July 1 /PRNewswire/ — For some photographers, inspiration comes from the most unlikely places. For distinguished sports photographer George Tiedemann, his life was shaped by sports before he ever thought about photographing them. His inspiration came from his four years in the Marine Corps.

This July, NikonNet’s inspiring monthly, “Legends Behind the Lens,” honors the work of esteemed sports photographer George Tiedemann, a man who has not only contributed so much to the sports world, but served our country as well.

“NikonNet is pleased to honor the images and extraordinary career of George Tiedemann in this July’s ‘Legends Behind the Lens,’” said Tracy Mack-Jackson, Senior Manager of Internet Development and Programs at Nikon Inc.  “His eye for photography and creative approach have led to outstanding contributions in the world of sports, particularly NASCAR.”

Tiedemann, began playing sports as a young man, but really gained a love for competition when he joined the Marines in 1964. While serving a year in Vietnam, he carried a camera to take pictures of everything except combat, and eventually the idea for a career in photography was born. “While I was in Vietnam I decided that I didn’t want to do something the rest of my life that I didn’t like,” Tiedemann said. “I made up my mind to do what I enjoyed.”

After serving his country for four years, Tiedemann began working at the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey. It took an emotional toll on Tiedemann after becoming attached to many of his subjects, particularly when he was photographing a girl who was suffering from a brain tumor. He was apprehensive about taking on the assignment because the doctors gave her a thousand-to-one chance of surviving. Fortunately, the girl survived, but left Tiedemann questioning his emotional attachment to assignments.

There was an obvious attraction to sports for Tiedemann. After freelancing for many years for the NFL, Tiedemann ended up at Sports Illustrated as a staff photographer and stayed on board for 20 years. He called himself a “utility infielder,” because he had the ability to cover anything and everything, from outrigger canoe races to the Little League World Series. If he had to photograph an event that he was unfamiliar with, Tiedemann would do research and show up early to ask plenty of questions. His diligence and dedication paid off—in addition to Sports Illustrated, his work has also appeared in Time, Newsweek, Life and People.

Gradually, Tiedemann began to specifically photograph motor sports, especially NASCAR events. He found being a specialist was not only financially rewarding but emotionally rewarding as well. Tiedemann began to build camaraderie with the other specialists and NASCAR related individuals. After many years, Tiedemann published Trading Paint: Dale Earnhardt vs. Jeff Gordon, Classic Photos from a Classic Rivalry in 2001, which followed a decade-long battle of NASCAR’s two most well-known drivers.

Tiedemann’s work ethic is unique. He is extremely focused on the task at hand. “I’m not a goal setter. My mindset is, take care of today, tomorrow will take care of itself,” he says. Sometimes I think that people who are focused on where they want to be forget about where they are. For me, the most important job is the job I’m doing right now, not the one coming up.”

Whatever the future holds for Tiedemann, his legacy in sports photography will live on. He has been an inspiration to sports photographers in every field and Tiedemann will always be a Legend Behind the Lens. To learn more about Tiedemann, log onto NikonNet’s “Legends Behind the Lens” series at http://www.nikonnet.com .

About “Legends Behind the Lens”:

NikonNet’s “Legends Behind the Lens” series aims to educate users and, in turn, breathe excitement into photography. Nikon has assembled a comprehensive and intriguing collection of artists to share their most incredible, challenging, emotional and exciting experiences on NikonNet.

This inspiring monthly program offers a behind-the-scenes look into the personalities and philosophies behind the world’s greatest and most famous photographers. “Legends Behind the Lens” also offers portfolio galleries as well as tips and tricks of the trade from featured professionals.

Past “Legends” in the series include Kevin Gilbert, Nancy Brown, Joe Buissink, Steven Weinberg, B. Moose Peterson, Eddie Adams, Jay Maisel and Howard Bingham.

About Nikon:

Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc.  distributes the Nikon Total Imaging System of consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, Nikkor optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon Coolpix® compact digital cameras; Coolscan® digital film scanners; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics. At the heart of every Nikon camera is Nikon’s Exclusive Feature System, making it easy for anyone to take amazing digital pictures. Through the Nikon Spirit Initiative™, the company plays an active role in supporting aspiring and advanced photographers through a variety of philanthropic organizations, educational programs, events and workshops. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit http://www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers to the web’s most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities.

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