Since retiring in 2007 from a 28-year career in software engineering with The Aerospace Corporation preceded by 17 years in fire-research meteorology with the U.S. Forest Service, I've covered sports photography primarily for Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles -- basketball, track-and-field, baseball, football, volleyball, tennis, soccer, boxing, water polo, community activities, and just plain hanging-out. There are more than 117,000 publicly-visible photos covering about 900 albums of games, matches, practices, and other public events.
A NOTE ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: All California high-school sports activity was shut down -- by both City and State mandate -- because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so I have taken none of my usual coverage of the spring prep sports season since March 12, 2020. I have busied myself doing photography of ducks at the park, the deserted freeways, downtown streets, usual nightlife venues, etc. Let us hope that our roles as unpaid extras in a really bad horror movie will finally come to an end soon...
I own the domain "shawdog.com", and it automatically forwards to these Flickr pages, whose purpose is to provide, FREE, pictures of as many Crenshaw athletes as possible -- for themselves, their fans, their families and their friends. Although the emphasis is on Crenshaw, I do include athletes from other schools if I really like the shot, particularly at track meets where I have a lot of time to kill. I also cover other events where Crenshaw is not involved, such as L.A. City Section playoff games, junior college tournaments, community-interest activities, and adult basketball leagues.
My pictures have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wave Newspapers, the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Wall Street Journal, and ESPN Magazine.
A Note on Name Tagging: To facilitate searching for a particular athlete, many pix are name-tagged, including athletes from other schools whose names I know -- but usually only when they appear in ACCEPTABLE FOCUS. Usually, the initial name tagged is either the offensive ball carrier or the defensive person closest to the ball, with the other names appearing (very roughly) from left to right. When using the flickr search field, use the person's name without blanks as all-one-word. For example, marcusmartin
Always include the tag 'Crenshaw' in the search field, to prevent getting extraneous matches from other Flickr sources. For example,
Name-tagging is a very time-intensive activity, requiring looking at every frame from a game and then determining which players are there; it is often begun only after a season has ended. To speed up the work, short temporary tags (like "F18") are used as tagging work progresses. Once the season-tagging is complete, the temporary tags will be globally changed to the actual names (like "Joseph Williams"). If you see an obviously incorrect tag, please help out by contacting me with the number of the image and the correction to be made,
The website's popularity has been a complete surprise to me. It was begun on December 7, 2006, and, as of October 30, 2020, it has had more than 28,800,000 hits -- an average of more than 5700 hits per day for more than 13 years.
These images are Copyright © 2002-2020 Robert S. Helfman. All Rights Reserved.
They May Be Downloaded Without Charge For Non-Commercial Use Only and then Only With Attribution.
No "derivatives" are allowed -- you are NOT licensed to crop or perform any other alterations on the images (they must be used "AS-IS"). This provision explicitly applies to InstaGram "filters" and other similar tools. Be warned: When I encounter violations of this rule, I will make all images of the offending person "private" so that they will no longer be publicly accessible.
Do NOT copy these images and repost them as your own work, as copyright infringement action will be vigorously pursued under the terms of the 1998 Digital Millenium Copyright Act (U.S. Code 112 Stat. 2860).
If you need permission for commercial use of these images, please contact me directly. I also welcome any comments you might have on these photos or suggestions you may have about this site. Contact me by sending email to:
For additional info on downloading images on your computer, see:
Almost all of my images are uploaded deliberately restricted to a maximum of approximately 2048 pixels on the long side, which will give adequate resolution for personal-use prints up to 8x12. This has been done to reduce the incidence of image theft for commercial use. The images are usually sized for printing either 4x6 (8x12) prints or 8x10 prints. You can look at the EXIF data for any pic to determine the intended format. Pix in the 8x10 format will be (approximately) 1638x2048 pixels (1 x 1.25), whereas 8x12's will be 1365x2048 (1 x 1.5).
The vast majority of the images in my photostream were taken with Canon 5d DSLR cameras (ranging from the Mark I to the Mark IV, with filenames beginning with "D"), but a few other cameras were used, including a Canon Powershot G3 (filenames beginning with "G"), a Canon M50 mirrorless (filenames beginning with "M"), and a Vivitar X30 (filenames beginning with "V"). You can always view the EXIF data for any of my images for full details.
Very rarely, I include images taken by others, usually when I have been unable to attend an event in person and want to make pictures of Crenshaw athletes available to them, or sometimes when a photographer friend attended an event with me and had some unique photos. These have filenames like XXxxxxxA, where the first two characters are the initials of the contributing photographer.
For football (and occasionally for other sports), a "panorama" free-sizing has been used beginning with the 2011 season. These images will always have a filename in the form "DxxxxxxP".
As a concession to those who insist on posting my pictures on Instagram, I sometimes make two croppings of some pix: one that is typically formatted 8x10 or 8x12, and one that is absolutely square and intended for use on Instagram (with filenames ending in "S" or "T"). At least that way I get to do an artful crop myself -- instead of the butchery that I often see in Instagram.
Almost all images on this site are available from my archive at much higher resolution, suitable for poster-prints. Contact me via email.
The website can also be seen organized as "Collections", that is, grouped by a particular sport and season, using this URL:
Some printing services (such as EZPRINTS.COM and COSTCO.COM) allow you to preview your image and do your own cropping, so an 8x12 image can be printed full-size or cropped "artfully" to 8x10 the way you want it.
But some other printing services don't have provisions to print 8x12 -- if you send them an 8x12 image and ask for an 8x10 print they'll chop it, and I can almost guarantee you won't like what they do to it.
Although Flickr.com allows you to print any image through Snapfish, I frankly don't think much of the quality of their product. My experience is that you will do better by downloading the images yourself and sending them online to Costco or Target's printing services.
In 2006, Crenshaw alumnus MarQuis Davis turned me on to flickr.com as a way to distribute these pix, and I cannot thank him enough. "Good lookin' out, MarQuis!"
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