Since retiring in 2007 from a 27-year career in software engineering (and 16 years in fire research meteorology), I've covered sports photography primarily for Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles -- basketball, track-and-field, baseball, football, volleyball, tennis, boxing, water polo, community activities, and just plain hanging-out. There are more than 60,000 publicly-visible photos covering more than 500 "sets" -- album groupings for games, matches, practices, and other public events.
I own the domain "shawdog.com", and it automatically forwards to these Flickr pages, whose purpose is to provide, at no cost, pictures of as many Crenshaw athletes as possible, for themselves, their fans, their families and friends, and -- of course -- college recruiters. 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 occasionally also cover other events where Crenshaw is not involved, such as City 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 Wall Street Journal, and ESPN Magazine.
A Note on Name Tagging: Most pix are tagged with the names of the Crenshaw athletes -- and occasionally those from other schools whose names I know -- but 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 (roughly) from left to right. The reason for tagging is to facilitate searching for a particular person. 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,
The website's popularity has been a complete surprise to me. It was begun on December 7, 2006, and, as of November 22, 2015 -- a span of just under 9 years -- it has had more than 12,800,000 hits! There are typically more than 10,000 and occasionally as many as 40,000 hits in a single day.
These images are Copyright © 2002-2015 Robert S. Helfman. All Rights Reserved.
They May Be Downloaded Without Charge For Non-Commercial Use Only and then Only With Attribution.
In legal terms that means I want credit. And since I'm not making money on these pix, I don't think it's fair if somebody else makes money on them either!
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. Please note that when I encounter violations of this rule, I 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 Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
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:
Please note: All the seasonal sports pix on this site will remain here until at least the beginning of the next year's respective season, when all the individual sets for that sport for that season may sometimes be combined into a single season archive. So if you want to save any of the pix, please download them while you have the opportunity!
For additional info on downloading images, see:
All my images are uploaded deliberately restricted to a maximum of approximately 2048 pixels on the long side, which will give adequate resolution for 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).
Images with filenames like DxxxxxxA were taken with a 21 megapixel Canon 5D Mark II or Mark III. Those with filenames like VxxxxxxA were taken with a 10.1 megapixel Vivitar X30 "elbow camera". Those with filenames like SxxxxxxA were taken with a 3.1 megapixel Swann Freestyle HD Sport cam-corder. Those with filenames like MxxxxxxA were taken with an 8 megapixel Motorola RAZR MAXX HD cellphone.
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. 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 am starting to make two versions 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 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 been 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!"
Back to the shawdog.com main page:
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- Rob "Shawdog" Helfman
- December 2006
- Los Angeles, California
- Los Angeles, California, USA
- I am:
- Male and Open
- Software Engineer. Embedded Systems. Retired.