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Runscott
11-13-2013, 12:18 PM
With the overuse of the word 'iconic', I thought I would try to assemble a list of truly iconic sports photos. Got me to thinking: there are a lot of photos that are iconic within our hobby, but not really iconic elsewhere. For instance, this Wagner - I would call it 'iconic', but I doubt my parents would. On the other hand, this Ruth picture would probably be considered iconic by anyone. Am I wrong? By the way, I have accumulated a list and saved the images. I'll post separately as a starting point, after getting a few thoughts from you all.

http://iconicphotos.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/babe-ruth-bows-out2-jpg.jpeg

http://cdn.rsvlts.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Honus-Wagner-95.13.jpg

Runscott
11-13-2013, 12:31 PM
Here are a few (in my opinion)

Frozen in Time
11-13-2013, 12:48 PM
Here are a few (in my opinion)

Post World War II would have to include this '51 of the Mick used for the '52 Topps card.

Craig

Runscott
11-13-2013, 12:58 PM
Definitely.

I wonder if this one would be considered 'iconic' to the general public?

Runscott
11-13-2013, 01:03 PM
...or is it this one? :confused:

Frozen in Time
11-13-2013, 01:39 PM
...or is it this one? :confused:

This one I think. Note: that's Herbie Scharfman (famous photographer for SI, Life, INS and UP) just to the left of Ali's right leg, unfortunately on the wrong side of the ring for this great shot by Neil Leifer.

Craig

perezfan
11-13-2013, 02:56 PM
How about this....

thecatspajamas
11-13-2013, 03:42 PM
Fun discussion! I've about exhausted my time to spend posting until later tonight, but for those with wide renown outside the hobby, I might also suggest:

Willie Mays "The Catch" image
http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/1104/sports-greatest-moments/images/willie-mays.jpg

Yogi Berra leaping into Don Larsen's arms following his World Series Perfect Game
http://www.achievement.org/achievers/ber0/large/ber0-012.jpg


Also, the Williams image you posted Scott was shot by Herman Seid, not the more-well-known and nearly identical Conlon shot. Seid did take this shot of Gehrig that was used as the basis for a US postage stamp in 1989 though, so perhaps it would qualify:
http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e7/7e/0a/e77e0a547d4977f148e6b57b5ad9e986.jpg
http://i.ebayimg.com/t/GEHRIG-DIMAGGIO-CLASSIC-5X7-PHOTO-SET-1-ORIGINAL-PHOTOS-PLUS-FREE-8X10-/00/s/MTE1NFgxNjAw/$(KGrHqV,!iUFB71EtbRbBQrjq(owlQ~~60_57.JPG

MooseDog
11-13-2013, 04:50 PM
A few from the hockey side…the last one may not mean much to those in the US, but for our brothers to the North it's a whole 'nother story.

MooseDog
11-13-2013, 05:02 PM
…a couple from the horse racing side…

The first is Secretariat's Belmont Stakes win, widely regarded as the greatest race an American thoroughbred has ever run. There is also a color shot from the same angle about two seconds later showing Turcotte looking backward but this is the one that ran in most papers.

The second is the 1913 Kentucky Derby which featured the famous "Fighting Finish" where both jockeys stopped riding their own horse and tried to knock each other out of the saddle.

baseball tourist
11-14-2013, 12:32 AM
http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/q612/Jays9293/5D403F9F-C151-49B7-86C0-F89CAEACD4EA-13485-0000064979A064F5_zpsc426e59d.jpg

http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/q612/Jays9293/B1647D42-A324-4248-88F2-BCE956F326EC-13485-000006497F2EF546_zps8d363d78.jpg

http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/q612/Jays9293/A0A66DAE-7984-4D23-B6D2-F4E2E532D3A7-13485-0000064984355256_zps64919795.jpg

http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/q612/Jays9293/2970A7EE-E110-4F4C-B510-94E36FD4CEC7-13485-0000064991036CA2_zpsc635e2fb.jpg

Runscott
11-14-2013, 12:49 AM
I agree that those were unforgettable moments, but not necessarily iconic photographs.

baseball tourist
11-14-2013, 01:09 AM
I agree that those were unforgettable moments, but not necessarily iconic photographs.

I see the point that you are making, and would argue that the images of the Babe seated, Ryan wailing on Ventura and a young Splinter don't qualify either. The first is a boring image dwarfed by countless other Ruth images, the Ryan is akin to the Jordan image I posted and the Ted W. shot while excellent doesn't tell the viewer anything about Ted's greatness as a hitter.

thecatspajamas
11-14-2013, 01:23 AM
Because I'm being lazy tonight, some thoughts I once took the time to type in another thread. It's okay to plagiarize yourself, right? (insert lowbrow humor here)

...another factor to consider is the notoriety of the image itself. One of the reasons that everyone, even those who are not sports enthusiasts, will recognize Conlon's photo of Cobb sliding, or Fein's photo of Babe Ruth bowing out, is that they were recognized as being top-tier images from the start and have been used and reused and reprinted and seen over and over and over, so that the original works that those countless iterations were derived from have been elevated to iconic status. They are not just images OF icons, but rather the images themselves are iconic. That kind of notoriety takes time and exposure to imprint on the general consciousness. So while I think it would certainly be possible to find a new photo that SHOULD rival the old icons in terms of the "four C's" and notoriety of the photographer, I think any newcomer would have difficulty in challenging an original iconic photo in terms of price realized at auction.

That doesn't mean that they would be "judged harshly" or go unappreciated. I just don't think it would be possible for a new image to supplant one of the "old guard" in the public consciousness so quickly, if at all. As Mike's top pick illustrates though, you don't have to have the "best"/most-well-known photo to have a darn nice one that will turn the head of anyone who encounters it and/or bring a handsome sum on the auction block.

I guess one's perception of an image as "iconic" could be subjective depending on one's level of exposure to the image, which could vary geographically, culturally, or even within certain circles of interest, depending on the individual. To me, "iconic" is equivalent to "most recognized." Based on that, a photograph would become "more iconic" the farther its general recognition reaches. (I'm thinking along the lines of baseball card collectors vs. sports enthusiasts vs. general population of the U.S. vs. worldwide recognition). I don't think that "most iconic" necessarily equates to "best" though, and I'm not sure the two should really be compared.

Another way of looking at it would be that while a photograph's visual quality (the "4 C's") is fixed from the moment the print is produced, its "iconic" status is not. Where one image went from the obscurity (literally) of a darkroom to achieve worldwide recognition over the years, an equivalent or better photograph may have been used once (or not at all), and languished unviewed in some archive without gaining comparable status. A lack of notoriety shouldn't lessen a photo's "worth" either in terms of appreciation or monetary value, but we often can't help but heap greater praise on the "iconic" photo simply because it is easily-recognized.

And I would strongly agree though that the descriptor of "iconic" is overused in auctions, along with all the other flattering terms and puffery that is all designed to get the reader to loosen their grip on their wallet and bid with fervor. It's all part of the auction (and advertising) game, and I'm sure there are examples of images that have become "iconic" simply because they were described that way over and over.

Ladder7
11-14-2013, 09:16 AM
Regionally iconic-to be.

cubsguy1969
11-14-2013, 10:29 AM
Don't know if it would be considered iconic, but I always thought this was an amazing image. Bednarik just about killed Gifford. He was out of football for a long while.

121662

Runscott
11-14-2013, 10:51 AM
I see the point that you are making, and would argue that the images of the Babe seated, Ryan wailing on Ventura and a young Splinter don't qualify either. The first is a boring image dwarfed by countless other Ruth images, the Ryan is akin to the Jordan image I posted and the Ted W. shot while excellent doesn't tell the viewer anything about Ted's greatness as a hitter.

"Ryan vs Ventura" was meant as a joke. Contrasted to all the others I posted along with it, I didn't think I would have to telegraph that dry little joke. There was also the 'color vs black and white' angle that I thought would help. Plus, many remember similar images from other angles, or the actual event. I chose that one because it is the photo he signs most often. From now on, I'll post an asterisk next to dry jokes so that I don't have to make everyone cringe with future long explanations. (By the way - I love explaining dry jokes, as I think it adds to the absurdity of the original joke).

Babe seated is boring and dwarfed by others? :eek:

Also, I think the Olympics photo you posted is probably actually iconic, even outside of our hobby.

bn2cardz
11-14-2013, 10:59 AM
"Ryan vs Ventura" was meant as a joke. Contrasted to all the others I posted along with it, I didn't think I would have to telegraph that dry little joke. There was also the 'color vs black and white' angle that I thought would help. Plus, many remember similar images from other angles, or the actual event. I chose that one because it is the photo he signs most often. From now on, I'll post an asterisk next to dry jokes so that I don't have to make everyone cringe with future long explanations. (By the way - I love explaining dry jokes, as I think it adds to the absurdity of the original joke).

Babe seated is boring and dwarfed by others? :eek:

Also, I think the Olympics photo you posted is probably actually iconic, even outside of our hobby.

FWIW, I did laugh when I saw the Ryan/Ventura photo alongside the rest and finishing up your post.

packs
11-14-2013, 11:01 AM
Sad note on that Olympic podium photo many people don't know about. The second place runner is Australian Peter Norman, who was wearing a civil rights badge and encouraged Smith and Carlos to make the symbolic gesture they did.

Australia effectively banned Norman from competition as a result of his support of Smith and Carlos, leaving him off the 1972 team. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics Australia celebrated every one of its living Olympians in a stadium ceremony with the exception of Peter Norman, who was not invited or honored at the ceremony.

Runscott
11-14-2013, 11:01 AM
I think being able to picture the photo in you head without looking at it, is also part of 'iconic'. For instance, when I think back about the 'Ali vs Liston' photos, the one that comes to mind at the moment, is the one with his arm across his chest, so obviously, that's the 'iconic' one.

With that quality of 'iconic' in mind, I can also think of Bob Beamon's long-jump and that image of Brandy Chastain on her knees with that little black bra. But I digress.

How about this one?

http://prafulla.net/wp-content/sharenreadfiles/2012/06/267237/enhanced-buzz-wide-28445-1338477359-7.jpg

Frozen in Time
11-14-2013, 11:22 AM
I think being able to picture the photo in you head without looking at it, is also part of 'iconic'. For instance, when I think back about the 'Ali vs Liston' photos, the one that comes to mind at the moment, is the one with his arm across his chest, so obviously, that's the 'iconic' one.

With that quality of 'iconic' in mind, I can also think of Bob Beamon's long-jump and that image of Brandy Chastain on her knees with that little black bra. But I digress.

How about this one?

http://prafulla.net/wp-content/sharenreadfiles/2012/06/267237/enhanced-buzz-wide-28445-1338477359-7.jpg

Well, of course, I'm gonna say yes. An award-winning 1965 photo of Mickey by Life Photographer John Dominis. How about this 1954 photo which appeared on the cover of Jane Leavy's brilliant book - an image of Mickey that shows him as we would all like to remember him - young, happy and full of the promise of greatness.

Craig

71buc
11-14-2013, 11:25 AM
How about these three?

jbhofmann
11-14-2013, 12:10 PM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--ES6QV3IWm4/TyGjP-CMs1I/AAAAAAAAAB0/VHnQFCrHo70/s760/michael-jordan-wings-door-poster-dp9002.jpg

http://ballislife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/oscar-robertson-cincinnati.jpg

http://www.orijinculture.com/community/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/tommie-smith-black-power-fist-olympics.jpg

http://i.cdn.turner.com/dr/golf/www/release/sites/default/files/imagecache/article_large_image/article_images/Hogan-P1.jpg

http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m52g4hZOQJ1r481l3o1_1280.jpg

MooseDog
11-14-2013, 01:52 PM
A lot of "iconic" photos are going to have been ones that appeared in Sports Illustrated and Life. While I agree that the Brandi Chastain shot qualifies in my book, would it be so if it were not on the cover of SI?

To me, the term "iconic photo" can mean both capturing a defining or great moment in sports or one that Runscott said, can picture in your head. It doesn't have to be a once in a lifetime action shot either…that shot of YA Tittle on his knees captures football (and losing) in one simple shot. The shot of Ali over Liston is simply one of the greatest photographs ever, let alone sports. My favorite photo of Babe Ruth is the Nickolas Muray portrait that just shows him in pinstripes with a bat over his shoulder.

With the advent of video and the ability to grab frames, I fear that in time people will not appreciate the skill and mastery of those great sports photographers who captured these images, nor the sometimes blind luck to be in the right place, at the right time.

For us collectors, I believe this photo qualifies as "iconic" maybe for all the wrong reasons :D

sayheykid54
11-14-2013, 02:01 PM
IMO this is a "Iconic" baseball photo. A classic shot.
http://imgs.inkfrog.com/pix/sayheykid1954/Ty_Cobb_Running.jpg

Frozen in Time
11-14-2013, 03:41 PM
When you think about it, we could probably keep posting on this topic for years!
Considering how vision-based our perceptions are and the often emotional response most of these images induce (each one tapping into both our own unique experiences and interests as well as more general "news worthy" aspects of the photos).

Thus far, and anticipated for members of the forum, most posted images are sports-related. I can only imagine the number if non-sport photos were included - such as these.

Craig

thecatspajamas
11-14-2013, 05:26 PM
I'm going back through some of the images posted so far, and I still find that Sawchuk photo very striking though I know and/or follow very very little hockey. I'm sure I'd seen it before, but man, is that ever an attention-grabbing image!

Here's another one that I've always loved, though again, I pay very little attention to boxing:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OS2coHua5WA/TsFlgXS7vXI/AAAAAAAABUY/VGm0ZfHP82A/s1600/tumblr_lu4l5mpfqK1qcmo9qo1_1280.jpg

I think being able to picture the photo in you head without looking at it, is also part of 'iconic'.

To me, that's it in a nutshell. When something is truly "iconic," you don't have to actually see the photo to conjure the image in your mind, and in fact, when you do see it, you tend to not pay attention to the details of the image in front of you because you "already know what it looks like." That doesn't mean you don't appreciate the photo, but rather that you've already seen it so many times that your brain kind of fills in the details automatically.

MooseDog
11-14-2013, 05:33 PM
This one…iconic???

Runscott
11-15-2013, 11:48 AM
A couple that are very familiar to boxing fans:

http://730foxsports.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/tunneylongcount5642.jpg

Runscott
11-15-2013, 11:50 AM
This one…iconic???

That one might be familiar to non-baseball people also?

I think there could be two lists: iconic to general public, iconic to baseball fans.

...and other sports-specific iconic photos, such as the horse-racing ones shown previously. Those wouldn't be iconic to me, but I don't pay attention to much involving horses.

thecatspajamas
11-15-2013, 01:29 PM
That one might be familiar to non-baseball people also?

I think there could be two lists: iconic to general public, iconic to baseball fans.

...and other sports-specific iconic photos, such as the horse-racing ones shown previously. Those wouldn't be iconic to me, but I don't pay attention to much involving horses.

Absolutely, I agree that there are different "levels" of iconic status that photos may hold, from those that are iconic within certain circles of interest, to those that have a more far-reaching/general public iconic status.

thecatspajamas
11-15-2013, 01:33 PM
More a result of successful marketing, but how about this one:

http://ballislife.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/jumpman-air-jordan-photo-shoot-card.jpg http://goodlogo.com/images/logos/air_jordan_logo_2672.gif