Keeping up a feature I began last year during the first year of my blog I once again bring you the best images of my 2009. First up on tap is my favorite celebration images of the year.

Last year I shot the Beijing Olympics so I had a ton more celebration shots than I had this year but nevertheless I present to you my favorite celebrations photos.

The year began in Pasadena, CA for the Rose Bowl where awesome light plus a happy Mark Sanchez led to a few good celebration shots, below.


Nikon D3, 400mm, 320iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Aperture Priority


Nikon D3, 400mm, 320iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Aperture Priority

Following the Trojans victory over Penn State I found Trojans linebacker Rey Maualuga (below) celebrating towards the fans as confetti fell.


Nikon D300, 14-24mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

To see the full blog containing many other photos from the Rose Bowl game click here.

A few days later I would be back in Phoenix to shoot as Colt McCoy (below) would run the ball into the endzone for a touchdown in the Longhorns victory over Ohio State.


Nikon D3, 400mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

To see the full blog from the Fiesta Bowl click here.

At the end of January I found myself in Las Vegas covering my first UFC fight. While it was by far the hardest and most frustrating sport I have ever shot it ultimately provided me with some really cool celebration shots.

Below, Clay Guida celebrates following the match against Nate Diaz during the lightweight bout in UFC 94 at the Grand Garden Arena at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.


Nikon D3, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Following the last fight of the night, Georges St-Pierre celebrates (below) after defeating BJ Penn in a fourth round TKO during the welterweight title bout.


Nikon D3, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual

To see more from UFC 94 in Las Vegas click here.

In what is the first of many NASCAR celebration photos from the year, I really liked the below shot of Kyle Busch grabbing the checkered flag following his victory in the truck series race in Fontana, CA. The shot has everything you could ask for, checkered flag, driver, finish line and a spectacular snow covered mountain background.


Nikon D3, 24-70mm, 640iso, f5.6, 1/3200th, Aperture Priority

To see more from NASCAR in Fontana click here.

At the beginning of the MLB season the Arizona Diamondbacks were off to a good start and looking to be a good team. Of course they fell apart a short while later but I still got a unique angle of the team celebrating (below) from the roof several stories above the field following a walk off hit in extra innings.


Nikon D3, 300mm, 2500iso, f4, 1/640th, Aperture Priority

That game was an awesome game for me that got me one of my favorite images of the season. Click here to see the rest from the shoot.

Back in Las Vegas I was at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to shoot NHRA in action. Continuing what has been a completely dominating decade was Tony Schumacher (below) who won the race and celebrated with US Army soldiers as he climbed from his car.


Nikon D3, 24-70mm, 100iso, f9, 1/250th, Manual

To see the rest of the action in my blog from the NHRA race in Vegas click here.

Back in Phoenix a week later Mark Martin celebrated (below) after his first victory in a few years. While Martin is not known for putting on good celebrations he did show some genuine happiness in victory lane.


Nikon D3, 80-200mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/250th, Manual

To see more from NASCAR under the lights in Phoenix check out the blog.

Across the country to Richmond, VA where Kyle Busch had a total domination of the race weekend by winning the Nationwide Race and the Cup Race.

Below, I was lined up perfectly behind Busch’s crew as they stood on the wall celebrating his Nationwide win with him holding the checkered flag and pointing back towards them. (This is one of my favorite celebration shots ever)


Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual

The next evening, after winning the Cup race, Busch jumped backwards off the car into the arms of his crew members, below.


Nikon D3, 80-200mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/250th, Manual

Lets move on to the biggest race on Earth, the Indianapolis 500 where feel good story Helio Castroneves put all his recent legal troubles in the rearview mirror and dominated the race to win his third career Indy 500.

As only Helio can do, he climbed the catch fence with his crew (below) and celebrated Spiderman style.


Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 640iso, f4.5, 1/1600th, Manual

Once he made it into voctory lane (several minutes later) Castroneves took a ice cold milk bath, below.


Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 640iso, f5, 1/1600th, Manual

After dumping milk on his head he flung the bottle forward as he yelled towards the photographers, by awesomely dumb luck I got two big globs of flying milk covering his eyes like some bad photoshop fake. Fortunately it was real and made for a cool moment.


Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 640iso, f5, 1/1600th, Manual

Click here to see all the fun and excitement of my Indy 500 photo blog.

Over to the bay area where an excited Kasey Kahne celebrated on his car after winning his first career road course race, below. By being low on the ground I was able to shoot up at him and get a great blue background which was made better from all the Budweiser beer his crew members were spraying at him.


Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 320iso, f4, 1/320th, Aperture Priority

Click here for the blog from the race.

On to the other road course that the Sprint Cup Series races on in Watkins Glen, NY where a happy Tony Stewart (below) ran from a crew member spraying him with champagne following his win.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 320iso, f6.3, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

To see everything from a gorgeous weekend in New York click here.

Fast forward a few weeks to Seattle, WA where I found myself shooting the LSU Tigers as they took on the Washington Huskies during the opening weekend of the NCAA Football season.

Below, LSU Tigers wide receiver Terrance Toliver celebrated as he ran into the endzone to score a third quarter touchdown.


Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Click here to see everything from the game.

Lets move on to Kansas City, KS where Joey Logano gave one hell of a burnout following his victory in a Nationwide race, below. The late afternoon light did wonders to make a typical burnout shot look awesome.


Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 200iso, f5, 1/5000th, Aperture Priority

To see everything from the weekend in Kansas click here.

A few days later I found myself in Utah to shoot the Seminoles of Florida State as they took on the BYU Cougars at the prettiest stadium I have ever been to.

After Florida States surprising victory, Seminoles linebacker Dekota Watson headed back to the locker room where he went through a gauntlet of fans eager to congratulate him, below.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/250th, Aperture Priority

Click here to see everything from the game.

2009 marked the inaugural season of the upstart United Football League (UFL). Following the first game in league history it was Las Vegas Locomotives head coach Jim Fassel getting a celebratory Gatorade bath by his players, below.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

To see all the action from the game be sure to click here.

As the NASCAR playoffs, also known as “The Chase” hit the midway mark it would be Jimmie Johnson who would begin to pull away from the competition so now is where the blog gets rather heavy on the Jimmie Johnson celebration photos so consider yourself warned.

Following his victory in the Cup Series race in Fontana, CA,  Jimmie Johnson took a big drink from the bottle of champagne, below.


Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 400iso, f5, 1/1600th, Manual

To see the rest of my images from Fontana click here.

In Charlotte, NC after winning the race Johnson would take a high speed victory slide (below) through the soft and muddy infield grass. Click here to see more from Charlotte.


Nikon D700, 600mm, 6400iso, f4, 1/400th, Manual

We would get a momentary reprieve from the Jimmie Johnson show as Kurt Busch would win the race in Fort Worth, TX.

Below, Busch celebrates with a bottle of champagne in Victory Lane. Click here to see more from the Texas weekend.


Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 1250iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

At my home track in Phoenix it would once again be Jimmie Johnson who dominated the race. After winning he celebrated with a giant burnout (below) that produced a great looking backlit shot as the cloud of smoke dwarfed his crew members on the left.


Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 100iso, f6.3, 1/1600th, Aperture Priority

In victory lane I got the below photo with my wide angle camera as confetti filled the air with Johnson celebrating on his car.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 100iso, f4, 1/1600th, Manual

To see the rest of a great weekend of shooting in Phoenix click here.

Over to Miami for the last race of the season.

Below, Kyle Busch celebrates after winning the Nationwide Series championship…..his first career NASCAR championship.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

But the big winner of the weekend and the year was Jimmie Johnson.

Below, Johnson holds four fingers in the air to signify four consecutive championships.


Nikon D700, 400mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual


Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 1000iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

To see everything from the weekend in Miami click here.

With NASCAR done it was back to football!

Below, after the Las Vegas Locomotives won the first UFL Championship game, head coach Jim Fassel was carried off the field by his players.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1000iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

In the locker room Locomotives defensive back Isaiah Trufant (below) celebrated with teammates as he videotaped himself holding the game ball.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/200th, Manual

Click here for the UFL championship game blog.

A few miles from my house in Tempe, AZ was the rivalry game between Arizona and Arizona State where I shot the below photo of Wildcats cornerback (2) Mike Turner celebrates after recovering a muffed punt in the fourth quarter.


Nikon D700, 400mm, 2500iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Following the game, Wildcats head coach Mike Stoops celebrated with his arms in the air as he walked off the field.


Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Click here to see my blog from the game.

Posted in ASU, Baseball, California, Diamondbacks, Drag Racing, Florida, Football, Indy Cars, IRL, Kansas, Las Vegas, MLB, NASCAR, NCAA, New York, NHRA, P.I.R., Racing, San Francisco, Sports, Texas, UFC, UFL   | 5 Comments

5 responses to “Best of 2009: Best Celebration Photos”

  1. Mike Ellis says:

    Great pictures. Very impressive stuff.

  2. Pille says:

    I absolutely love the first two football shots – amazing light! Doesn’t get any better than this. Another favorite is the Jimmie Johnson burnout pic; beautiful combo of the car, backlit smoke and team members. And the Castroneves milk shot always makes me laugh 🙂

  3. Frederic says:

    Nice collection of celebration shots from 2009.
    I like Jimmie Johnson backlit burnout picture.

    Looking forward to seeing your next “best of” post

  4. […] See the Mark Rebilas celebration photos here. […]

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