From the 60th NCAA® Final Four®

April 6, 2015

Tonight is when March Madness comes to an end as either Wisconsin or Duke will end up on top in the final Championship game. And Rich Clarkson will be there at the corner of the sidelines one last time photographing just as he did the 59 times before at the Final Four. And although, his Final Four seat will be filled next year with another photojournalist his work still continues as he still runs Clarkson Creative. His contributions still find its way in large-scale projects including book publishing, exhibition projects, as well as supporting the creative staff beneath him. In addition, the staff is heavily involved in commercial photography, video production and photography education.

Take a look at some of the pictures below at his journey through the 2015 Indianapolis Final Four where we was honored by the Basketball Writers’ Association (USBWA) for a Lifetime Achievement Award as well as honored at the Final Four games this past Saturday.


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Clarkson continuously honored on Final Four lead-up

April 2, 2015

(Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

(Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

If you haven’t heard the story yet, you may be living underneath a rock. The buildup of March Madness will reach its apex this weekend as the Final Four teams compete for the NCAA Championship title that will be played on Monday. And the man who will be sitting on the floorboards, just as he has for 59 other Final Fours, will be photographing the game for his final team.

You heard it right! Rich Clarkson has photographed more NCAA Final Fours than anyone in history as he will leave his mark at an impressive 60 years. Over the years, he has grown the coverage that formed from Sports Illustrated into his own company, Clarkson Creative. Clarkson Creative does business as NCAA Photos and has been covering all of the collegiate championships since Fall of 1994.

To give you more insight into his story, I will leave that to the professionals. The stories below are written by those that are inspired by his story of photojournalism and the legacy he has left for the entire industry that we have today. Once you meet the legendary Rich Clarkson, he can’t help but share with you some amazing stories from all his years in the biz — these following stories captured just a few…

His work will continue outside of the NCAA Final Four with his founding company, Clarkson Creative, that run and manage clients with a variety of inventive work.

Google Tour

March 20, 2015

Take a look at our all-new Google Virtual Tour of our Platte Street office. It will give a little more insight into what we do at Clarkson Creative and there may also be a few surprises in store for you to find. Have fun!

NCAA Feature: Photo Finish

March 11, 2015

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Rich Clarkson buries his hands in one of those boxes, sifting through the hundreds of photographs inside, searching for memories. He could reach into any one of these boxes and pull out a spellbinding shot: politicians, auto accidents, carnage from a tornado.
He draws out a photo of Stan Musial, close to retirement, hunched over and alone on the St. Louis Cardinals bench.

Next, he draws out a sequence of photos from the 1972 Munich Olympics: A Russian basketball player holding his arms up triumphantly, followed by three American players. One looks like his stomach is trying to wring out its contents. Another is angry. The last looks to be in deep shock. The U.S. had just lost the Olympic gold-medal game, in controversial style, to the Russians.

They’re the types of images for which Clarkson is best remembered – moments that reflect a deeper humanity that influenced the way people look at sports. Clarkson focused not just on the action, but also on the defining moments that came before the big games and after the big shots. He developed a signature low-angle style shot from a camera placed just off the baseline and pioneered the mounting of cameras behind backboards and above locker rooms to capture unique perspectives.

College sports was his preferred canvas for capturing those innovative illustrations of significant moments. It took him to dozens of Final Fours, where he captured some of the most memorable and reproduced images from the tournament: University of Kansas basketball coach Phog Allen giving his Jayhawks a pep talk at halftime; UCLA center Lew Alcindor pulling down a rebound over the University of Houston’s Elvin Hayes; North Carolina State University coach Jim Valvano, dazed from a historic upset of Houston, being hoisted onto the shoulders of his players and fans.

Read more of the visually stunning article at NCAA Champion Magazine.

Clarkson named Basketball Hall of Fame recipient

February 13, 2015

We want to honor our founder, Rich Clarkson, who was named the next recipient of the Basketball Hame of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award, alongside Woody Durham.

The prestigious award is presented to members of the print and electronic media whose longtime efforts have made a significant contribution to the game of basketball.

Congrats Rich and we wish him a great journey into his 60th Final Four!

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#YoureMyBoyLew

February 11, 2015

We have been the Colorado Rockies team photographers from the beginning of the franchise and have photographed many Fantasy Camps. For those that don’t know what Fantasy Camp is, allow us to explain. For five days, Rockies fans get treated like professional ball players at the Rockies spring training facility in Scottsdale, AZ. They get equipped with the latest Rockies apparel, uniforms, and equipment and get to use major league facilities.
This year was a special year because an 88-year-old camper named Lew Dunlap graced the fields of Salt River Fields. Here are a few pictures that attempt to capture his love for the game. Thank you Lew!

Here is also the video that got Lew some national attention for his passionate playing!

— MLB (@MLB) February 11, 2015

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Coaching legend dies at age 83

February 9, 2015

Clarkson Creative founder, Rich Clarkson, has photographed thousands of legends in the sports industry. But none quite match up to that of coaching giant, Dean Smith — a college basketball player at University of Kansas and later coaching a dynasty at North Carolina.

For Clarkson, the introduction to Dean Smith goes back in time to the college days in Lawrence, Kansas. Rich was the up-and-coming sports photojournalist beginning to gain insider access into the Jayhawks basketball team led by the venerable Forrest “Phog” Allen and travelled with the team on the road. The team enjoyed having Rich there to document their story and he even stayed with the team, often rooming with the 12th player on the Kansas team: Dean Smith.

From there, Rich, Dean, and the rest of the team all grew with time towards the 1952 National Championship where Kansas defeated St. John’s 80-63 for the title. Dean Smith was a Junior that year.

Rich continued his success freelancing for Sports Illustrated with his success in covering Kansas athletics with the greats of Wilt Chamberlain, “Phog” Allen, and, yes, Mr. Smith. After graduating college, Dean stayed on as an assistant coach for Kansas before making his way to Air Force — but there, was a head coach for baseball and golf teams. He finally got a big break when in 1958, North Carolina basketball head coach, Frank McGuire, asked for him to come on board as an assistant coach.

And then after becoming head coach for the team in 1961, it took him seven trips to the Final Four before he would win the National Championship in 1982 with future NBA players of James Worthy, Sam Perkins, and #23 Michael Jordan. In fact, when Rich photographed the Tarheels that season for being No. 1 with a record of 32-2 to end out the season, you will see Mr. Smith working on a mocked whiteboard play with 4 players standing behind him. The fifth player was a Freshman and Dean refused for him to being in the photo shoot to follow strict team rules he set in place. That fifth player? You guessed it, Michael Jordan.

Clarkson and Smith re-united many times over the years running in the same sports circles and Rich continued his streak of photographing more Final Fours than anyone in history. (Currently, Rich will be photographing his 60th Final Four this April in Indianapolis, IN.) But in 1983, Rich photographed him once again cutting down the nets after a National Championship win over Michigan 77-71.

Dean Smith will be remembered forever in the industry as an elite coach that was one of the best teachers of the game and strong advocate for social justice. Rich and the Clarkson crew give our condolences to the family. In addition to wife Linnea, Smith is survived by daughters Sandy, Sharon, Kristen and Kelly; son Scott; seven grandchildren and one great-grandaughter.

To get a better look at Rich’s historic sports portfolio, take a look here.

 

The first time North Carolina coach Dean Smith appeared in the NCAA Final Four, it was as player and member of the 1952 Kansas University team that won the National Championship that year. Here, Smith chases a loose ball in the semi-final game with Santa Clara won by Kansas 74-55. Rich Clarkson

The first time North Carolina coach Dean Smith appeared in the NCAA Final Four, it was as player and member of the 1952 Kansas University team that won the National Championship that year. Here, Smith chases a loose ball in the semi-final game with Santa Clara won by Kansas 74-55. Rich Clarkson

26 APR 1952:  University of Kansas coach Dr. Forrest "Phog" Allen gives his final instructions to his team before playing and winning the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four held in Seattle, WA at the Edmundson Pavilion. Kansas defeated St. John's 80-63 for the title. Future North Carloina coach Dean Smith (facing camera) was a junior at Kansas. Photo: © Rich Clarkson / NCAA Photos

26 APR 1952: University of Kansas coach Dr. Forrest “Phog” Allen gives his final instructions to his team before playing and winning the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four held in Seattle, WA at the Edmundson Pavilion. Kansas defeated St. John’s 80-63 for the title. Future North Carloina coach Dean Smith (facing camera) was a junior at Kansas. Photo: © Rich Clarkson / NCAA Photos

5 APR 1993:  University of North Carolina head coach Dean Smith cuts the last loop of the net after his team defeated Michigan 77-71 earning North Carolina the championship title at the Superdome in New Orleans, LA. Rich Clarkson/NCAA Photos

5 APR 1993: University of North Carolina head coach Dean Smith cuts the last loop of the net after his team defeated Michigan 77-71 earning North Carolina the championship title at the Superdome in New Orleans, LA. Rich Clarkson/NCAA Photos

1952:  Dean Smith of Kansas in action Photo: © Rich Clarkson / NCAA Photos

1952: Dean Smith of Kansas in action
Photo: © Rich Clarkson / NCAA Photos

Date: 11/30/1981 Subject: Dean Smith, North Carolina Players Team: North Carolina Basketball Sport: Basketball Author: Curry Kirkpatrick, Jack Mccallum, Wolff, Kennedy, Jackson Volume: 55 Issue: 23 Year: 1981

Date: 11/30/1981
Subject: Dean Smith, North Carolina Players
Team: North Carolina Basketball
Sport: Basketball
Author: Curry Kirkpatrick, Jack Mccallum, Wolff, Kennedy, Jackson
Volume: 55
Issue: 23
Year: 1981

 

New MLB Rockies Photos Blog

November 6, 2014

With the all-new ‘What’s on Deck?’ photo blog, we bring you the insider look into the Colorado Rockies Baseball Team like never before.

Our most recent post features the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Winners — Nolan Arenado (3B) and DJ LeMahieu (2B). Look for more throughout the season to see what happens on and off the field with the Rockies.

http://rockiesphotos.mlblogs.com/

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Company Rebrand wins 2014 ADCD award

October 7, 2014

ADCD Brand

Cinearc Creative Agency was awarded a 2014 Art Directors Club of Denver Award for Design — Brand Development on the rebranding of Clarkson Creative last year.

Charles Hellwig and their designers took the lead on overall brand design, logo, website, and further marketing promotion. Throughout the process, the team at Clarkson Creative was able to use our history and creative thoughts to inspire the overall direction of the rebranding.

From the initial layout, our staff was then able to create our own business cards, shoot all necessary production photos, and build our portfolio so that it all matched the overarching new brand design.

Congrats to Cinearc on this high honor!

Super Bowl inspired Street Art

January 31, 2014

Throughout the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII a 20-foot tall mural of Denver Broncos’ Quarterback Peyton Manning was painted. Using nothing but ladders and spray paint, muralist Gamma Acosta of Gamma Gallery, transformed a barren brick wall into one of the most popular sights in the Lower Highland neighborhood of Denver. Clarkson Creative had a unique vantage point of the three-day project.

Peyton Manning Mural Timelapse from Clarkson Creative on Vimeo.