In a reoccurring series The Darkroom takes a look back at some of the talented photojournalists who have helped shape the pages of The Baltimore Sun. One such photographer was Weyman Swagger.
As my time at The Baltimore Sun comes to a close, I was asked to encapsulate the 30 years (half my life) in a few paragraphs – which is impossible. If added together, I’ve spent years at a variety of stadiums, arenas and gyms around the country, with an up-close view of sports history. I’ve covered World Series, Super Bowls, Final Fours, Stanley Cup Finals, etc., and I’ve been paid to be there — what a job! My career in Baltimore lasted longer then Cal Ripken Jr.’s, and I have thousands of photos to prove it.
Given the speed of horse racing, moments at Preakness are often gone in a flash. Using rapid-fire still photography, we try to capture the pace of Baltimore’s most famous horse race — from the concert-goers bobbing to the beat in the infield to the blazing-fast horses that are gone in a second.
The scene in the Preakness Infield may have evolved over the years but it still remains “The People’s Party.”
Some were colorful. Others were bold and daring. A couple were larger than life. A few were understated. This year’s crop of hats spotted at Preakness ran the fashion spectrum.
Interviews by Sun reporter John-John Williams and photos taken by Sun photographer Lloyd Fox.
Kentucky Derby winner Orb is a heavy favorite to win the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course. If he bests the field of nine, Orb — who is co-owned by Baltimore county resident Stuart Janney III — will be one big step closer to capturing horse racing’s first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. Look through photos of Orb leading up to the Preakness.
On a clear breezy evening at Turf Valley, 21 hot air balloon crews unpacked their equipment in preparation for the annual Preakness Celebration Hot Air Balloon Festival. They attached envelopes – a bag capable of holding heated air – to the baskets and turned on fans before firing up the burners to get the colorful event underway. The festivities provided a close up look at the towering aircraft.
Whether you’re preparing for this weekend’s trek to Pimlico, or just a little web curious about its impending horseplay, you should spend some time getting to know the rich and exuberant history of Preakness. Below is a side-by-side glimpse into the evolution of Preakness to give you a little taste of what an estimated 120,000 people should be expecting.
The Darkroom recently tagged along on a Sun Magazine fashion shoot at Pimlico inspired by the spirit of the upcoming Preakness Stakes.
Wilson Hicks, former Executive Editor for Life Magazine, once wrote, “The most graphic reporting is eyewitness reporting. ‘I was there, I saw it happen, it was like this.’ In journalistic print, the firsthand account which comes closest to reproducing the actuality of an event is the picture…”
Baltimore Sun photographers were on hand to witness and photograph the highs and lows of 2012, from the resurgent Orioles making the playoffs for the first time in 15 years to the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.
The images in this gallery are a sampling of these pictures as selected by Sun Director of Photography Robert Hamilton. Some of these photographs are from significant events that shaped the lives of people; others are small moments of universal truths.