One Shot: Shoot For the Moon

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As a schoolboy I was captivated by the space race, and in July 1969 ,not yet in my teens,I like millions of others , was thrilled as I watched grainy black and white images on my television of the luna module from Apollo 11, carrying Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, touch down on the surface of the moon and the world heard a beep ,followed by a crackly voice declaring, “The Eagle Has Landed!’

It was an incredible moment to realise that when I looked up that night into the dark sky at the bright object which often looks like a giant smiley face looking down on us ,that human beings had finally reached this far off piece of rock that orbits our planet.

I remember my feeling of utter amazement as Neil Armstrong climbed down the landing crafts ladder and become the first person to step onto the surface of the moon and he uttered the immortal words” one small step for man but a giant leap for mankind”.

My reminisce of this historic event from days gone bye, in Darts World ,may seem irrelevant, but that magnificent moment was my inspiration for this “One Shot”

As a photographer I always try to think “out of the box” as I strive to produce something that is different, interesting and pertinent.

The  2019 World Matchplay Championship was taking place at it’s traditional venue of the beautiful Winter Gardens in Blackpool and it coincided with the 50th Anniversary of that momentous day ,which had so captured my young imagination, when “humans dared to go where no humans had been before”.

In the weeks prior to the tournament I thought endlessly of how I could combine that youthful excitement  with my now professional life  into one special image that would celebrate both events.

To accomplish this I did not want something false, something manipulated in photoshop or any other computer programme, it had to be a photograph created purely by  photographic skills. 

The answer came to me in my ultra-wide 8mm lens that makes the subject of a photo look spherical and floating in a black background.

That gave me the how ,but what about the where. After years of covering the tournament and countless hours in the iconic venue I racked my brains as the best place to capture the image ,which I  admit, had become an obsession.

There were many options around the venue, until I realised ,there was only one place to get the photo I had in my mind, and that was from above the Oche looking out towards the players and the audience.

I went around to the back of the stage and climbed ladders secured to the sections of crossed metal tubing which the set is attached to and on to the rickety scaffolding boards at the top where I finally nailed my tribute to those pioneers of space exploration and the more terrestrial stars entertaining us with my version of ‘Planet Darts” ( Or even Darts World)…..I hope you all think it was worth the effort!

WORLD MATCHPLAY 2019 WINTER GARDENS, BLACKPOOL (PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

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Lawrence Lustig is a former official photographer to the PDC – for this image he used a Canon 1dx mk2 with an 8-14mm zoom lens at 8mm on F4 at a speed of 1/320th with an iso of 3200.

Originally published in Darts World Extra 11 Summer 2023

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