Staff photographer John Kuntz’s Top 10 photos of 2021

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Cleveland, Ohio-Now that 2021 is nearing its end, it’s time to look back at some of my favorite photos taken in the last 12 months.

This year, following the blockade of the 2020 pandemic, some normality and relaxation of assembly restrictions have been restored. Sports venues, concerts, city attractions and events are once again open to the public.

Sports photography is a big part of my challenge, so my choice is heavy. Below are 10 of my favorite photos of the year.

Cleveland Guardians third baseman José Ramirez fouled the ball on his cheek in the fifth inning in the first doubleheader match on June 30, 2021 at Progressive Field. John Kuntz, cleveland.com

Even if a professional camera is currently shooting 20 frames per second, there’s always that moment, either I have a unique photo or I missed it. There are many examples of missing that photo, but fortunately there was a photo of Indian 3B Jose Ramirez slamming his cheeks on the pitch and dropping him into the soil. He was fine – with a bruise on his cheek – and continued to play the game vs. Detroit Tigers on June 30th.

Jake Paul wins split decision victory over Tyron Woodley on August 29, 2021

Boxer Jake Paul (R) punches into his opponent Tyron Woodley’s jaw in the seventh round of August 29, 2021 during an eight-round cruiserweight match at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.John Kuntz, cleveland.com

Boxing is a difficult sport to take really nice pictures. It is difficult to time the punch to the face and body, so it tends to overshoot the action. This punch by Jake Paul on Tyron Woodley’s chin worked photographicly well with a sweat spray exploding from Woodley’s face. It was captured during their August 29 battle in Cleveland.

Cleveland-Metro Parks-Zoo-Introduction-Three Baby Tigers-2021

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo introduced three new baby tigers to the Roseblow Tiger Passage habitat on April 14, 2021. Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program. John Kuntz, cleveland.com

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo introduced three new baby tigers in April this year. I always enjoy taking pictures there. At first, baby tigers were a little timid to enter the new world, but like all young creatures, they quickly adapted and began exploring their habitat. The exhibits have several glass windows that give visitors a glimpse of the tigers playing. Visitors to the zoo can also see it. When I found myself crouching, I bent over and found the tiger’s low angles wrestling with each other. The tiger’s instinct must have taken over as the cub stalked me in the tall grass.

Cleveland Indians vs. Tampa Bay Rays, July 22, 2021

Indian / Guardian fans use two baseball balls as their eyes to try to distract Tampa Bay Rays batters from the field suite in the ninth inning at Progressive Field on July 22, 2021. John Kuntz, cleveland.com

I’m a Cleveland baseball fan trying to distract a batter from a field-level suite behind the home plate when a Tampa Bay Rays batter approaches the batter’s box during a match on July 22nd. I found that. He used two baseballs for his eyes and looked like a strange bug. Climb the net.

Hudson v North Royalton, October 8, 2021

North Royalton defensive back Andrew Coltan (11) discontinued a touchdown pass attempt at Hudson’s receiver Shane Killfoil at North Royalton High School on October 8, 2021.John Kuntz, cleveland.com

I thought this was one of my best sports action photos of the year. North Royalton’s defensive back Andrew Coltan came from behind Hudson’s receiver Shane Killfoil and almost intercepted the amazing touchdown pass in the game on October 8th.

Hudson v Nordnia, October 1, 2021

Mark Wilson, a Nordnian quarterback, celebrates his victory over Hudson at Hudson High School on October 1, 2021.John Kuntz, cleveland.com

On October 1, the Nordnian football team lags behind Hudson in the fourth quarter and eventually wins the match by one point. The sentiment for such a victory was heightened, and Nordnia quarterback Mark Wilson showed it. A nice festive photo covering a sporting event is icing on a cake for me.

Archbishop Hoban vs STVM, February 2, 2021, Men's Basketball

STVM’s Dalen Burney (C) will be competing for loose balls with Hoban’s Thomas Crowe (L) and Jonas Nichols (R) at STVM High School on late February 2, 2021. John Kuntz, cleveland.com

This February photo had something I was curious about when choosing my favorites. I really liked the composition and juxtaposition of STVM basketball player Dalen Burney, who jumped into the floor to secure loose basketball.

2021 Asian Lantern Festival returns to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Visitors will step into the giant live kaleidoscope of the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo during the Asian Lantern Festival on July 15, 2021. John Kuntz, cleveland.com

A new feature of the 2021 Asian Lantern Festival at the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo was the giant walk-in kaleidoscope. As the colors and patterns change, visitors can walk on the reflective slopes. I have to admit, after this family finished their adventure, I started to feel dizzy.

On January 20, 2021, a snowfall greeted northeastern Ohio this morning.

The Cleveland Terminal Tower was lit by sunlight that broke through the clouds on January 20, 2021.John Kuntz, cleveland.com

In late January, I was assigned to film the expected heavy snow effects from the storm the night before. There was really little accumulation in downtown Cleveland, so I had to be creative, that is, as many of my colleagues say, “artistic.” On my way to downtown, I drove the Rocky River Reservation and placed my camera in the passenger seat of the Jeep looking for snow art. I headed to Ontario Avenue near Progressive Field when a small break in the clouds illuminated the Terminal Tower and showed a moving sight. There was only enough time to shoot the scene through the windshield before the optic axis disappeared. It had nothing to do with snow, but it’s a keeper.

Division I Individual State Wrestling Finals, March 14, 2021

St. Edward Wrestler Sean Seafeld (L) and Findley’s Hudson Goebel cast a shadow in a £ 120 match at the Division I Stateless Ring Championship Round on March 14, 2021 at Hilliard Derby High School. ..John Kuntz, cleveland.com

High school sports resumed in 2021 after the cancellation of COVID-19 last season. Safety changes were made earlier in the year to accommodate the championship event. At this year’s Wrestling Championship, the Ohio High School Athletic Association divided the three divisions and competed at various high schools in the Columbus region. It was impossible for one photographer to cover all three. We covered the finals at Division I of Hillard Derby High School in the northwestern suburbs of Columbus. They decided to spotlight the mat for the look of the boxing ring. It made it difficult for photographers to take good shots. The wrestler at the end of the ring will be in the shadow of the light and you will not be able to use the photo. When I went up to the upper stand and looked at it, I was able to take advantage of the terrifying light.

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