Brenna von den Benken
Work by the University of La Verne alumnus and award-winning photojournalist Alex Gallardo was displayed in “Eyes on the Ball,” an exhibit at the University of La Verne’s Irene Carlson Gallery through May 20, with a special reception that was held Wednesday night at the gallery.
“My approach is to keep it simple, watch my background and see where the light falls. The rest will take care of itself,” Gallardo said.
“The action and reaction to daily life is a beauty to behold. My job is to show the world what happened here on this particular day, and for me it usually means sports photography.”
For nearly three decades, Gallardo has captured shots of the biggest names in athletics, which includes Michael Phelps, Kobe Bryant, Derek Jeter, Jerry Rice, Amanda Beard, Jimmie Johnson, Alex Solis, Peyton Manning and several other popular athletes.
Gallardo has covered top events in professional, collegiate, Olympic and prep sports; publishing photographs throughout Southern California and around the world as well.
He has been working as a photojournalist in Southern California for nearly 30 years.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of La Verne in 1982, Gallardo has worked at newspapers throughout the region, including 20 years at the Los Angeles Times.
He has also done freelance assignments for Upper Deck collectables, and his pictures have been published around the world by the Associated Press, Reuters Group Limited, European Pressphoto Agency and ESPN.
Along with twice being a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning spot news teams with the Los Angeles Times, Gallardo is also a two-time winner of the Orange County Photographer of the Year award and has received many awards in the National Press Photographer Association’s annual Picture of the Year competition, including the Angus McDougall team-editing award.
His work has also been recognized and honored by the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles.
Visitors at the gallery were in awe over many of Gallardo’s photographs.
“His photographs of athletes are very up-close and personal,” gallery attendee Jesse Garcia said.
“You can even see the drops of sweat on Kobe Bryant’s face, if not his sweat glands too.”
“It’s amazing how much more respect and credit he gives athletes through his photographs,” freshman organizational management major Jessika Hernandez said.
“He freezes what everybody can barely catch in a second while the games are played.”
Brenna von den Benken can be reached at email@example.com.