Tim Nwachukwu is a Washington, D.C.-based independent photographer. He hails from Louisville, Kentucky and is a product of the Missouri School of Journalism. Growing up seeing Muhammad Ali’s impact, the Kentucky Derby, and the Louisville Cardinals/Kentucky Wildcats rivalry first piqued his interest in understanding athletic competition beyond the final score.
Tim’s Nigerian roots and previous work covering college sports championships across the U.S. pushed him to further explore what makes sports a cultural and socio-economic foundation of communities. His ultimate goal is to show humanity’s uniqueness and similarities so that our vast world becomes more accessible, understanding, and empathetic.
The recipient of a $1,000 equipment from the DPPF, Tim invested in a portable lighting kit from Roberts Camera. He is excited and thankful to have an opportunity to develop his portraiture work and expand his storytelling skills.
Tim gives us some insight into two of his grant-winning photos:
This came from a remote camera during the 2017 NCAA Division I women’s cross country championship. Oddly enough, each time I’ve covered a cross country championship back home in Louisville, the course was always beautifully cold, raining and muddy (home sweet home, right?). Cross country is hard because you really have to walk the course a couple times to understand where to pick out a handful of spots to get them. Though, most of those plans go out the window once the race starts.
I used a remote camera on a floor plate and was sprinting from my last spot to the finish line with maybe 10-15 seconds to make a decision for where to put it behind the barrier. The focus manually set a little in front of infinity and all I could do was wait. The race is no joke and runners will often dive into the finish line from exhaustion. I once learned from a mentor, Karen Mitchell, about trying to find the “tension” in a picture, and luckily, the remote fired as these two runners collided on their way to the finish line.
This was after Bubba Nickles of UCLA hit a home run during the 2019 NCAA Women’s College World Series. The WCWS is one of my favorite events because the atmosphere is amazing to experience in person and the stadium is known for it’s beautiful sunsets along third base. We would typically have one photographer at field level and one above, and I drew the straw to go up top. I underexposed in camera to make the warmth from the sunset pop a bit more. The light couldn’t have been better and that moment might’ve lasted a couple frames.