Lundy National Wrestling Photographer of the Year

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cherokee native a sure shot with camera in hands

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. - The National Wrestling Media Association recently announced Lee’s Summit, Missouri resident Mark Lundy as its Photographer of the Year.

Award winning photographer Mark Lundy, a Cherokee Washington alum, is shown here at one of the favotite wrestling events he has captured on film - “The Grapple on the Gridiron” at Iowa City’s Kinnick Stadium
. Photo contributed

Lundy, a 1978 graduate of Cherokee Washington High School, has been shooting major high school, college and international wrestling matches for over 20 years, starting when his son began in youth club wrestling in 1996.

“Being an avid fan of the sport (wrestling) and an ex-wrestler myself, I just wanted some images of him wrestling,” said Lundy. “I am a single, sole custody parent, and there was no one else to do it,” he says of his early days of shooting wrestling photos.

Today, Mark is the owner of Lutte (pronounced “loot’) - Lens,com, where he displays his wrestling photos from all over the world.

Being a native Iowan, Mark says his favorite venue to shoot is Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, but he also says one single event, “Grapple on the Gridiron” at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, was incomparable.

Next on Lundy’s list of favorite venues is the West Gym at the University of Northern Iowa. “It’s like being at a K-12 high school gymnasium in an old rural Iowa town,” he says. “The fans are literally on my back when I’m shooting from matside, and it is exhilarating!”

Here’s a shot of the Kinnick Stadium ‘Grapple on the Gridiron’ as captured by Mark Lundy’s camera. The outdoor wrestling meet drew an historic global record crowd for their sport.
Photo contributed

Lundy also shoots a lot of University of Missouri matches, and he comments, “Hearnes (Arena) is a great venue for wrestling. I just wish more fans would show up. It’s sad that they don’t, because Coaches Smith, Clemsen, Johnston and the rest of the staff are doing a hell of a job developing some of the best talent in the nation.”

As for as international wrestling, Lundy says Budapest has been his favorite. “ I have to include in my favorites Laszlo Papp Arena in Budapest, Hungary,” he says, “because it was the first international event abroad I shot, at the 2013 Worlds.”

What goes through Mark’s mind when shooting wrestling?

“Light,” he says. “ Gathering it and freezing the action in whatever amount or version of it is available. It’s gotten a lot easier to evaluate the light and adjust settings in any given venue the more I’ve been exposed to a greater variety of them.

Second to that is anticipating action. Being an ex-wrestler and loving the sport so much, I think I’ve become pretty good at judging when something exciting, worth capturing, is about to occur, and getting my lens pointed in the right direction to get the shot. Sometimes that means off of the mat, towards coaches in the corner and family or fans in the stands as well.”

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