Robert Beck

Robert Beck


On Photography

What turns you on creatively?
Collaborating with my assistant. We’re a good mix of old school/new school. Also working “fringe” sports because they give me more room to try new things.

What turns you off creatively?
Photo wells. Photo pens. Photo corrals. You get the idea—everyone shooting from the same place getting the same pictures.

What’s your dream photo assignment?
Doing a photo and surf trip to Teahupoo in Tahiti with only a couple of guys out and only one boat…mine.

If you could have dinner with an artist from any era, who would it be?
I had the grand fortune of hanging with John G. Zimmerman a couple of times. I wish I could do it again. He was an easy-going genius.

What’s your favorite photograph not taken by you?
There are a lot of those. The latest is an image of a couple of hot rodders with their ride out on the Salt Flats taken by my assistant, Kohjiro Kinno.

What profession other than photographer would you like to attempt?
I would love to make a movie. No wait, I would love to race cars. Oh! I know…I want to be a guitarist in a band.

What’s your favorite camera feature?
I hate to say it, but it’s the magic button that lets me review my images immediately. Instant replay for photographers! A close second is the ability to change ISO in an instant. I do so much shooting with fast and furious action, and the conditions can change so quickly, that having the ability to switch ISO quickly is incredibly valuable to me. And now that I’m shooting with the Nikon D3, I take advantage of boosting the ISO to levels that would have been unusable before.

What’s your favorite Nikon product, and how does it help you create better pictures or help you compete as a professional photographer?
Without a doubt, the D3. That body is the magic carpet of cameras. The files it produces in any situation are beyond compare—most notably, at higher ISOs. I no longer fret about shooting night baseball games or night football games…or basketball without strobes. The images are almost noise free at 3200, and I don’t have to sacrifice my shutter speeds. When I open up an issue of Sports Illustrated and see one of my photographs on a spread, well, that’s money in my business.

Nikon D3
  • Superior image quality with a 23.9 x 36mm 12.1 MP FX-format CMOS sensor and EXPEED digital image-processing system providing dramatic reduction of noise at higher ISOs
  • Extraordinarily fast continuous shooting of up to 9 fps at full resolution and 11 fps with DX cropping mode for fast-moving subjects
  • Broad tonal range and depth of images from ISO 200 up to ISO 6400; ISO levels can be expanded with built-in options of Lo1, Hi1 or Hi2, providing the equivalent of ISO 100 all the way up to 25,600
  • LiveView 3-inch VGA LCD monitor with two advanced Shooting Modes (Handheld and Tripod)

Robert Beck Gallery

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