ask questions almost as interesting as those they answer. Where, for example,
was the cameraman when he took the series of portraits of college swimming
stars in our SPECTACLE this week?
might be tougher if you weren't looking at him right now, planted in two
fathoms of University of Michigan water. Most familiar to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
readers as a writer on subjects ranging the spectrum of sport from the Olympics
to cave crawling (SI, Jan. 2, 1956), he is Associate Editor Coles Phinizy, as
adept in the use of a camera as a typewriter. This time his assignment called
for pictures of outstanding swimmers in the forthcoming NCAA championships.
Phinizy has what sometimes seems a predestined flair for the unorthodox in the
performance of his duties. This probably went as far as it could go when he
covered a balloon flight and the balloon crashed—the Piccards, Phinizy, camera
and all (SI, Nov. 8, 1954).
Determined on his
latest assignment not to bring back routine pool-edge pictorials, Phinizy
decided on the pool-bottom approach. In addition to an uncommon perspective,
his photographs owe much of their excellence to the fact that Phinizy is a
veteran at the underwater game. And since the day some years ago when he
pondered the problem, 210 feet deep in a Florida underwater cave, of making
prehistoric bones which were there look as if they belonged there, he has been
adapting his underwater photo equipment to his own perfectionist standards. The
result is the special lighting which renders a submarine subject, such as this
week's swimmers, intelligible to the overland eye.
photographic problem remains. Like the one about who wakes the bugler, who
photographs the photographer? In this case it was Doug Fulton of the Ann Arbor
News. As Phinizy sank to the bottom of the pool, Fulton rose to the top of the
diving platform. Unfortunately, right about here, the supply of photographers
ran out. Otherwise it's a good bet one would have been hanging from the
ceiling, true to the traditions of his trade, shooting away at Phinizy and