Vision quest

Walter Niedermayr, Tokyo Skidome II, 2000 By their very nature, sports generally do not qualify as a fine art subject. I, for one, firmly believe that the right photographer can capture the games we play with exceptional beauty and insight.

Italian-born Walter Niedermayr is one such photographer. Shown here, Tokyo Skidome II, 2000 (above) and Mittel Allalin VII, 2000 (below) , Niedermayr's landscapes beautifully depict the subtle complexity of our relationship to the environment and, perhaps, ourselves. On view through April 2012, The Aspen Series is a chance to see his 42 photographic panoramas of the Aspen/Snowmass mountains in context. Definitely a fresh take on typical ski-resort "art."

Walter Niedermayr, Mittel Allalin VII, 2000

If you want to surround yourself with the more pedestrian golf greens or velodromes, you can own a series by James Deavin available exclusively at 20x200.

James Deavin

There are also many notable images that are the product of commissions from media, travel and fashion/product companies, although they would rarely be considered gallery-fare. Coinciding with the 2010 US Open, Dewey Nicks produced a portfolio for The New York Times Magazine that captures the hard-hitters of women's tennis. It's not necessarily fine art, but there's definitely a cinematic quality to the technicolor costumed heroines.

Dewey Nicks, "Vera Zvonareva, Russia"

These images are few and far between in the world of sports, but I am on a quest to find photographers that offer fresh perspectives on one of our favorite subjects. Feel free to comment if you know of any other eye-catching portfolios or must-own works.