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Behind the Lens: A Look Back at the Top Photos from the 2023 Season – No. 7

Looking back at the best photos from the Chiefs’ archives in 2023

A photograph can be powerful. It possesses the ability to capture the raw emotion of a singular moment and preserve an otherwise fleeting snippet of time, telling a story in the process.

Over the next several weeks, we're taking a look back at 10 of the best photos from the 2023-24 season along with commentary from Chiefs' Director of Photography Steve Sanders. Unlike in previous years, this isn't a countdown of Sanders' top images, but rather the chronological story of the Chiefs' championship season told through some of his favorite photos.

Here's a look at what we've covered so far:

We'll continue with No. 7:

"The Strip"

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu (90) forces a fumble during the NFL Week 18 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on January 7, 2024.

Game: Week 18 at the Los Angeles Chargers

The Subject: Defensive end Charles Omenihu strips the ball from Chargers' quarterback Easton Stick for a forced fumble. Safety Mike Edwards subsequently returned the loose ball for a touchdown.

Taken By: David Gray

Camera Model: Canon EOS R5

Focal Length: 200 mm

Exposure Time: 1/2,000

Aperture: f/2.8

Steve Sanders' Thoughts:

Q: You often talk about the 'soft light' in California. Was that a factor here as well?

Sanders: "The light inside SoFi is so light and soft. It's basically like working inside a giant 'soft box,'" Sanders said. "If you're there during the day and if the sun is out, it just really illuminates the skin tones and brings out the color. The blues, for example, are more vibrant. The reds are more vibrant."

Q: Why did you want to include this photo in our collection?

Sanders: "In this particular picture, you can see that the Chargers' quarterback knows the ball is coming out just by the look on his face. Omenihu was such a menace to everybody he faced last year. He made a lot of big plays, and this ball coming out was returned for a touchdown. Mike Edwards scooped it up and ran it all the way back for six. So, just to get the ball right there on the leg was important. It was another one of those instances where David just needed to be prepared at the right time following the action in order to catch a peak action shot. There have been a lot of years where we've taken great action shots, but not necessarily to the level of getting everything from the 'peak action' times like this. This image really tells a story. You can tell that he punched that ball out, and it's going back the other way."

Q: Can you speak to the technical difficulty of capturing a photo like this?

Sanders: "We try to position ourselves in triangles on the field, so every angle of a moment can be captured," Sanders explained. "To capture a photo of a moment like this which happens in a split second is difficult, so you have to stay locked in on the details and really follow the action. David did a great job of that here."