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Is this the most iconic Carlton photo ever?

Tony De Bolfo, Carlton Media  April 11, 2017 4:08 PM

Team song | Round 3 Watch the Blues celebrate their round three win over the Bombers.

It may well be THE iconic football image of 2017 -  an enraptured Jack Silvagni, arms raised to the driving rains, savouring his first win as a Carlton senior player.

This timeless moment was brilliantly captured by AFL Media photographer Michael Willson from his vantage point at the Punt Road end on the Great Southern Stand side of the MCG.

Willson, seated on his collapsible stool near where the 50m line met the boundary, was armed and ready with what was, for the record, a Canon 1DX MKII with an 600mm f/4 telephoto lens. 

“I had the idea of shooting Jack on the siren,” Willson said. “It was either going to be him or Marc Murphy, so I was fortunate Jack was in the vicinity, on the half-forward flank at the Punt Road end.

“I knew the significance of the win and the Silvagni name, and I remember thinking ‘If he’s in the area I’ll track him’."

SilvagniApr11Article
Is this the most iconic Carlton photo ever? (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Willson recalled that when the final siren first sounded Silvagni had his back to him. 

“Jack then turned around to hug Dale Thomas, and just before he did he looked up to the sky and raised his arms,” Willson said.

“That’s when I started shooting, I took about 20 frames and as it was happening I knew I had something special in there. 

“I also thought it would work in black and white, as black and white would enhance the rain, and in many respects this was a drought-breaking win.”

Willson, who not surprisingly indicated he would submit the Silvagni image for an award at season’s end, concurred with the view that it would stand the test of time well beyond this season.

He believed the image ranked highly in his portfolio, alongside the one taken of Geelong coach Chris Scott placing a comforting arm around Mitch Clark following a match at the MCG two years ago. As Willson said, “that photograph of Scott and Clark served to raise awareness for men’s health and get the conversation”.

“I really like this image of Jack and so pleased with the feedback,” Willson said.

“It really went bananas on Twitter and Instagram, and so far as images I’ve taken this season go it’s right at the top.”

Willson’s captivating image of Silvagni has prompted the Club to source the following iconic Carlton images which remain in the collective consciousness. Which one of them rates as the greatest is down to personal choice, but they’re all great.

AFL Rd 9 - Carlton v Melbourne
Saturday, May 21, 2005 – and after 109 winters, Carlton’s greatest player John Nicholls holds the ball aloft to bring down the curtain on the old ground. This image was taken by an unnamed photographer for AFL Media.


NichollsFarmerPicFinal.jpg
'Big Nick' and 'Polly' contest a boundary throw-in at Princes Park, Round 6, Saturday, May 25, 1963. The photographer is unknown.


AFL Rd 18 - Essendon v Carlton
'Skywalker' completes what was adjudged, at least in the court of public opinion, the Mark of the Year, over Essendon’s Jake Carlisle on the MCG. Scott Barbour of Getty Images took this stunning pic, Round 18, Saturday, July 23, 2011.


ParkMark.jpg
Jim Park completes one of the most spectacular marks ever seen on the Carlton ground, planting his left foot into the back of Melbourne ruckman Eric “Tarzan” Glass. This image, captured by an unnamed photographer, appeared in The Herald on the evening of Saturday, May 28, 1938.


JezzaMackinnonPic.jpg
Oh Jesaulenko, you beauty! Alex Jesaulenko marks over Graeme Jenkin, 1970 Grand Final, Carlton v Collingwood. The Sun’s Clive Mackinnon was handed a Mintie just as ‘Jezza’ set himself, but had the presence of mind to capture this truly iconic image with the unwrapped lollie in his mouth.