Larry Fitzgerald has passion for photography

Sun, May 1

Larry Fitzgerald's first love -- no surprise -- is football.

The Arizona Cardinals receiver also is big on charity work, recently traveling to Africa to help Pros for Africa and the Starkey Hearing Foundation deliver hearing devices.

But another passion permeates Fitzgerald's offseasons: Photography.

"It's an awesome way to capture the moment," Fitzgerald said. "The only time that has happened is that time, during that lighting. ... Eventually when you look back at that picture, it tells a story -- and one only you can tell."

Fitzgerald is serious about it. We're not talking cell-phone cameras here. A self-described "Canon guy," he usually carries the smaller G12. But his arsenal includes bigger cameras, zoom lenses and other accessories to help him take pro-style photos.

Where did this originate?

A world traveler on charity missions since he entered the NFL seven years ago, Fitzgerald recalls being in the Roman Colosseum -- "and I had a little point-and-shoot camera which was cool," he said, but it "couldn't get the magnitude of the things I was seeing."

Now, after practicing in his backyard under all kinds of lighting, he's got it. Among his favorite shots, he said: An African gorilla, cheetah hunting a gazelle, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal and an array of "fascinating" sunrises and sunsets.

Fitzgerald will keep adding to that collection; he usually takes three yearly trips overseas (in addition to the Starkey mission, he also went to the Middle East and Europe this year) and is planning on eventually visiting his seventh continent (Antarctica).

He also runs a monthly photo contest on his website and through Facebook.

Admittedly, Fitzgerald would prefer the lockout to end football to return -- "That's my passion," he said. But thanks to his hobby, he can still travel overseas on missions and catch moments while he's waiting to catch footballs.