“I’ve been asked lots of questions about this image since its release, but two in particular have been asked multiple times,” Long said in an article about the photo on Grind TV. “The first question has to do with authenticity. “Is this photoshopped?” has been asked more times than anything else. I can assure you that I do not (and will never) possess the Photoshop skills required to create something like this. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, when years of studying and shooting collided, in a perfect storm of creativity.
“The second question always relates to the color of the background in the image and how this effect was achieved. The answer is quite simple: To get Stu perfectly in focus in the water droplet, I had to place the web directly between my lens and his body. The result was that his jersey and helmet colors became the background for the image. Each time we tried to capture this photo, the background colors would change dramatically, depending on his placement in the frame. This made each image totally unique, but this image was the cleanest overall.”