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Man behind THAT Usain Bolt photo picks the best sports shots of 2016

As he runs, just ahead of a field of men desperately trying to beat the champion sprinter, Usain Bolt turns and seems to flash a cheeky grin at the camera.

The photo, taken in August at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, quickly became the most recognized sporting photo of the year. The man behind the lens, Cameron Spencer, gave dozens of interviews about how he got the shot — suffice it to say, he's a master photographer.

As part of Getty's Year in Focus 2016, Spencer has handpicked his favorite Australian sporting shots of the year for Mashable.

They're sure to inspire you to achieve some kind of sporting prowess in 2017. Or failing that, to pick up a camera.

See Cameron Spencer's picks for best sporting shots of 2016:

16 PHOTOS
Cameron Spencer's favorite sports photos of 2016
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Cameron Spencer's favorite sports photos of 2016

"This photograph taken by Brendon Thorne at the Subaru Australian Mogul Championships is quite surreal because of the conditions of the Australian snowfields in Perisher, there is no snow! The skier is in the perfect inverted position, mid-air between the snow-free hills in the background."  

Kaitlyn Harrell of the USA competes during the Subaru Australian Mogul Championships on August 30, 2016 in Perisher, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

"The beauty of smaller competitions like the VFL, is that there isn’t the high tech drainage and playing surfaces; compared to major stadiums like the MCG. When the opportunity arises, muddy conditions like this make for incredible pictures."

Sam Switkowski of Box Hill competes for the ball covered in mud during the round 14 VFL match between Box Hill and Williamstown at City Oval on July 9, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images)

"The velodrome offers opportunities for a photographer to be very creative with the use of slow shutter speeds using techniques such as panning and zoom bursts. In this image taken by Getty Images photographer Ryan Pierse the cyclist’s helmet and handlebars are sharp, giving the viewer enough information to recognise what is going on in the picture, whilst creating a strong artistic image."

Angie Sabrina Gonzalez of Venezuela competes during the Women's Omnium Flying Lap 5\6 race on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Velodrome on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

"The Annual Birdsville Racing Carnival is a uniquely Australian event as it is held in the middle of the outback on a very dry track. This image by photographer Bradley Kanaris is shot using a  remote camera positioned on the starting gate and is brilliant as it shows the sparse arid conditions of that the Birdsville Cup is famous for."

Horses are seen jumping out of the starting gates for race 5 being the Birdsville Cup during the Birdsville Annual race carnival on September 4, 2016 in Birdsville, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

"This creative shot taken by Scott Barbour was captured with a long lens high up in the MCG stands and is successful due to the great shadows of the players competing for the ball. The pattern and composition works really well."

Long shadows are cast by players as Mitch Wallis of the Bulldogs passes the ball during the 2016 AFL Round 08 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Western Bulldogs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne on May 15, 2016. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images)

"Women’s AFL has proven to be quite physical in its trial season in 2016. In this image the photographer has captured a great sports action moment of Daisy Pearce of Melbourne being tackled with a palm to the face. It’s unexpected moments like this that can never be premeditated or repeated; making for a bold sports photograph."

Daisy Pearce of Melbourne is tackled by Emily Bates of Brisbane and Delma Gisu of Brisbane during the 2016 AFL Womens match between the Melbourne Demons and the Brisbane Lions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 22, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images)

"Even on day four of a  Sheffield Shield State cricket match a great moment can be documented. In this instance all the fielders are putting pressure on the batsman, fielding very close to his wicket. Cricket involves a lot of patience and concentration for not only the athletes but also the photographers as you have to be prepared for every delivery; which could be your next great picture." 

Blues fielders surround Scott Boland of the Bushrangers faces Arjun Nair of the Blues during day four of the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and New South Wales at Traeger Park on March 18, 2016 in Alice Springs, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

"With the rise in popularity of UFC many mixed martial arts are gaining more mainstream coverage. This shot was captured ringside where the photographer has had to photograph through the cage, capturing a punch. You can see sweat spraying from the impact giving the viewer a sense of being ringside."

Jordina Baars and Steph Glew exchange punches during the Cage Muay Thai 8 bout at Logan Metro Sports Centre on March 4, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

"Artistic gymnastics is a beautiful sport to watch and it also makes for stunning photographs. Getty Images photographer Quinn Rooney has shot Chloe Hay during the 2016 Australian Gymnastics Championships with a slow shutter speed to show movement with a competitors body and rope resulting, in an almost floral-like composition."

Chloe Hay of Victoria competes with the rope in the rhythmic gymnastics during the 2016 Australian Gymnastics Championships at Hisense Arena on June 03, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

"It is rare on hard court that a tennis player launches through the air; this shot that I captured from the catwalk at the Australian Open on Margret Court Arena shows Gael Monfils desperately trying to save a point against Andrey Kuznestov. The shadow adds to the drama and shows how high Monfils is from the court with his arm outstretched playing the ball."

Gael Monfils of France dives for a forehand in his fourth round match against Andrey Kuznestov of Russia during day eight of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

"In this caught and bowled photograph the bowler Trent Boult is seen mid-air catching a screamer. Shot from the stands by Getty Images photographer Ryan Pierse, the batsman in the foreground adds to the story. A rare moment in cricket that’s even harder to capture." 

Trent Boult of New Zealand takes a catch off his own bowling to dismiss Mitch Marsh of Australia during day two of the Test match between New Zealand and Australia at Basin Reserve on February 13, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

"Photographing sport is about recording the peak of the action and this image captured by photographer Mark Metcalfe is a classic AFL tackle with both players mid-air as Kurt Tippet from the Swans hand passes the ball."

Kurt Tippett of the Swans handpasses the ball as he is tackled by Matthew White of the Power during the 2016 NAB Challenge AFL match between the Sydney Swans and Port Adelaide Power at Blacktown International Sportspark on February 20, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

"Light and a photographers use of light can make an ordinary moment extraordianry. This photograph of a race car heading over Mt Panorama at sunrise gives a sense of a beautiful still morning  as drivers continue to race around the circuit."

David Russell drives the #31 Mobil 1, Naim Audio & Breitling Bentley Continentail GT3 during the Bathurst 12 Hour Race at Mount Panorama on February 7, 2016 in Bathurst, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

"I captured this moment at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games; the world’s fastest man in history dominating a semi-final at an Olympics leading all the other competitors. I was working at the track and field that night from an infield position and decided to shoot using a slow shutter speed, a technique known as panning. Situated at the 70m mark I was confident that he would be out in front by that point of the sprint. It wasn’t until I looked at the back of my camera after the race to check my images were sharp that I realised Usain appeared to be smiling in my direction. I believe at this point in the race he ‘turned off the gas’, slowing down and saving some energy for the final; which was later that evening. Bolt made it look too easy in this blue-ribbon event and was glancing around at the other athletes behind him as he enjoyed the final seconds of the semi-final."

Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men's 100 meter semifinal on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

"Generally speaking photographers aren’t usually allowed on the field of play. In this instance Getty Images photographer Phil Walter has strategically placed a remote camera in front of Kieran Read as he leads the All Blacks Haka during the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies."

Kieran Read of the All Blacks leads the haka during the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Westpac Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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