Warning: this post contains bad, REALLY bad pictures... This is a story about getting better at something, so please hang around ‘til the end!
I must reassure all my potential clients:
1- I have much more experience at wedding and portrait photography than at sport photography.
2- Even my very first attempt at portrait photography went much better than my humble beginning at sport photography... ;)
I am a wedding and portrait photographer. Sports photography is just not my thing. Usually. When you’ve got the best show on earth coming to your backyard, you may want to give it a try though. I am based in Harrow, on the outskirt of London and enjoy a good level of flexibility in my work schedule. I was able to go to town to watch many of the free events during the Olympics. I brought my camera along so I could give Sports Photography a little try, if only for a laugh.
This is my first two pictures of the Olympics, towards the end of the men’s road race (in South Kensington, about 1km before the end of the race). We can “see” the winner of the race (Alexandr Vinokurov from Kazakhstan) followed closely by the silver medal recipient (Rigoberto Uran from Columbia).
Being a proud Canadian, I also wanted to capture a shot of the only Canadian competitor in this race, Ryder Hesjedal.
Oh my! Clearly Sports Photography was not my forte... But I didn’t give up (and it was so much fun to go see the action up close!) and I was back the following day for the ladies’ road race.
I was better positioned this time, but the conditions were just horrendous! Nevertheless, the photography was improving...
Things start to look much better few days later at the time trial in Hampton Court.
I captured many good shots but my favourites are Lizie Armistead (UK), the legendary Clara Hughes (Canada) and the no less legendary Bradley Wiggins (UK). Trust me, you could not miss Wiggins coming: the roar of the crowd was absolutely mad!
Then I changed sport. I watched the running leg of the ladies triathlon in Hyde Park. Although it was easier to photograph people running than cycling, I first found it difficult to produce images that were actually interesting...
Nevertheless, here we can see the gold medallist (Nicola Spirig from Switzerland), the silver medallist (Lisa Norden from Norway), the bronze medallist (Erin Densham from Australia) and the lady who finished 4th (Helen Jenkins from USA). They were on their fourth (and last) 2.5 km loop, quite close to the end of the race.
However, my favourite pictures are from the men’s marathon. That’s when all I have learned started to pay off, I think...
The last picture shows the three winners (Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda, Abel Kirui fron Kenya and Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich from Kenya). They were especially difficult to photograph because they were surrounded by security squads and camera crews. So unless you were lucky enough to be there...
...it wasn’t easy to get a good shot of them!
Why am I telling you all this now, you may ask? Few weeks ago, I was asked to photograph a sporting event. Unfortunately I cannot post any pictures here (It was in a school) so you will have to take my word for it. I was a bit nervous knowing that my experience with sport photography has not always been amazing... Nevertheless, I am happy to report that it went really well and I got very good comments for the resulting images. One thing I do know for sure is that my little Olympics adventure made a huge difference in my skills and the final result. Practice may not make perfect, but it certainly makes better... much better! ;)