Figure Skating Continued….

(UPDATED 24th Jan 2010; see Read More)

Two days behind me, this one and two more to go. I was desperate the first day: I mean nothing out of the ordinary. Zero. Nul. Nothing. The only thing maybe worth mentioning was that Gazetta dello Sport (Italy) used three of my images or Carolina Kostner and Valentina Marchei. As I mentioned earlier, they have a bit similar situation as Finland: two girls fighting for one single position in the Olympics. We have two positions and three athletes.

But last night I took one image which I thought stood out –  of Evgeni Plushenko:

Evgeni Plushenko - the winner

At least it is different. My friend Peter said that it does not look skating – and I agree. It should relate to the subject better.  But I have shot hundreds of jumps and spins – with ugly advertizing on the background quite often – and it is refreshing to find something new for a change. Another friend asked me how on earth do you shoot that in a well lit arena? Well, you push further, try hard – and hope for the best. Thousand mediocre images and maybe one jewel- maybe.

This particular one is shot with 400mm from like 6-8 meters, ice level. The black background is the hole where the  TV-camera is located and – you guessed it – the red light is the rec-light of the cam. Luck? Yes, 90%, maybe more – but there remains 10%, which is skill and years of experience. I did notice the light earlier and I thougt it might make an interesting background should I be able to line it with something… Also, if you ever shot moving target with a 400mm practically fully open at that distance, you know it is not the easiest task at hand…

So I can relax… taken ONE good image so far ;-) .

The women skated their short program now this afternoon and I added some images into the gallery. I opted to go to the elevated level because  -as I said above – I simply hate the advertizing on the sides. I came up with nothing particular, just your basic skating images:

Laura Lepistö, Susanna Pöykiö, Kiira Korpi (click image to see the gallery)

More (UPDATED) after the jump:

Laura Lepistö (in front), Susanna Pöykiö (behind)

So  you understand my raving about the Plushenko image…

I did take one image which is a bit different – journalistically should I add. Susanna Pöykiö did not skate that well and  this is probably the last competition she’ll ever skate on this level. It is time to give room to the younger ones. The way it goes.

She has a brilliant career behind her and I have the highest respect for her and her achievements. The image summarizes the present situation as the lady in front of Susanna sitting in the “kiss&cry” – in Susannas case now “just cry” – is Laura Lepistö, last years European Champion. She is 21 years of age, now aiming for her second title.

(UPDATED 23rd Jan)

Well, I have to say: out of my mediocre images, Iltalehti did a great job.  A really nice looking spread, sort of makes me forgive the previus night when the Plushenko image got about the size of a stamp…

I just shot the free skating of the ladies. Kiira did not do good at all, but Laura was second, so that was good news. I chose the ice level and decided to concentrate on emotion – naturally hoping that there would be some tears of joy. Well, there wasn’t….

This is one of the problems when you do this professionally – alone: you have to make decisions, trying to guess what might happen, and you might end up with nothing…

If you work for a major agency, you have several photographers, so you don’t have to play safe – or  take risks. Today I hoped to make killer shot – I didn’t – knowing that I would not get even the standard, full figure skating images. But the results are not that bad (see the gallery).

But: for the gala we are actually planning a very special treat – visually speaking:  we are forming a team of three photographers to produce a gallery of our best images – something I did last year with Elina Paasonen in Helsinki. This time Tomas Whitehouse will be also contributing his amazing visual talent to the whole… so I am really looking forward to that. As Tomas said, it’ll be a storm :-) .

So stay tuned.

(UPDATED 24th Jan): The Gala images are out. See these special galleries we created with Elina and Tomas.

4 Comments

  1. Tomas
    January 23, 2010

    The Plushenko shot is a show stopper, represents his entire character and presence so clearly.

    Looking forward to cooking up a storm for the gala ;)

    T.

    Reply
  2. kkuukka
    January 25, 2010

    Tomas – one o’clock in the morning, made it home…
    I checked the websites (Iltalehti especially – and Aamulehti also): I think we did cook up quite a nice storm. Thanks again, great working together.

    K

    Reply
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