Eye on the prize

I love shooting action sports. Participants are pushing themselves to their limits – they are seeking the edge, sometimes falling off. Without falling off, it is impossible to know where that edge is. Pushing to the limit – this has been termed the “peak of life”.

Jem Hall in Prasonisi, Greece

So what I love is capturing that moment – when someone is at the peak of their life. Sometimes it is a moment full of fear; sometimes full of joy and yet others a moment of tranquility. Whatever it might be – it is a moment when the person transcends themselves – a never to be forgotten moment. Achievement. And to capture it is a privilege.

And just like the participant in front of the lens – it requires skill, dedication and experience behind the lens. It isn’t as simple as having the best equipment (but good gear helps); nor is it a case of just standing behind the camera and setting the motor to its highest setting and holding down the button. When I am shooting I am conscious of where all of the participants are; what levels they are at. I’m thinking about the setting; composition and light. About what settings I am using, i.e. what the finished shot will look like. So I am concentrating like a mofo – because for some participants, they may only have one ‘great’ moment and I need to be alive to it.

Iván Tejero Vázquez looking so comfortable after 270km of 360km during a double Iron Man.

And just like any good athlete, before each session I am setting goals for myself – focused on what I want to get out of the session – I don’t just turn up and shoot. It looks easy – like a good waverider – but there is way more to it than meets the eye! Enjoy 🙂

[For info on Jem Hall Coach’s windsurf clinics – visit his website by clicking here.]

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