I’ve been photographing speed skaters Andrew McNee of Short Track Australia and Krysia Child for a while now and although the photos were OK, none of them were what I was really pleased with. Finally, last night I managed to nail the shot I’m satisfied with. The photo was aided by a very low sun giving me more light and contrast and thus helping the auto focus. Surprisingly, this photo was taken during a very intensive speed training, where speeds were even higher then usual. It took me a while to find a perfect spot and 170 photos later I got the “one”.
Going against all rules of physics and photography I have decided to try my luck with photographing Krysia with a wide angle lens at the fastest point of the track. No matter how I’d try I knew the photo will not be perfectly sharp by I was hoping to capture the angle the speed skaters go in and out of turns and their total commitment for the maneuver. After talking to Andrew McNee regarding best position I ended up with my head less then a foot away from where they would pass me. Laying low and hoping for the best I took lots of photos. All of them with considerable motion blur. However, this photograph exhibited least motion. So, here is Krysia traveling probably at 50km/h– in a sling shot out of the corner passing my head by oh so close with these very sharp blades.
PS: I do not recommend anyone to attempt this style of photography unless they know they deal with the highest skilled athlete. This is really dangerous.