Sport portrait – kayak style

I mentioned it before here; sport photography is not something where you can express a lot of artistic impression. A good sport photography is nothing to do with equipment or technique, it’s one part instinct, one part planning and a big dose of luck. You set your camera at a fast shutter speed, point, find a good framing and shoot, shoot, shoot …. A beautiful photo is more the result the precise timing at catching THE move rather than the artistic talent of the photographer . I am not saying that sport photso have no artistic value, they do. The beauty of the shot is not just the same as a photo of a sunset on a lake. The photo of a flying Bobby Orr after he scored the winning is well known, the photographer caught him just at the right time. Only one second later and his photo would have never made it into sport history.

To add an extra challenge to my sport photography I tried, sport portrait. Instead of trying to catch the whole athlete in action, I focus on his/her face and try to catch an expression, a gesture, something that will say about the athlete and the state of mind he/she in.

I shot these on Bate Island on the Ottawa River, if you think they are overdressed, the water temperature was probably around 3-4 Celsius (35 Fahrenheit), ice was floating around, it was cold ….. but that’s the way we do it in Canada



This kayaker was a young teenager but she had all the guts needed to swallow the waves and paddled like a fighting tigress. She impressed me.




2 thoughts on “Sport portrait – kayak style

  1. I like the idea of sport portraiture – capturing the person rather then the sport.
    I do a bit of motorsport photography from time to time and the other thing you need (maybe you include it as ‘planning’?) is an understanding of the sport so that you can be in the right place.


    1. If you want to have good results you need to understand the sport to be where the action this is why always go fora second shoot, the first time I learn their move, then look at the phtos at home and bebetter prepare the second time …..thanks for your comment


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