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Camera House : Better Pictures 11
46 Profile AdAm pretty Shutterbug Where did your passion for sports photography stem from?I have always had a keen interest in sports, so it’s a great combination of two things I am passionate about. I saw an awesome exhibition of Craig Golding and Tim Clayton’s groundbreaking work when I was 16, and was hooked – I wanted to do the same. When I was starting out I fell in love with sports photography right away. I love capturing the movement and action in sports and also the spirit and adrenaline that is involved in competition. It is like witnessing life condensed into an hour – or even two minutes – with an entire range of emotions on display. I also love the freedom of shooting sports. It is pure theatre. You are simply an observer and the athletes are performers on a stage, and you try and capture the best possible picture that you can. What is it you enjoy about sports shooting? I thrive on the pressure of having one chance to capture the moment, and the huge range of emotions, the action and adrenaline you witness and experience at sporting events. Working with Getty Images, I have the opportunity to attend sports events all over the world, like the London Olympics earlier this year, and it is a thrill to travel to far-flung locations and see moments of such magnitude unfold. Could you describe your creative process? how much knowledge of the sport is required to get a great shot? Knowledge and experience definitely help, however they can also make you a little jaded. Some of my best work was captured when I had no real idea what was happening and something caught my eye because it was so fresh or unexpected. I find that if you try and work at it too long, there’s a risk that it will begin to look stale. My first look at something is often the best, so my advice is to try and keep an open mind, and seek out something unique. With experience it gets easier to capture pictures as you know what to expect, but it can also lead to complacency. Staying on the edge is a good place to be. Planning and preparation are very important, as is keeping an open mind and not following the crowd. It is great sitting next to your photographer friends and having a chat, but to try and achieve something different you need to be on your own as much as possible. If you are in a crowded position, try something different, for example a slow shutter speed or different lens. AdAm pretty is also AIPP Photographer of the Year! Introducing Getty Images sports photographer Adam Pretty, winner of the 2012 AIPP Sports Photographer of the Year. What makes for a great sports image? Ultimately, you need a number of elements to come together: the action or moment, emotion, composition and lighting. I think you need a few things to make a great picture, not simply a great moment, so that there are layers and things for the viewer’s eye to explore and discover. you won the AIpp Sports photographer of the year. Could you give us the backstory to your shot and how you achieved it? These images were taken at the 2011 World Swimming Championships in Shanghai. Essentially, I set out to create a series that presented a slightly alternative view of what is quite a media-saturated event. My aim was to capture pictures that were not straight, mainstream moments. I chose this series because the images were different in that they didn’t show any human emotion or reaction and were striking from a graphic point of view. your top tips for shooting images that capture the moment? In a nutshell? Patience. Arrive early and leave late. Don’t be afraid to make loads of mistakes and keep learning. ■ 046_Bpics11_Shutterbug.indd 46 27/11/12 2:14 PM
Better Pictures 10
Better Pictures 12