Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Soelden World Cup Races

So the first races of the season are now over, with Zettel winning the ladies race and Chemmy Alcott getting a great result of 10th, and Daniel Albrecht winning the guys, GB had no guys competing but hopefully one day, one of the new batch of talented skiers we have will make it on to the circuit to compete, photography wise Soelden is a nice course to shoot, if the gates are set in the right spot!! With the time change a few guys were caught out on Sunday with the sun being behind the skier, we call this backlight and it makes the sky look white instead of blue! I managed to get a shot of Ted Ligety that I am very proud of as he nearly lost it at the top of the steep in run, but somehow he regained it and still managed to finish top 3. It was a really busy week for me as I had a young Austrian student along with me who is studying media studies and wants to be a photographer one day. She could not work on the slopes, but shot the finish area and number draws press conferences etc. It was nice having someone else working with me as it meant I could try something I would not normally get a chance to do, like shoot the start gate for the women's race. I am heading back to the UK soon to find out if my season is over, really not sure if I can follow the whole tour without my campervan as hotels fuel etc all adds up, and the ski photo market in the UK is not that great. Even with Chemmy coming 10th some papers did not even mention it.
My pictures from the races can be viewed here. http://sportsphotographer.spitfirephoto.com/albums.php?albumId=67967

Ciao for now

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Austrian Open Golf

This week I am back in my spiritual home of Austria, I love it here and really seriously considering a full time move to Klagenfurt in Carinthia. I am meant to be shooting golf this week however the weather gods have put a dampner on that, quite literally, its bucketing it down.The good news is yesterday I got to shoot and meet one of my all time heroes Austrian skier Franz Klammer, it was watching him ski many many moons ago on tv, that first drew me to skiing. I also managed to get a brief chat with another skiing legend Stephan Eberharter (hope its spelt right)Photographing golf is not that difficult, there are a few rules, basically dont shoot when they are in a swing or putt, and stay out of line of sight, most of the guys I have spoken to are ok, but there are some guys on the tour that always like to shout and scream at photographers for putting them off, personally I think they are just using it as an excuse because they had a shit shot!!! how a little soft mechanical click can put off a professional sportsman is beyond me!!
I will add some shots into a gallery later.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This summer

This summer I will be shooting an array of sports, I have already shot wakeboarding, and a FIM World Championship round of Supermoto, next week I will be in Monte Carlo to shoot the ATP Masters tennis, I will be adding photos to my website www.mitch-photography.co.uk as well as www.sportsphotographer.eu

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Crans Montana Training run

I am in Crans Montana this weekend to shoot the women racing, and what a beautiful resort it is, I will go out in a bit and get some shots for you to look at.I shot the Downhill training run earlier today, and with a gorgeous blue ski and warm weather I could not miss the chance of getting the girls in mid-flight, some of them were getting some great air time, Chemmy Alcott probably had the longest jump!! of course there is always one or two that do not quite make the distance, and get heckled with shouts of TOURIST, from course workers etc.I was testing the new lens I got when I was back in the UK, and it is much better, maybe one day I will make a photographer :-) for the camera geeks that read this I was shooting with a 400mm f2.8 ISO 100 and shutter speed of 4000 it was a very bright day! I hope you like the pictures.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Moving to Austria

I am still home in the UK packing up my old place for the permanent move to Austria, the amout of toot (rubbish) you can collect in 40 years is amazing, and I am having to be ruthless in my selection of what to take, as my new apartment is very small.
Saturday I took a day off from sorting out my stuff and went to shoot the international indoor athletics meeting that was held in Birmingham, this was my first ever indoor athletics shoot, and the lack of good lighting caused me a few problems, I have added some of the photos on my facebook site so if you get bored have a look!! I needed to add some other sports to my portfolio,so I can try and get a summer job with an agency.
All being well I should be back in Austria for the weekend, so I can have a few days skiing in St Anton, the next WC race is not until the end of the month and that is the ladies event in Arber. I may have to look at shooting some freestyle stuff whilst in St Anton, or even some of those cool off piste shots which first attracted me to skiing photography.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Garmisch - London

The Garmisch weekend was a challenging one, for both the skiers and the photographers, as I approached the course I thought wow this will be a good place to shoot, you can see the whole course virtually from the finish area, and so for once I might get to see more than 100mtrs of a race!!
However once up the hill it did not look so good from a photographers point of view, as you can probably tell I tend to like having a blue sky background on my shots and found a position that I thought would be perfect, I asked one of the locals who was working on the course, where the sun would be later in the day, obviously my German being a little bit pants got the question wrong and I thought he said that it would be ok!! 3 hours later as the race is about to start, up pops the sun and ruins my shot so I had to readjust, thus my pictures are not the greatest from this event!!
The race went well Reinfried Herbst zooming down the quickest on both runs to win, with the eternal bridesmaid Manfred Moelg coming in 2nd, he really will win soon!! Ivica Kostellic taking the 3rd spot. I had to shoot the prize giving in town later that night to help out a colleague, and it was my first timefor getting splattered with Champagne, my bald head was covered in the stuff,and I really hoped a gorgeous German girl would come and lick it all off, like a giant lollypop but alas that did not happen. My next race is probably not until Arber /Zwiesel at the end of the month, as I had to go back to the UK to pack up my house for a permanent move to Austria, I also needed to upgrade some of my equipment, and get stuff in for repair. But I now have a stonking huge lens the canon 400mm F2.8 it weights about 14 kg but is the best lens for sports.
One good thing about being back in the UK and away from the snow is I could take my motorbike out for a good ride, and was throwing it around the streets of London the way I did 100 years ago when I worked as a motorcycle courier!!
This weekend I am hoping to shoot a premiership rugby match, and also an ice hockey match, but I would rather head back to Austria and ski! If only my car repairs would be finished in time!!


Monday, February 4, 2008

St Moritz Ladies World Cup Events

I am back home in Austria now having spent the past few days in St Moritz, the playground of the rich and plastic faced people!! I have dubbed it the Collagen capital of the world!The weather for the week has been so varied, Thursday was a gorgeous sunny day, and I was trying to shoot a nice panaramic shot of the racers with a mountain in the background, some worked some didnt, but its just training!! Friday was thick fog! I ski'd the course twice and both times I could hardly see the tips of my ski's, which earned me the nickname amongst some of my colleagues as the crazy English fog rider (cant remember the german name they gave me but that was the translation). I was very suprised and could not understand why they made the girls do a course inspection in Zero visability! Good sense prevailed and they cancelled the training.Saturdays Downhill race was a suprise in many ways, firstly that it started on time! We had heavy snow in the morning but the guys who read the weather forcast got it spot on and all was ok come 12.30. My position for shooting was not the best, as I got moved by the course controller and ended up further away from the action than I like! The race was won by a very late runner Tina Maze from Slovenia starting at 47 by then the weather had completely changed to sunny and windy conditions, even I got cold and had stopped shooting at no 41. Only 1 photographer shot the late numbers and there was a frantic mass of photographers in the press centre all asking him for a copy of the picture! Sunday was the turn of the Super G and with a lovely sunny day being forcast I was looking forward to a good shoot. I was first on the hill again and shot some of the girls doing a course inspection, then staked my claim for what turned out to be the best spot on the course again. The idea was for a nice blue background and a profile of the skier about to turn, I also wanted some shots with the St Moritz gates by the skier. I was very happy with the results of my shoot, and had been given some great advice from one of the experienced pros which can only help me improve. The race was won by Canada's Emily Brydon with the Austrian pair of Elizabeth Goergl and Renate Goetschl coming in 2nd and 3rd. Lindsey Vonn came in 4th and is slowly creeping up on Nicole Hosp for the overall title. Next stop is Garmisch next weekend and the mens slalom, such a shame they are not having a speed event there as I have been told it is a great course to shoot. Check out my galleries for the latest pictures, and coming very soon I will be having an online shop at www.mitch-photography.co.uk where you can buy pictures of your favourite skiers.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ofterschwang Ladies Slalom

I have just got home in St Anton after shooting todays slalom race in Ofterschwang Bavaria. The weather was not as nice as yesterday so I really had to work my camera to get the best pictures in the bad light. I managed to secure a great position again for both runs, so hopefully you guys and gals like todays pictures.The race was won by Austria's Marlies Schild, who has the nice habit of winning slalom races these days! 2nd was Therese Borssen of Sweden with Nicole Hosp of Austria coming in 3rd. GB has no female representatives in the womens slalom this year, Non of the American racers made it down as far as me on the course, both Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Vonn going if in a similar spot. I took a picture of Lindsey sitting in the fence, and it looks like she is crying, not through pain but through frustration at not completing a course. I guess it's things like that which define a natural born champion. I wanted to run up give her a big hug and say all will be ok.. But I am not sure she would have appreciated a sweaty, out of breath bald headed snapper, coming at her like that! besides by then the next skier was on course! I have a couple of days off now to catch up on editing and stuff before I head of to the Swiss resort of St Moritz.Oh yet again Bode kicks serious butt when I am not there to shoot it!! It is either a conspiracy, or he should pay me to stay away as I am bad luck!!

Ofterschwang Ladies Giant Slalom

Todays event in the Bavarian resort of Ofterschwang, was as much fun to shoot as it was for the spectators watching, the women's races are much more relaxed affairs compared to the men's. Yet again I was the first photographer on the hill, and bagged the best position!!I even mangaged to ski the course without going on my butt!! I had to shoot from a laying down position to get the best angle, and after 65 runners I was a little bit cold in the privates area!!! hopefully you guys will like the pictures! which means it was all worthwhile. The race was eventually won by Denise Karbon, who's smile just lit up the resort when she crossed the line, the Austrian pair of Nicole Hosp, and Elizabeth Goergl finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. Lindsey Vonn was the highest placed US competitor with a battling 6th position. Britains Chemmy Alcott failed to qualify for the second run, coming in 31st position after the first run. Tomorrow it is the turn of the slalom specialists, so watch out for more news and photos! Mitch

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Schladming Night Slalom

Last night I shot the Schladming night slalom event, a totally mad event with over 50000 fans cheering on Mario Matt to the winners podium.For me it was my first ever night shoot without the aid of a flash gun, I am fairly happy with the results and will add some pictures here. The course did not really last the night and only the first 15 really had any chance of winning, by the time Alain Baxter hit the course with bib no 69 it was more like a mogul event than a slalom!
Mario Matt was the winner with Italy's Manfred Moelg running him a close second and the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Grange third. It seems almost impossible to stop J-B Grange from getting on a podium these days, although Ted Ligety nearly managed that!!
I am off to Ofterschwang next, to shoot the women. I have not been there for about 20 years I actually learnt to ski there with the British Army a long time ago, so it is a trip I am looking forward to.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Kitzbuhel Super G

Today's Super G was great for us over 30's. With the top 3 places all taken by the senior statesmen of the Alpine Ski World. Marco Buechel 1st Herman Maier 2nd and Didier Cuche 3rd. It just goes to show you do not have to be young an fearless to be the best!! I had a fairly good position at first, but the usual over zelous piste staff moved me, then allowed some of the coaches to stand where I had been!! as the Americans say "Go Figure"!!
Tomorrow is the big day here, and the whole place is buzzing after Maiers performance, the ever optimistic Austrians were singing tomorrow he will be better!! I can see it being a nice challenge between Didier Cuche and Bode Miller, watch out for the Canadians though Robbie Dixon had a fantastic run starting at 43 and finishing 6th he has got a lot of tongues wagging in the press office with that performance.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Arived in Wengen at last

I have finally had my car fixed, nearly cried when I got the bill CHF 1100...!! So it is beans on toast and camping in a tent for the rest of the tour!!I am now in Wengen doing the boring stuff like accreditation and listening to fat lazy journos telling tales about their lives!! I will be up on the hill tomorrow to shoot the training runs, not sure if I will go for arty shots or action shots yet, one of the photographers has shown me his work from today, and lovely shots with the Jungfrau in the background, so I may have to replicate that for you guys if you want that!! let me know.To get to Wengen itself you have to park your car at the bottom of the mountain and get a train up! there are some fantastic views and if you ever get the chance to come here then do so it is gorgeous.
Catch you later

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Adelboden Slalom

Today belonged to Austria with Mario Matt winning and Benni Reich coming in second, the swiss yoddeling was not as load today, as the top Swiss guys went out on the first run. Britains or should I say Scotlands Alan and Noel Baxter both failed to complete the course, and are now off to ski a europa cup in Austria. I had a good day shooting wise, considering we had rain sleet snow and sunshine to contend with! I am now stuck in Adelboden until at least tomorrow night as I wait for my car to be repaired, then it is off to Wengen. Hopefully Bode can put this weekend to the back of his mind and kick some arse oops bottoms in the speed events. Some of you may have even seen my ugly mug on TV, I believe they zoomed in on me as I was laying on the snow taking snaps. Autographs are available for a huge fee!! Oh and by the way I had to wear a coat today as it was raining!!! Already people are giving me abuse for being a girl!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Adelboden GS

Today was a great day for the Swiss with Marc Berthod winning and Daniel Albrecht coming in second, the cow bells were ringing big time from the 23000 fans that were watching, America's Ted Ligety wins the prize for most dramatic fall, although I have yet to see it! That's the problem with being on the hill you get to see about 100mtrs of a race and that's it. Bode ski'd out shortly after passing me. I think I am a jinx, as thats what happened in Bad Kleinkirchheim also... If you are reading Bode pay me a fortune to stand at the finish line!!!!!! that should do it! I know have a bugger of a problem as my car broke down and cant be repaired til Monday, so looks like an extra night here for me (lucky though the insurance company will pay) I have added some photos on my facebook site and my skispace site, as well as www.gamma-photography.com for you to look at, and will add more later once I have sorted out the car and hotels etc Mitch

Friday, January 4, 2008


I have just arrived in Adelboden (Switzerland) to shoot the mens world cup event, and will post pictures up on my skispace site from tomorrows event.