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A sport I photographed occasionally in the West Country was grasstrack, which is a bit like speedway in a field. It's great fun but you do need to watch out for dust and the occasional flying stone.

Grasstrack

 

I really enjoy photographing tennis. There are always lots of opportunities to freeze the action and capture a sense of speed, power, and agility. Doing so indoors, as in the photo below, is pretty difficult as the light is relatively poor. This shot is of top Irish professional Conor Niland (now retired).

Conor Niland

 

Swimming, by contrast, is extremely difficult to photograph, though the results can be spectacular. For me, showing the effort and power is what it's all about. There are just so many things which can go wrong or spoil the shot though. Water splashes everywhere, from the other swimmers too, and missing stray splashes is really a matter of good luck. Lighting is horrendously difficult, and catching just the right moments in each of the diffferent strokes takes a lot of hard work and practice.

Men's Butterfly

Women's Butterfly

 

When the Tour of Britain cycle race was scheduled to cross Dartmoor, I figured out where the light would be best. In fact, on that occasion there was only one spot on the whole route that worked well, so that's where I went. This photo was taken using a remote release with the camera on a tripod, almost at ground level, on the opposite side of the road from me. It was the only way I could get the angle I wanted without getting in the riders' way or being a distraction.

Tour of Britain

 

The following year the race followed a different route over Dartmoor, and anyway, I didn't want to take the same photos all over again, so this time I found a good spot on the climb up past Haytor. A low angle (remote release again) injected a sense of drama, and good fortune shone on me as the rider at the front of the group puffed out his cheeks with the effort just as I took the photo.

Tour of Britain

 

Equestrian photography - indeed, any sports photography - might look easy to the onlooker but planning and preparation are essential for consistently good results. Finding where the light works best throughout the day and then deciding which positions will work best is vital in equestrian photography, and that's all before we've even pressed the shutter.

Equestrian

 

The competitors are primarily concerned that we catch their animals in certain perfect positions, showing good form, so timing is vital. Here I decided that removing the colour from the background would make the horse and rider stand out better, though that was something I did only for my own satisfaction.

Equestrian manipulation

 
© David McHutchison (Deemacphotos)
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