Years change, pictures live on - what made me smile in 2013 !?
Recent weeks have been full of 'Best of the Year' stories/images, requests to send images for various places as my my best shots of the year. The unfortunate thing for me is that as I live in the UK, and the SJA here ask for the images to have been published in the British Publication - my images really have no chance to enter these competitions (not that I think there would be chance of winning). Due to the fact that Basketball and Women's Football rarely get a mention in the UK press - and then my other set of images is for Finnish clients, so only published in Finland (or elsewhere on the continent/North America).
Earlier in the week I thought back to the year gone by, and what I had photographed during it - and IF I would have had a chance, what would I personally have chosen to send in as 'my best image of 2013' in Sports. Some of the memorable moments I covered over the year were :
- Finnish U19 Women's Football team only losing a single game - and qualifying to the World Championships
- EuroVolley 2013 in Denmark, especially the Final at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen
- U20's FIBA European Championships in Romania and Bulgaria
- Women's Floorball World Championships
- EuroLeague Final 4 and NBA games in London
- "Winter Game" in Grenoble, France
And many more that I haven't mentioned here. So where did I take images that I personally thought stood out from the rest?? Over the year there have been two images that have stuck in my mind.. neither really action from a game, but both capture the raw emotion that sports generates and which we photographers aim to capture.
If I may be so bold as to ask you, the reader, to look at the images below - and read the story that goes with it. Then if you have an opinion on which image YOU would choose as the better of the two.. please leave a comment here, on Facebook, Twitter.. Thank You!
Image 1 :
Captured in January at the NIA in Birmingham - during the BBL Cup Final. The image shows Leicester Riders Head Coach Rob Paternostro hugging his son after the final whistle has gone and Riders have won their first trophy under his management and beaten Newcastle Eagles. What caught my eye in the image was the clear joy, as well as the family aspect of celebration. Add to this the background of celebrating Leicester Riders fans and few of the players, it was one of those images where I was 'in the right place, at the right time'.
As the game drew to a close, it looked like the Riders were going to win - so I chose a place opposite their bench, so I could shoot with the fans at the background and hopefully have the players/coaches facing me as they rushed to the court to celebrate. Luckily for me, the last attack was at the other end of the court, so my view towards the bench was un-obstructed and once Rob took hold of his son - I knew that this was going to be 'the' celebration image from this event.
So - one of the two images, is Rob Paternostro and Leicester Riders celebrating their 2013 BBL Cup win at the NIA
Image 2 :
Yes, another basketball related image - this time from EuroBasket 2013 and the Double-OT game between Finland and Russia in Koper, Slovenia. This image shows Finnish player Hanno Mottola celebrating his three pointer over Russia's Soklov - while Petteri Koponen enters the image on the right.
Those who know me, also know that I have followed the Finnish 'Susijengi' for few years and covered their games - and often I do end up half living the game with the team. But - still remembering that I am there at the games to capture the events with the camera. Choosing this particular image from all the big moments of Slovenia2013 was a tough one. And even once I settled for this image sequence, it was hard to single out one image from the 15 or so images. The sequence of image of this start with Mottola rising over Soklov to release the three pointer, and the celebration only took a second - but that was one of those times when you just keep the shutter pressed down and let the camera go at 14fps. In the sequence there are images where Mottola and Soklov are more isolated - and Mottola starts to celebrate while Soklov spreads his arms as in asking 'What could I have done to stop that??'.
The reason for choosing this image was that it still show Soklov in the image looking downbeat, Mottola still has the emotion shining from his face and Koponen smiling. Having Koponen and Mottola in this image also made it special for me, with Mottola being the legend/veteran player in the Finnish team, and Koponen is the new star player of the team, so it almost is like having the two greats of Finnish game at a vey poignant time in the game in the same frame.
Of course only 24 hours from this image, I captured Mottola going down injured to the ground, which ended his tournament - that image could also have been chosen as one of the 'best' of the year, for different reasons.
So there you have it - my own choices for the two images I would have chosen for 'Picture of the Year 2013' competitions - what do you think?
As always, thanks for reading and taking time to visit my Blog!