Mon - April 30, 2007

Racing Kayaker and a Paddle Stroke - 4 Pictures by Björn Olin



I have made several references in my blogs to a great paddling and racing photography by Björn Olin from Sweden. Last time, he paddled an ICF racing kayak in winter holding his Nikon D200 with wide angle lens in one hand.

Recently, Björn risked his camera again and shot some spectacular pictures of a racing kayaker paddle stroke. You need to visit his website, essingen.com to really appreciate these images in a large format.

Below, I am posting smaller versions of these pictures with Björn's commentary - how did he shoot it. #3 is my favorite!

racing kayak
1. This picture was shot with wide-angle from close surface. I expected the camera to get wet in this shot, but I assumed it would handle it well. I was right on both accounts. I am standing on shallow water next to Fredrik. I used the Nikkor 12-24 mm lens. 1600s F/4.5
racing kayak
2. The original purpose of this shot was to have Fredrik to paddle over a photogenique tree that was on the bottom of the lake. However, this idea didn't turn out well, wind blurred the water and I did not have enough height to make the polarizer rid the reflections. However, Fredriks early approach made a good and clean picture. Nikkor 35 mm F/2 lens.
racing kayak
3. Another start with wide angle close to surface. Amazing water shapes. 1/1600 s F/4.5. I figured that my optics had the best properties for the picture in F/4.5 so I selected this by setting the camera on Aperture priority F/4.5. I have made a table listing all "allowed" F values for all my lenses. With "allowed" I mean those values that produce the best optical results.
racing kayak
4. Not so fancy water splash, but clean and nice picture. 1/400 s. Nikkor 35 mm F/2 optics @ F/3.5.

All pictures were processed so that the color tone matched when they are showed together.

Bjorn Olin
The photographer:
Björn Olin. Born 1971 in Stockholm, Sweden. Lives on the Essingen island in downtown Stockholm and actively competes for Stockholms Kajakklubb. Björn's home page is www.essingen.com. Björn specializes in marathon competition, but does also adventure with kayaks, mostly in the Baltic Sea. He has been interested in colours and painting since a child, now does lazy man's painting with camera. The biggest problem with paddle photography is that the photographer actively competes himself and therefore loses out on many of the photographic opportunities served during competition.
Fredrik Wangler
The paddler:
Fredrik Wangler. Born 1977 in Waxholm, Sweden. Lives in downtown Stockholm and actively competes for Örnsbergs Kanotsällskap. Fredrik's homepage is www.wangler.se . He is founder of the "Stockholm Cup" series of races that are a great success here in Stockholm.

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