Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Photography from 2011 WJCC (Perth)

From Saturday 5 - Sunday 13 March, I was volunteering as a steward at the World Junior Curling Championships (WJCC) in Perth's Dewars Centre: And on two of those days I was pretending to be a photographer.

Briar Hürlimann (Switzerland) delivering a stone

20 of the top teams from around the world (10 boys teams and 10 girls teams) were representing their countries and competing for the World Junior trophies. Amongst them was Scotland's Eve Muirhead, who in her final year at Junior level was aiming to win a record-breaking fourth title (having previously won in 2007, 2008, and 2009 - she missed the 2010 tournament while representing Great Britain at the Winter Olympics).

I thoroughly enjoyed the week: Welcoming many friendly faces from around the world to the Dewars Centre; getting to meet the competitors, coaches, and support staff (including notable curlers like Rhona Martin and Ralph Stöckli); and getting to watch top-level international curling from prime viewing locations every day.

Here is a small sample of the photos I took while not working - during Day 5 afternoon (girls) and Day 9 afternoon (girls final, bronze medal game, and the closing ceremony)...

Sara McManus watches as Sofia Mabergs & Anna Huhta (Sweden) sweep

Ekaterina Antonova & Galina Arsen'kina ready for Victoria Moiseeva's stone (Russia)

Norwegian sweepers (in centre) and Swiss sweepers (on right)

Most of the teams lined up during the closing ceremony

I'm surprised how well a lot of my photos came out, and I've become really fascinated with the panned action shots that [usually] make the moving players appear static in near-perfect focus while everything else is a rushing blur.
I first noticed this style of photography in a couple of the photos on the official WJCC website, where my initial assumption was, ironically, that someone had made the curlers stand out from the image by doing a bit of tacky photoshop work! I wasn't impressed with those original images because the overall style looked forced - as if the photo was originally in full focus before someone used photoshop to mask the curler (keeping them in focus) while distorting the remaining background with a motion blur filter.
I only began to appreciate the style once I saw that some of my photos appeared the same, and I realised that it was all done in-camera rather than as a quick photoshop edit.
My photo of Briar Hürlimann (top) is possibly my favourite with this style, although the Swedish photo just below it is also pretty cool (particularly how the sweepers are framed in perfect focus between two blurry photographers).

If you'd like to see more of my photos from the WJCC, please visit the relevant albums on my facebook profile by clicking the links below:

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