Glasgow Indoor Europeans

The next big event on my schedule were the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow. The event was well organized: accreditation, media hotel, shuttle service.

On the downside, the light in the arena was bad. So we struggled not only with the other photographers for the best photo positions, but also with the lighting. This forced me to shoot in RAW and rely on post processing.

The Swiss team had reasons to cheer, but there were also some disappointments (as usual). A big shoutout to Léa Sprunger who snatched the title in a very close 400m race against Cynthia Bolingo Mbongo (BEL). And thanks Léa for being professional and smiling at the Swiss photographers.

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Angelica Moser was amazing too. An unexpected 4th rank in the pole vault after an impressing performance. A new PB (4.65m) was the reward.

Mujinga Kambundji left Glasgow disappointed. She will find out why her form dropped after the Swiss Nationals. The fifth rank was not what she wanted.

For the first time Ajla Del Ponte reached an international final. She now is officially European Top Class.

And then there was big disappointment for Selina Büchel. Her semifinal was tactically not optimal. However, she seemed to cruise to a third rank (i.e. final qualification), but was surprised shortly before the finish line. The defending Champion was out.

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The international stars were Laura Muir who won two Gold medals on her home track, Jakob Ingerbritsen (NOR) with Gold and Silver, Ewa Swoboda (POL, Gold 60m), and Gianmarco Tambieri (ITA) with a big high-jump show.

On photo gear 2019

Leichtathletik Weltklasse Zuerich, 2018

Another nerdy blog entry… which camera should I/you buy?

While home cycling in our basement, I watched a few YouTube videos. Each year the same: it’s the end of the year, everybody has time, and the YouTube family thinks about market trends.

Orientierungslauf Florian Schneider Lobhorn Bern 2018 July-29, 2018

I’ll be straight. (If you want to have a full hour of entertainment on this question go elsewhere.) Buy ANY modern camera of the serious manufacturers, like Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Sony (in alphabetical order), and this camera will be excellent. Period.

It follows that if you buy a completely new system, the best thing is to go to a shop. Hold several models in your hands, and do some test shots of different subjects (if they let you). If you find the handling intuitive and the price is OK, buy the camera. If you have to guess how to find the right buttons, buy another one.

Niederhorn    July-11, 2018

If you have special needs, there is a little more to say. For instance, I shoot something like 3’000 frames on one single event. I need fast cameras with fast writing and reading capabilities. The autofocus must be excellent too. There are two manufacturers that provide this: Canon and Nikon. The full frame versions are the 1DXii for Canon and the D5 for Nikon (the predecessors will be excellent too). The corresponding APSC versions are the 7Dii by Canon and the D500 by Nikon. By construction the APSCs have poorer low light capabilities, but for outdoor sports my 7Dii is absolutely sufficient.

The only reason I shoot Canon, not Nikon, is that I bought a Canon some 10 years ago. Hence, I am stuck to the system. Would I be happier with Nikon? I don’t know, but I guess not. From what I know about Sony (I have friends with Sony) the reading and writing capabilities are inferior to Canon and Nikon. I have no information about Fuji, as I have never seen a colleague with Fuji in an arena.

UCI Cyclo-Cross Weltcup Bern  2018

What are the future trends?

  • Mobile phones will take over the market for snapshots and even landscape. The electronic capabilities of these cameras are incredible. Their main disadvantage is the missing tele lens. Nevertheless, all classic manufacturers will have big, big problems. Not risky to predict that some of them will die. If you have no special needs (like wildlife or sports), but just want a camera for your family photos: invest some 1’000 or more stones and buy a high end smartphone.
  • For the rest of the market, mirrorless cameras will replace DSLRs, but this will take some time. Manufacturers need that time to build the new lenses. The new standard will be F2 zoom lenses that will replace the current F2.8 zoom lenses. A lot of negative things have been said about Canon, but notice that Canon is the only manufacturer so far that has a completely new F2 zoom lens.

 

2018: check

It’s the quiet time of the year. Time to look back. Enjoy some of my best pictures

Sm’Aesch smashes VC Oudegem

I visited the re-match between Sm’Aesch-Pfeffingen (SUI) and VC Oudegem (BEL). The Belgian club had won the first match 3-1, but even before the start you could sense that everyone at the Sm’Aesch crew was determined to win. After a concentrated play and a brilliant 3-0, the match entered the Golden Set. Oudegem started strong, but as Sm’Aesch gathered a small lead, the Belgians lost confidence and Sm’Aesch took a sweet victory. Sm’Aesch played without their regular setter, Taylor Tashima, who suffers from a concussion. The 16 year-old Annalea Maeder replaced her well and became the secret hero of the match.

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#SCFSVW

Back to Freiburg again. After losing against a strong Mainz 05 two weeks ago, the SCF clearly wanted a win against Werder Bremen. They dominated over 80 mins, but only scored once. Then a 40 year old Peruvian entered the court and things flipped. Werder scored in the last minute of the overtime and the match ended 1-1.

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#SCFBMG

After a short break I was back to Freiburg. The guests were Borussia Mönchengladbach, second in the league. Freiburg won 3-1. They deserved the victory because of their good defense in the second half. I didn’t get as much out of the game as I was hoping, because I speculated to see attack after attack by Gladbach. However, Freiburg didn’t give Gladbach many opportunities. Thus, I waited at the wrong goal. As a sports photographer you sometimes win, and you sometimes lose.

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Fringe Sport

A top event yesterday! The UCI Cyclocross World Cup was in Bern. 15 minutes from my house. A World Cup. You should think this is big!

For those who don’t know what Cyclocross is: roughly speaking, it’s an offroad cycling race without mountain bike (irony off). There are two countries where this is extremely popular: Belgium and the Netherlands. The sport is almost unknown elsewhere.

Since I have a lot of friends in cycling, I decided to waive National Volleyball and shoot the World Cup races instead.

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Did I say races? Yes, women and men. The women started first. It was a thrilling race with Marianne Vos (7-times world champion) as winner after an acceleration in the last lap. Anyone interested? Not really. Anticipating this, the race was extremely short. And the press conference took place while most journalists were outside, watching the men’s medal ceremony. Cycling is a macho sport. Women don’t count. So only few of them are active. So, as the machos explain to you, they don’t count. It’s as simple as that.

Of course, this isn’t the male riders’ fault. So let’s talk about the men’s race. Again really thrilling. Mathieu van der Poel (NED) won after the world champion Wout van Aert (BEL) lost a few seconds because his chain dropped.

I uploaded my pictures quickly, anticipating that race coverage as such would be less important than including views on the location, the huge public swimming pool in Bern, known as Weyerli.

One day later, I spent a few minutes to find out what the press had written. Beyond the specialised cyclo media there was almost nothing. It’s a fringe sport. I feel sorry for the organisers who are absolute experts in cycling and really great people. The latest thing I heard was that there was a deficit of 30’000 Swiss Francs.

*** Update: one week later, there was a nice background article on Marianne Vos in “Sonntagszeitung”. The main catchword for that article was almost identical: fringe sport (the article pointed out that MV is a superstar, similar to other dominators of their sport, like Lindsey Vonn. She receives no media attention, though). ***