The athletics is truly a timeless sport. The movements of the race, the throws and the jumps have changed very little during more than a century of history of this sport. That’s why the black and white is very suitable for documenting this kind of event!
The photos in this series were taken during the provincial youth athletics championships in the stadium of Cantù, with the participation of hundreds of students (including my students) from all high schools of the Province of Como.
The races are always exciting, and often a photo taken from behind, with a diagonal composition, can offer an interesting perspective. The boy, with both feet not touching the track, seems to be flying towards victory! Run Forrest, Run!
The black and white is essential, based on the composition, and requires to eliminate any distracting elements present in the background. You should move closer to the subject, and search for the right camera angle. A great exercise is to use a standard lens (a 50mm lens) and to move near to the subject, searching the best point of view. In the photo below, I was near the change zone of the relay, so I reported a crucial moments of the race.
Do not forget to photograph the moments after the competitions (for example: athletes tired or award ceremonies!)
The black and white forces you to search for new angles and new points of view. Even in a high jump competition a frontal photos or a diagonal composition changes the entire look of the picture!
Have fun with the sport!
All these photos were taken with a Praktica MTL 50 with a Pentacon 50/1,8 lens. The film was an Ilford HP5+ developed in Rodinal R09.