crossfit athlete Stefanie Hagelstam jumping over the bar

Sawotta 2016

A few weeks ago I spent the Saturday again at Sawotta judging and photographing between the heats in which I was a judge. This year the event had moved to a new venue – the Savonlinna Ice Hall. The new venue had more space for the audience, but since it was a cool summer day no part of the venue was especially warm even though there was no ice to be found.

crossfit athlete Liina Vartia running

I have to admit that I enjoy the double role of judging and photographing functional fitness events. Sure I could live with just photographing, but only judging would find me somewhat frustrated during breaks since I would be annoyed with the missed photographic moments while watching heats. And also when tiredness starts to kick in (as it always does in long events like these), photography keeps me more alert even during the downtime.

crossfit athlete clean and jerking

This time I also managed to be quick and go through my photographs and do some quick edit quickly so that I could get them out to the world. It’s been fun to see my photographs show up on Instagram in athletes’ own feeds. That’s all the thanks I need for this sort of photography which is done to support the growing CrossFit community in Finland.

crossfit athlete clean and jerking

I’m also overjoyed that the athletes appreciate and share also the images in which they don’t look handsome and pretty. I guess all of know full well that the faces we make during grueling WODs will never be pretty or handsome…

crossfit athlete Anna Ollikainen jumping and tripping over the bar

From a judges perspective the events this year were well planned and easy to judge – well everything except the double unders which are always hard to judge… There were some challenges that came from the change of venue, but on the fly changes to how some things were handled solved those quite well and the ability of the staff and judges to quickly adapt to changes allowed even quick paced heats to be handled with limited amount of hassle.

crossfit athletes throwing wallballs

From a photographers perspective the new venue was much better than the previous one simply because the white floor provided a neutral color when compared to the wood floor of the basketball court. Of course as is the case with any indoor venue, more light would have made photography easier but it was still a piece of cake when compared to shooting a gig in a small club ;)

crossfit athlete Satu Kansikas overhead squatting

Sprinkled throughout the post are some of my favorite photographs from the event. For the full set of over 200 or so, head over to our photogallery: Sawotta 2016.

crossfit athlete doing a pull-up

crossfit athlete tired after an event

crossfit athlete tired after an event

My first post on LinkedIn: Don’t over-engineer, listen to your customer. If software development / web app development is of any interest go give it a read :)

Housekeeping

A long time ago I decided to get rid of my other blogs, Shutterclicks and Satunnaisia leiskahduksia. Both blogs content has now been aggregated into this blog. With SL the merge was easy as had the same URL structure and all that. With Shutterclicks the change wasn’t so simple and unfortunately all post from there will redirect incorrectly due to a different URL structure. Also, it seems that the featured image etc. information of at least some of the latest Shutterclicks posts didn’t come through correctly. I guess I’ll go and try to fix all of that at some point. Maybe…

Best camera

two flatcoated retrievers, Luka and Topi, running in the snow

Some years ago when the iPhone was still a relatively new thing and the camera was nothing special, Chase Jarvis started to talk about how the best camera is the one you have with you. Over the years, phone cameras keep getting better, but they are still a far cry from “real cameras.” But still, it’s a camera that is always with you. And of course, for a good photograph you need vision – and often getting in close to you subject.

The above shot was taken during one of our walks with the dogs during an overcast day that didn’t warrant dragging a big camera along. Going down low, knowing my subjects and waiting for them to get close enough (and firing a burst of shots) gave me this. One of my best dog photographs lately and one that I wouldn’t have made without the camera in my phone.

All of the editing of the photograph has also been done on the iPhone using Snapseed and for reference, this is the unedited photograph.

Luka and Topi, unedited

Sawotta 2015

In June I was a judge at a smaller Finnish functional fitness competition, Sawotta. It was my first experience as a judge in a CrossFit competition and quite valuable at that. It’s been long enough from the event that I don’t have any clear recollections that are unique to judging at Sawotta since I was also a judge later in the summer at Karjalan Kovin, but the photographs I took during the competition may well be of interest.

I promise to get around to writing a bit about my thoughts on judging at CrossFit competitions later, but meanwhile enjoy the photographs I took in between the heat where I was a judge.