SPREAD:Though this photo appears to show Brazil’s Jade
Barbosa mounting the beam from the springboard, it actually
is the beginning of her first tumbling sequence on the beam:
flip-flop step-out, flip-flop, layout.
ABOVE: Jana Komrskova (Czech Republic) kept relatively clean
form on this Podkopayeva (roundoff half-on, piked barani).
Rising to the
MOST of the time, IG publishes
images that were taken from
the floor or perhaps from somewhere in the spectators’ seats. But considering that so much
of gymnastics takes place in midair, it makes perfect sense to
capture photos from various perspectives. That’s exactly what
German photographer Thomas Schreyer did at the 2007
Stuttgart World Championships, when he shot his subjects
Schreyer didn’t merely secure a camera in the arena rafters
and fire randomly via remote control. He perched on the catwalk, carrying two cameras. “I needed two different lenses,
which I could not change while on the catwalk,” says
Schreyer, who’s been shooting gymnastics for 24 years. “In
the beginning the organizers did not want to allow anyone
shooting from the ceiling. Just imagine if any parts fall down!
Heavy parts could be lethal, but gymnasts could also complain
if only a lens cap or a handkerchief fell down during a per-
Schreyer faced other challenges, as well. “The problem is to
fit the movement into the screen and to focus right,” he
explains. “It’s a big risk. [When shooting from] the floor there
is always any photo to get. From the ceiling the shooting may
fail. Sometimes there are no ‘beautiful’ elements, sometimes
there is only one element [worth shooting], which may not be
hit correctly by the photographer.”
Or by the gymnast.
Despite these obstacles, Schreyer managed to get quite a
few interesting shots, which we’ve printed here.