In this showcase series we feature the action sports photography of Philip Platzer.
Philip, can you tell us about your photographic background?
I am a 34 year old sports photographer based in Graz, Austria. I was always interested in photography and doing action sports like snowboarding, rock climbing and surfing.
So it made perfect sense trying to capture all this great moments. I started to shoot friends and became addicted to photography pretty quick. I don’t have any classic education, as an autodidact I started to work as a pro in 2009 and well, I’m happy it worked out like that.
Can you tell us more about this action sport series?
The great thing about action sports photography is that you have so many different tasks, you can shoot emotions, the lifestyle of the athletes, portraits and of course the action. I love to do experiments – like playing with the shutter speed to get some motion blur, even if its uncommon for surfing or rowing.
I also shoot a lot of motor sports, I’m kind of a resident photographer for the Red Bull race track in Austria. That gives me a great opportunity to do nice image–shoots and big events. But after all I still love to go snowboarding in the backcountry – with my little Fuji X100S
in the backpack and ready to shoot whatever I can get.
What equipment do you use for your sports photography?
Most of the time I work with two camera bodies, a Nikon D4 and a Nikon D700 as a backup or second camera. I use lenses with a range from 16mm fisheye up to 500mm telephoto, incl zoom and prime lenses. All Nikon lenses with fast apertures, in order to be able to shoot in low light as well. Especially in action sports photography your equipment needs to be resistant.
Many shooting happens in bad weather conditions, dusty areas or on cold mountains. Last summer I killed both cameras while shooting the Red Bull Hare Scrambel in heavy rain and muddy terrain. Thanks to a good insurance I was still in a good mood and the pictures were worth it.
Some photographers say a good picture needs no post production, well, my opinion is a good picture deserves good post production. Of course, photography should happen in your camera, you can’t Photoshop important things like perspective and the right moment.
But playing with colours and contrasts can emphasise your work. I like to keep it natural, even when you’ve done hours of post processing on one picture, the post production should not dominate it.
Photophique has express permission to publish these images and Philip Platzer retains full copyright to all photographs featured in this showcase series.