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Sports photography more than just point, shoot

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Mon, April 30, 2018  /  08:28 am
Sports photography more than just point, shoot

Capturing the moment: Senior photo journalist Peksi Cahyo (right) speaks about his career and experiences while PT Datascrip Canon Division customer support executive Januardo Henry Salvetti (left) and The Jakarta Post photographer Seto Wardhana listen during the discussion on “How to Take Sports Photos Like a Pro” at the Headliners Photo Exhibition held to mark the 35th anniversary of The Jakarta Post at Lotte Shopping Avenue, Jakarta, on Saturday. (Yulianus Ladung/File)

Despite the fast-paced nature of sport, there is more to sports photography than continuous, lightning quick shutter speeds.

In the spirit of the upcoming Asian Games in August, The Jakarta Post held a discussion on Saturday on how to take sports photographs like a pro, inviting senior sports photographer Peksi Cahyo as the main speaker.

Held at Lotte Shopping Avenue in South Jakarta, the discussion was part of the Headliners Photo Exhibition, an exhibition of 100 photographs that graced the front-page of The Jakarta Post throughout the years to celebrate the paper’s 35th anniversary. 

Having more than a decade’s worth of experience in a newspaper, a sports tabloid and a news portal, Peksi has covered a plethora of events, ranging from soccer matches in the 2010 World Cup and 2008 Euro Cup to the F1 championships. 

Peksi, who is currently a multimedia producer at, believes that an aspiring sports photographer must possess adequate knowledge of the sport they are covering.

“Even if you know what makes a good picture, if you are not well-versed in that particular sport, you will be stumped over what technique or equipment to use once you get on the field,” he said.

He provided the example of his photograph of boxer Daud Jordan receiving a blow to his head. The image landed Peksi first place in the sports category at the 2015 Indonesian Photojournalists Association’s Award.

“Before capturing that image, I had to learn the intricacies of boxing, such as its techniques. Each technique will show up differently on camera, so it will influence your choice of location, equipment and the techniques you use.”

Different techniques are used in different sports. A freeze shot with a fast shutter speed is usually used to capture a pair of swimmers about to enter the water, while a slower shutter speed is utilized to bring drama to a photo of a weightlifter.

“Motorsport pictures are tricky. Aside from the noise, the vehicles move very quickly. If we use a fast shutter speed to compensate, the vehicles can look like they are parked,” Peksi said, noting that he used the panning method to convey the vehicles’ high velocity in a single frame.

For Peksi, the single frame is what viewers see, so it is important for each picture to be able to tell a story.

The event on Saturday also saw the announcement of the paper’s Instagram photo competition, which challenged participants to capture pictures that reflected the theme “Breaking Boundaries”. As many as 10 strong, inspiring pictures made the cut to the final selection.

Third prize went to Instagram user @dh_wijayanto, who captured an 11-year-old handicapped boy learning to write despite his physical limitations. Second prize went to @hadlyvavaldi, with a picture of a man trying to put out a huge fire with a small ladle.

The winner of the competition was @dewinurcahyani, who photographed a veiled Muslim woman holding a dog. The woman in the picture is Hesti Sutrisno, an animal lover who keeps abandoned dogs at her house in Pamulang, South Tangerang.

“Hesti was called all sorts of things, from a blasphemer to a fake Muslim. However, she believes that Islam teaches us to care for all living creatures,” Dewi said.

The Headliners Photo Exhibition concluded on Sunday with a panel discussion presented by Samsung on how to utilize smartphones for street photography.

The Post’s photo desk editor R. Berto Wedhatama, the main speaker of the event, explained that smartphone photography is all about momentum, as there are certain hardware limitations that can affect the final image.

“If you are looking to buy a smartphone for photography, don’t just focus on the megapixel of its camera. A big aperture matters because it can affect the camera’s performance in low light situations,” Berto said, adding that smartphones boasting an aperture of F1.7 or F2 could produce quality images.

Smartphones have increasingly become a field journalist’s weapon of choice, be it for doorstop interviews or for quick snapshots. 

Photojournalist Jerry Adiguna said he took a picture of Setya Novanto’s wrecked SUV using a mobile phone because of the small window of time to capture the scene. At that time, he said he was afraid the car would be towed at any minute. The picture graced the paper’s Nov. 17 2017 front page. (jlm)

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