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Gymnasts - Eileen Langsley, 2002

7 May 2010

This photograph has sold as a poster and for greeting cards with the words ‘Thanks for being there’ and ‘Thanks for your support’.

The image was taken in the early noughties when I was still shooting film. It was at the World Sports Acrobatics Championships, in a rather gloomy arena. Because I needed to use filters to correct the colour balance and I didn’t want to push the colour reversal film too much I found myself working at a low shutter speed. So capturing the moment came down to timing.

After taking the photographs for my magazine assignments I turn my attention to shooting generic images. Here I looked at the hands of the gymnasts and how they held their partners in a balanced position.

One of the reasons I moved my business in this more creative direction was because there are so many point and shooters out there who can get half decent action photos thanks to the high ISOs and autofocus of modern digital cameras.

I tried to meet the challenge positively, and to me these images say more about the sport, and the trust and reliance that is inherent in it, than straight action images do.

Eileen Langsley will receive the International Order of Merit at the induction ceremony of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City on May 15th 2010. The award is for Eileen’s ‘exceptional and extraordinary service to the sport of Gymnastics.’ This may be the first time a sports photographer has ever been inducted into a Hall of Fame.

Having covered 12 Olympic Games and more World, European and National Championships than she cares to remember, Eileen is harbouring the ambition of shooting at the London Olympics in 2012.

Photographer since 1980, EPUK member since 2007.

See more work by Eileen Langsley

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