Clubsnap had the opportunity to interview one of its judges for next weekend's Canon Photomarathon.... Jeremy Lee
The Canon Photomarathon 2015 will bring together photography enthusiasts from Singapore and around the region for a chance to pit their skills against some 3000+ shutterbugs on 22 Aug.
One of the judges for this pressure-packed annual competition is sports photographer Jeremy Lee, no stranger to racing to get the perfect shot
Fresh off the SEA Games, Jeremy understands the importance of preparation, visualization, anticipation and concentration in capturing a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
Jeremy has photographed many notable sportspeople including Tiger Woods, Serena Williams and Neymar. His other works include the WTA Finals 2014 and the Singapore Grand Prix 2011-2014
(Jeremy Lee is the Senior Sub-Editor and Photographer (Asia) for Action Images. He will be a judge at the annual Canon PhotoMarathon Singapore 2015. )
1. What do you look for in a picture, when you go through many images and pick that handful or less for publication or shortlisting for a competition?
Photography is entirely subjective. In Singapore, we are at times too obsessed with the model answer or in this case, the perfectly composed shot. During competitions, the judges will have different expectations. For Canon Photomarathon, we will have three judges and in conjunction with the judging criteria, each of us will have different expectations of what we want from the pictures.
It is important to be happy with the picture, and hopefully, others will see what you are trying to convey. You should photograph a picture in a way you like, and if our paths cross, that would be great. You should feel “I won this competition with a photo I like” rather than “I was trying to be an Ansel Adams or somebody else doing something because I think the judges would like this shot.”
2. What will absolutely KILL an image’s chances of selection in your opinion?
Kinfolk/ monocle/ hipster style shots of your cafe latte, reflections in puddles, and selfies. And in my opinion, if you use Instagram filters please just throw away your camera now.
3. You’re also the photographer for Action Images, when given an assignment, are you able to share with us your creative processes when under a tight timeline? Where and how do you start?
As a sports photographer, I try to gain as much understanding about the sport before heading out to capture the shot. The deeper the understanding of the sport, the better I can tell a story. Sports are often very unpredictable, and doing enough ‘research’ on the particular player, team, or sport, will help me to pre-empt why certain action happens.
Whenever I reach the arena, I look around for a good spot, sometimes arriving hours before the start of the game (if seats have not been assigned). I get my gear ready with its settings tweaked to suit the lighting of the arena. As sporting action happens very fast, I sit tight and go into the thick of the action immediately. You have to be tuned in and you have to get the picture. Sometimes, you do miss the shot, but it is about how to minimise those misses to the bare minimum. That is done through technical skill and when you understand the sport. With experience, you will be able to anticipate what happens next. When I was younger, I used to obsess on the shots I missed, but as you get older, you realise everybody misses shots, even the best photographers do, and that is part of it; you just got to let it go.
4. What are your opinions on digital manipulation?
The debate on digital manipulation has gone on for a while. I believe that art-form photos can be digitally manipulated. There is a fine line between a photographer and a Photoshop/digital artist. As a reportage photographer who is both an artist and archivist, I record what is in front of me. We might tweak the colour or improve the crop of an image in post-production, but we will not intentionally add or subtract objects for the mere purpose of aesthetics.
5. The Photomarathon is an all-day event, any practical advice on things non-photography related both BEFORE and DURING the event?
Try not to get too drunk the night before.
6. For someone participating in the Canon Photomarathon, what advise do you have for first timers? Apart from a camera, what other MUST HAVE gear should a participant be well advised to pack along?
Wet weather gear is always good to have. Just because it's raining doesn't give you an excuse not to shoot.