off-season lounge: danielle earl

Danielle Earl, photographer --

Do you change the way you look at figure skating when you're holding a camera in your hand vs. when you're just a spectator?
I do change how I look at figure skating when I photograph skaters. When I photograph, I have the opportunity to freeze a movement, facial expression or shape that a skater is making and make it last forever. When I photograph, I look for interesting lines or shapes that the skaters make as well as the emotions and reactions that come with being an athlete. What intrigues me most about figure skating photography is the ability to capture motion and emotion all in one. It is the chase for the perfect shot in the program that makes photographing skating so exhilarating. When I am spectating, I still look at the lines and emotions of the skaters; however, I get to enjoy the fluidity in which they move much more. It is much more relaxing to watch for sure!

How long have you been a photographer? a sports photographer? and how have you improved over the years?
I started photography at my home rink in 2008 at the age of 15. I got my first official job as a sports photographer at Sectionals in November of 2009. I find that my knowledge of the camera and my ability to predict movement have improved greatly since I started out, as well as, my confidence in myself as a photographer and, of course, my equipment!

What is your favourite photo of Tessa and Scott that you've taken and why?
My favourite photo (so far) of Tessa and Scott is probably this:

I'm not sure exactly why it's my favourite. It's nothing overly special, but the way they always look at each other is like they have so much love and respect for each other. It's like a boost of confidence for all the younger dance teams who often don't stay together very long. It's like saying "the right one will come, I promise." That picture makes me think of the trust that dancers (and pairs!) have to put into their partners.

Which segment is your favourite to capture, competition or exhibition?
In all honesty, my favourite segment to capture is the one that is happening at the time. Each has it's challenges but both are equally as rewarding. I find that competition photos have a different feel than exhibition photos. Exhibitions are much more free and there is little stress involved or anxiety (from the audience and the skater) while competitions have a more business-like feel in the photos. On the technical side, usually exhibitions have better lighting (bright spotlights vs. dim rink lights) so those photos tend to come out sharper and more in focus, but competition photos are more common and what I'm used to. The upside of competition photos is that there are way more pretty costumes to look at (on a purely selfish level, I love to look at all the costumes!) But essentially I love to shoot the event that is happening and I always feel a wee bit lost when there is no camera in my hand while I'm at the rink.

source: original interview

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