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Chasing the snow: Sports photography at its most supreme

By Matthew Oxley | 1 year ago

Clas Hammari Kristensen is a freelance photographer based in Tromsø, Norway. He was shortlisted in the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards with his series, 'Northern Lights'. All his images are for sale, and you can find them here.

Anyone can enter this year's competition for free, and submissions close early January 2018. 


Hi Clas, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your photography 

I'm a 37-year-old autodidact freelance photographer and medical doctor currently living in Tromsø, Norway. My main focus is action sport, particularly snowboarding. I'm a multiple nominee and a two-time winner of the national snowboard picture of the year. My photos have been displayed in snowboard magazines around the world and I have held a photo exhibition dedicated to snowboard photography. 


Why photography? What does the medium mean to you? 

Why? That's a difficult question, the answer is probably not the same now compared to when I started shooting. As I have become older, more nostalgic feelings towards photography have become important to me. The preservation of time, a feeling that could be re-experienced, memories of good and bad times. I think these feelings or thoughts are applicable to all aspects of photography. 

Remind us of your successful series in the Sony awards, 'Northern Lights'. Why did you choose these images and what do they mean to you? 

I was shortlisted in the professional sports category in 2015 with the series 'Northern Lights'. The series doesn't contain a single shot of the northern lights also known as the aurora borealis. For the series, I took advantage of another light phenomenon that occurs above the arctic circle during the winter months. You might call it the never-ending sunset or sunrise, the sun sits low on the horizon during the day and creates a unique opportunity to play with natural light and shadows. I chose the pictures because I hoped to portray sports photography in a way that created interest for snowboarding and photography both inside and outside the snowboard community. 


Do you have a photographic philosophy? 

I really don't know. Maybe I see photography as a way to interact with other people. To share the joy of capturing a shot with the subject is a big motivation factor for me. 

What top tips would you give to budding sports photographers? 

The usual tips are there for a good reason and they apply to sports photography as well. Take a lot of photos. Scope for spots, pay attention to the sun and where it's at during different times of the day. Take test shots and plan for the next trip if you can. Buy magazines to study what other photographers do and what you like or dislike. 


What has been your most memorable shoot or location? 

I actually can't pick one. It's easier to think of all the good times I've had with my friends capturing the shots. 

Where in the world are you and what's next for you? 

Coordinates: 69°40′58″N 18°56′34″E. I don't have any set plans for the upcoming winter but I'm working on some ideas.


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