The first day of competition in Nordic Championships was longer than scheduled, and in the afternoon the schedule was around 45 minutes late. This of course is nothing spectacular. Otherwise the practical organization seemed to work well, and the results were published right away for everybody’s interest. The breaks due to course building were quite short, which meant less breaks from active shooting – although the breaks can often provide different and refreshing images of the teams having a bit of fun or relaxing.
The first course of the day (individual agility 1) provided a few easy angles for tighter action shots, and for few spots the lovely background could be included as well. While the nature background is definitely one of the nicest single photographic features in the area, this time it emphasized the typical problem with sports fields: the huge amount of poles for lighting etc. For one spot and angle the annoying poles are fairly easy to avoid by small adjustments, but with so many as around the competition field it became really tricky not to get a flagpole sticking out of one’s head in the picture. Add the judge to the equation, and it soon becomes really frustrating. At some point I pretty much stopped caring too much about the judge in this case.
The first jumping course (team jumping) was a really tough one to shoot. I wanted to avoid having office tents on the background, and most of the action happened between tunnels, and some nicely positioned obstacles were jumped from behind, so having both the dog and handler facing the same direction wasn’t very common. In addition, the classes were really short, only 20 dogs, and the course had only 19 obstacles compared to the individual ones pushed to the maximum 22. At the same time the local network probably booted itself – first time for everything – which messed up the address settings in the cameras. Most of the photos had to be forwarded afterwards to to that glitch. I hope that those issues didn’t influence the team’s performance, as in small and medium the Finnish teams were left last. Fortunately, the large team did great job beating the Danes’ clean runs in total time.
During the last competition (individual jumping) the long time from the breakfast probably began to have an impact at times. The course profile was again tricky for getting at least some variety in the images. There were moments when it felt every frame captured looked rubbish, and then for brief moments everything came nicely together. It feels that also the fine efforts by the team gave some boost – hopefully for others as well.
Tomorrow’s finals are going to be exciting, as in many classes the Finnish teams have very promising positions for reaching to the championship titles. At 22:30 right now, some photos wait for being updated, and due to an early start tomorrow, everything should be prepared and packed ready as far as possible to gain a few more minutes in the morning.