Samo Vidic has been a professional sports photographer for almost 20 years. A Canon Ambassador, he regularly covers major sporting events for magazines and newspapers as well as shooting portraits of top sports stars and advertising campaigns for major brands. He has photographed sport for Red Bull since 2005.
Samo recently shot parkour group Storror in Istanbul, Turkey, capturing spectacular images of the athletes leaping onto, vaulting over and running across surfaces of different heights. So we asked him what advice he has to offer photographers ready for the challenge of shooting freerunning and other high-octane urban sports.
“Preparation for the shoot is essential, particularly with fast and unpredictable sports such as parkour,” Samo says. “It sounds obvious, but before heading out you have to make sure you have all the essential equipment, such as the right lenses, charged batteries and spare memory cards.”
On the day of the shoot, Samo says it’s important to plan out what you’re going to do. “Before I take my Canon EOS-1D X Mark II out of the case, I’ll speak with the athletes and take a detailed look around the location, so I know exactly where the vantage points are for capturing the perfect shot,” he says.
Choosing the correct lenses is vital, too. “Shooting with the most versatile and robust lenses is essential, as the camera equipment may take a few knocks along the way,” Samo explains.
“For capturing fast-paced urban sports, I suggest using a wide-angle lens such as Canon’s EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM for a solid and versatile experience. For distance photography, Canon’s EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is a great option because it’s perfect for focusing on the detail and isolating an athlete from the background.”
Parkour athletes are constantly on the move, making it a difficult sport to capture on camera. For the best results, Samo recommends taking control of your exposure settings.