Sports Photography in Corsica

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Sports Photography in Corsica

Christoph Oberschneider is constantly on the lookout for new challenges. His latest photographic expedition took the Salzburg based sports photographer to Corsica. He was accompanied by a Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di USD together with a Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di USD – the high speed zoom duo specially designed to meet the needs of professionals.

Impressive mountain panoramas, breathtaking sandy beaches and a mountain biker fighting his way up a steep mountain in the evening sun – these are the absorbing pictures hanging on the wall which are now also being critically examined by the photographer. Christoph Oberschneider is in the middle of preparing for an exhibition and is busy working his way through his various different subjects. Only the best photographs will make it through to the final selection. "It is always considerably more work than you expect", he sighs, while at the same time being delighted that his photographs are now being held in such high regard.

A soft spot for "real" light

"I prefer a clear, minimalistic image. The idea behind the photo should become quickly apparent", says Christoph Oberschneider and indicates his photograph of a professional cyclist powerfully pushing down on his pedals lit by the golden sunlight in the background. The picture was taken early in the morning in Corsica. In the raw landscape of this Mediterranean island, the photographer has artistically managed to place the sportsman centre stage in this scene.

Christoph Oberschneider loves "real" lighting effects. Perfectly lit studio shots that have been retouched down to the finest detail are not his thing at all. "I'm not a fan of posed scenes. I place much more faith in my own eyes and my camera which is always close to hand. And with a little luck this gives me the opportunity to capture real scenes that impress with their vivid authenticity."

Sports photography is both the main emphasis and passion of Christoph Oberschneider. He likes nothing more than to focus his lens on mountain bikers and skiers. Yet he has also discovered landscape photography over the last year. And the photographs that now give him the most pleasure are those in which he has succeeded in combining both of these subjects. "The exciting thing for me personally about this type of photography is the mix of physical exertion and photographic challenge."

From films to photography

Christoph Oberschneider actually only planned to use his first DSLR to make his mountain bike and skiing videos look more cinematic. Yet his interest in film was soon replaced by an enthusiasm for photography. "It is fascinating how much photographs can differ from the real experience. I don't find photography that merely reproduces a pure reflection of reality very exciting. It only becomes thrilling when you manage to capture emotions or portray them more powerfully in the image than they actually were in real life."

In order to achieve this goal on his adventurous expeditions, the photographer keeps his equipment to a bare minimum on his mountain bike and hiking tours. Alongside a Sony Alpha 99 and Alpha 77 II, he only carries the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di USD and the SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di USD lenses from Tamron with him. "The combination of the compact design and weather-resistance of the two Tamron lenses is perfectly suited to long expeditions", says Oberschneider, who appreciates not least the good value for money offered by these high speed Tamron lenses with their high-quality workmanship. "On the one hand, I am able to optimally isolate my subject matter and achieve beautiful blurring effects. And on the other hand, I also have the possibility of taking fantastic shots in less ideal lighting conditions, while the high resolution enables me to reproduce the finest details in the image. Both the 24-70mm and the 70-200mm produce very sharp pictures with an open aperture."

Excellent image quality

The high optical quality of the Tamron SP lenses is due, among other things, to the XLD (Extra Low Dispersion) elements that are used in the lenses. Their dispersive properties are even lower than those found in standard LD lenses. The combination of both types of lens ensures the highest level of contrast and maximum brilliance for your pictures. Chromatic aberrations are effectively prevented and details appear sharp even in peripheral regions. The autofocus works quickly, quietly and very precisely thanks to the ultrasonic motor (Ultrasonic Silent Drive). It is not without reason that these lenses carry the abbreviation "SP" in their name – which stands for "Super Performance". The Tamron engineers have incorporated no less than 17 elements in 12 groups into the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di USD, while the SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di USD even features 23 elements in 17 groups. Moreover, the versions that have Nikon and Canon mounts also feature an image stabiliser (VC). Sony DSLRs feature their own internal image stabiliser, which is why the Tamron engineers have omitted this feature in the Sony versions.

Christoph Oberschneider has now completed his preparations for his forthcoming exhibition. The subjects and formats have been selected. Yet this young and talented photographer is far from finished. "This winter I want to pick up where I left off last winter. I want to raise my ski photography to a new level and travel with even better skiers through the mountains to capture even more spectacular images." Therefore, it is only a matter of time before he is once again faced with the task of selecting his best photographs for the next exhibition.

The Equipment

"For my type of photography, it is important that the equipment is compact and light. In general, I only pack the Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di USD and the Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di USD lenses together with my full-format DSLR. The high speed professional zoom lenses are compact, robust and deliver outstanding image performance. They ensure I am well-equipped for every situation. As I don't have room for a stand, I am completely reliant in these extreme situations on the image stabilisers."

Five professional tips for outdoor photography

  1. Never lose patience or get discouraged by any initial setbacks. Persistence is important and then experience will come all by itself.
  2. Develop your own style. Creativity is the key to achieving this. Play around with the possibilities offered by your camera.
  3. Know your material and the fundamentals of photography. Practice with fixed focal lengths before attempting to use a telezoom lens.
  4. Master the sport that you want to photograph yourself. This will provide you with perspectives and approaches that are not so immediately obvious to other photographers.
  5. Always keep your camera close to hand. You often only have a few seconds to capture those fantastic shots. And it all comes down to how fast you can respond.

About the author: Christoph Oberschneider

Christoph Oberschneider was born in 1983 in Salzburg where he also grew up. While studying for his medical degree in Graz, he quickly developed a growing interest for photography and film with a focus on combining sport and landscapes. In 2012, he presented his short film "Days of Powder in Sportgastein" at the Salzburg Mountain Film Festival and the following year he achieved a number of top placed finishes at international ski photography competitions. He was one of five photographers worldwide to be invited to Whistler, Canada, for the "Pro Photographer Showdown" as part of the renowned "World Ski and Snowboard Festival" in 2014.

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