Täby Pole Vaulting Gala 2021 on Täby Square, 3rd July 2021

While reading the website for the local newspaper I discovered that a pole vaulting competition was going to be held between the 2nd and 3rd July on Täby Square. I had already missed the main event where some of the pole vaulting elite competed so decided to attend the B-finals on Sunday the 3rd. I don’t usually photograph sports, as I have no interest in it, but saw it as an opportunity to try something I don’t normally do. Entrance to the event was free so I wouldn’t waste any money if I didn’t like it.

Sunday came and I arrived at Täby Square circa 12:00. The contestants were warming up and testing the track so I took some photos of them and walked around to familiarize myself with the area. While doing so I discovered a flyer with information on the event. It said that the competition would start at 16:30 and that gave me some time to complete some other tasks I had that day.

I returned to Täby Square ca 18:00, my tasks having taken longer to complete than anticipated. The men’s B-finals were already underway so I equipped my rangefinder and started shooting. I stayed during the remainder of the event and burned through an entire roll of film.

After developing and scanning the roll I discovered that most of the photographs were one (1) stop overexposed and I had to do some brightness and contrast correction to fix them. When I took these photos the sun were shining brightly and, as I use sunny 16 to calculate exposure, I had set my aperture to f.16 and shutter speed to 1/500th to match the weather. But it clearly wasn’t enough and I should have bumped up the shutter speed to 1/1000th or the aperture to f.22. The lightly coloured buildings around the square probably also contributed to the overexposure of my photographs. This experience shows that I need to get better at evaluating light conditions so I can properly set exposure.

One thing I thought about, and tried to implement when shooting the event, was to try and tell a story with my pictures. I wanted my photos to form a narrative and not just be individual images. I don’t think I succeeded in this, and though I can put some of the better photos on the roll into a series I don’t feel that they tell a cohesive story.

By Skoge Farman

I am a street photographer based north of Stockholm.

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