Pyeongchang, South Korea – The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games closed leaving each of us with our favorite memories of sporting moments. Matthias Hangst, Getty Images Chief Photographer, talked to us about his ‘Best of PyeongChang’:
“There are many different photo position options to cover a Skeleton race – personally I like the finish area. Skeleton racers have to break with their arms and legs after crossing the finish line. This special technique gives them an interesting and unique body-shape. A combination of a colorful dress, speed and energy makes the picture.”
“The Aerial competitions are one of the most spectacular events at the Olympics. It’s ‘unreal’ what these athletes perform whilst flying through the air. We had a designated team of photographers to cover all the Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard events in Phoenix Park. I was scheduled to support and help them for a few events, just because we needed more photographers to cover different perspectives.
I got the chance to be really close to the kicker and work with a really slow shutter speed. There are not many moments when you get the athlete’s head in focus and without too much movement. The rest of the body looks like an angel in the air.”
“This picture doesn’t show an Olympic athlete, however, it is an ‘Olympic Moment’ for me. I was supposed to cover the Men’s Giant Slalom race from a position in the Finish area. This meant I was responsible for the reactions after the athletes crossed the finish line. I realized really quickly that one of the last gates of the track could be a challenge for the racers. Some of them actually crashed later in the race. But by far the most spectacular moment was delivered by a forerunner. He crashed into the gate and went up into the air. The photo is underexposed on purpose. I was looking for the nice morning backlight.”
“This is my personal favourite photo of the Games. It was my first day up on the ski-jumping hill and I was scheduled to produce simple stock action photos of each jumper in the first round. I found my position on the steps next to the rings. I was looking for something different when I saw the jumpers were flying over the Olympic Rings which have been branded down in the snow below them. I noticed that this would make a good picture. The idea did not work for all the jumpers, because this depended on the cut of their goggles. But some of them produced a really nice reflection while they flew over the rings. The black suite and the golden goggles of Johann Andre Forfang of Norway really made the difference.“
”It’s all about moments, it’s all about emotions. The Olympic Games produce all of this and a photographer is a lucky person to participate. Gold medalist Sofia Goggia of Italy was overwhelmed after her victory in the Ladies’ Downhill race. After the flower ceremony she knelt and showed some of these rare moments of heartbreaking and honest emotions“.
”This photo of the Cross Country Ladies’ Team Sprint Free Final shows how close it can be: Being an Olympic Champion or the loser. Sometimes it’s about centimeters at the Olympics. And that’s one of the great topics of still photography: We can visualize these moments.”
“Snowboard seems to be the new ‘big thing’ at the Winter Olympics. There are many different competitions – Big Air is one of them. The athletes come down a massive ramp and perform crazy moves and turns up in the air. The venue wasn’t the most beautiful. So I looked for a different perspective and climbed up a little hill next to the ramp and got this shot “