Yannick Schurwanz Was An Athlete. Now He Lights Them Creatively



“Ultimately, we’re all simply human beings, and that’s typically forgotten with athletes. That can be the case as a photographer,” says Dutch photographer Yannick Schurwanz. He was a former aggressive athlete when an damage compelled him to the sidelines for a number of weeks. Selecting up a digicam throughout this era received him a humorous nickname and a future images profession.

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Yannick makes a speciality of sports activities images, very similar to I do too. However I wasn’t an athlete in any method. I simply occurred to be a visitor with an enormous prosumer digicam at a race meet one night. An organizer noticed me and gave me the primary break of my skilled profession. It’s all on this article by Dan from final week. It pays to be on the proper locations and do the precise factor. In Yannick’s case, he didn’t sit round when he was on the sidelines on account of a sporting damage. He grabbed his digicam and commenced photographing his fellow athletes, even when he was horrible at it to start out with. A constructive perspective and information of the topic he skilled his digicam on, meant that he might solely get higher on the craft. It’s a lot simpler lately than 20 or 15 years in the past to be taught and observe images. Seize your digicam and begin making footage. Simply don’t hand over while you see unhealthy ones coming out of your lens. 

The Important Photograph Gear Utilized by Yannick Schurwanz

Yannick informed us:

To be trustworthy, I’m a real gear addict; I actually have an excessive amount of gear, I believe typically hahaha. However then again, I see gear as a device, so I don’t care which model or device I take advantage of, so long as it’s the easiest I can get. A consumer is paying you some huge cash, so that you higher ship the very best you will get. That doesn’t imply that good gear makes good footage. Nevertheless it helps good photographers make even higher work. Good gear ought to show you how to give attention to the topic you shoot, and it ought to be dependable for me. I had my digicam’s in snowstorms in Lapland with -20 for complete days, and good gear ought to be capable of work in any situation. 

The Phoblographer: Would you thoughts telling us about your self and the way you bought into images?

Yannick Schurwanz: I’m Yannick Schurwanz, 25 years previous from Groningen, Netherlands. I’ve been photographing since 2015, so not that lengthy, truly. It began with my mother being into images; she was within the darkroom herself. That impressed me to purchase my very first digicam (Nikon D5300 + 18-105mm). I used a digicam to take vacation footage throughout the summer time of 2015. I didn’t know something about images, however I actually grew to become in love with modifying in lightroom. Turning horrible footage into one thing first rate via modifying. 

Later that yr, I began learning and rowing competitively; coaching 8 occasions every week introduced its accidents, so as a substitute of sitting on the sideline, I photographed my freshmen (8+) and shortly had the nickname ‘Schwanzpics’ on the membership. Which means dickpics in German, a wordplay with my nickname. That joke was truly the beginning of my skilled profession. 

In some unspecified time in the future, my crew pushed me to go to a race, and inside no time, I took over the rowing group within the Netherlands with my terribly over-edited pictures, however effectively, they stood out, so it gained a variety of consideration. Inside no time, individuals have been asking me for images jobs, however wanting again at it, I wasn’t prepared for it, though I assumed I used to be. So in 2017, it was my aspect job subsequent to learning, and subsequent to excessive edits, I grew to become a greater photographer. From 2019 onwards, I made a decision I wished to do images full-time and put my bachelor in spatial planning on a decrease stage to give attention to making my dream a actuality. From there on, I’m nonetheless rising and rising, business-wise, but additionally as an artist. 

These days, my campaigns might be seen on billboards all throughout the nation, and I journey with the German Rowing Federation to a variety of occasions and coaching camps. However I additionally shoot the professional golf circuit.  

The Phoblographer: Most individuals wish to freeze athletic motion with super-fast shutter speeds. Inform us what impressed you to sluggish issues down a bit and do that collection a bit of in another way.

Yannick Schurwanz: Since I shoot a variety of sports activities occasions, I at all times decelerate my shutter infrequently. Most of my assignments aren’t like different sports activities photographers; I don’t work for the press. I work for manufacturers and organizers that give a variety of inventive freedom. So it was solely a logical transfer to do the identical factor within the studio. I used to be additionally impressed by Tim Tadder to do it. His work is a superb inspiration for me. 

The Phoblographer: Have been there a number of takes required for every shot? Are you able to assist demystify the ideas of entrance and rear shutter curtains for our readers

Yannick Schurwanz: Nicely, truly we didn’t put together this shoot with a lot element, The sunshine setups have been ready, and we had a temper board for poses; aside from that, we discovered by doing. We simply switched up poses along with our superb mannequin, who has a health and karate background, which helped rather a lot in doing kicks and different actions. Truly, in most pictures, I didn’t use rear curtain sync for the reason that shutter is low; timing was simpler with normal entrance curtain shutter. We took round 500 pictures that day, of which 300 have been simply testing setups. 

On the finish of the shoot, we had the aha second, the place we understood find out how to get the many of the lighting. All the photographs you see have been from the final half, the place we moved to lights extraordinarily shut to attenuate spill. 

My mother at all times used a Nikon, so I needed to go for a Nikon. It made it potential to make use of her superb lenses, like a 70-200mm which actually helped rather a lot to start with since I didn’t have my very own professional gear

The Phoblographer: In the event you’re in a fancy shoot like this and one thing doesn’t work out, what do you do to vary issues round? How do you prepare your self to place apart such roadblocks and develop new concepts on the spot?

Yannick Schurwanz: It is a excellent query and one thing that splits the amateurs from the professionals, in my view. I truly had a consumer who wished the identical impact because the Lightspeed collection. We rented a studio and did every little thing precisely the identical, similar gear, similar assistant. However someway, we didn’t get the impact working. It was on account of a window which didn’t allow us to create a full black-out within the studio that was wanted. I used to be telling myself to be calm, be clear to the consumer and ensure I’ve an answer. It wasn’t an issue in any respect; we had ready a backup answer. We shot all of the property and glued it in put up. So for me, one of the best ways to beat these roadblocks is to have back-ups and a shitload of expertise and preparation. So for large studio manufacturing, I take a look at my full setups at our personal little studio. 

The Phoblographer: Was there a comforting sense of accomplishment after finishing the shoot with out a lot Photoshop?

Yannick Schurwanz: Truly, I used to be at the moment a bit burned out, and images was not that a lot enjoyable, even excited about quitting. So a buddy pushed me to do a undertaking which I believe would give me a variety of power and enjoyable. This was the Lightspeed collection. After getting dwelling and going via the information, making the primary lightroom changes. I used to be screaming with happiness. It made me very emotional; it actually gave me power for the following three weeks and a variety of motivation to push additional. It additionally gave me a variety of confidence seeing the entire plan coming collectively. 

The Phoblographer: So what have been among the concepts and ideas that didn’t make it to the ultimate collection? What sort of footage or strategies didn’t work out ultimately?

Yannick Schurwanz: The entire shoot did go higher than anticipated; solely minor issues didn’t make it, like sure poses. However we discovered even higher poses ultimately, because of our mannequin Roos. We did additionally plan to do another color combos, however time was a bit of quick within the studio, however in any other case, it was actually in accordance with plan. That’s not at all times the case hahah. However I believe the extra expertise you may have, the higher you’re at developing with options. As a professional, you may have a really massive toolbox and simply decide some issues out of that field and mix them with one another.  

The Phoblographer: Why go down the difficult route when this may very well be carried out with much less effort utilizing available inventory CGI / photoshop presets?

Yannick Schurwanz: Simple, in a number of instances, you may spot the CGI/photoshop route. There’s one thing imperfect about doing it in-camera, which has much more character. And the in-camera route is quicker, I’d say, for me. 

The Phoblographer: I typically get caught for inventive concepts after I’m considering of non-public photograph initiatives. Do you may have any recommendations on how our readers can plan such inventive shoots to work on and really feel impressed once more?

Yannick Schurwanz: That’s a tough one for me. I even have an overdose of concepts however not the power and time to execute all of them since I work rather a lot for purchasers. I mandate myself to have a private undertaking each 1-2 months! I push myself as a result of I do know it should convey me additional; it’s the very best advertising and marketing on the market, exhibiting what you’re able to. A great way to get impressed is to mix strategies and topics. For instance, I like to mix strategies I see on Instagram in style/magnificence shoots and execute in a sports activities setting, which makes it really feel new as a result of not lots of people have carried out it in sports activities, for instance. So combine issues up you see. That can create work that stands out. 

The Phoblographer: Have you ever added on to this collection later with some new concepts? If not, do you intend on persevering with it quickly?

Yannick Schurwanz: I’ll work on new private initiatives with different advanced gentle setups however not a continuation. I truly need to do a steady collection as soon as, however for me to actually see a future in such a collection, I must have a really, very robust idea behind it, not simply exhibiting cool pictures. It ought to be a bit of conceptual art work. 

For the time being my eyes are on the approaching Nikon Z9. If it’s no good I believe a change to Sony is developing. The brand new expertise is enabling pictures that weren’t potential earlier or makes it simpler to get them and that’s what my work ought to be about, getting pictures that stand out.

The Phoblographer: You shoot with a variety of athletes in your line of labor. What are among the emotional and inspirational takebacks you’ve absorbed from working with them?

Yannick Schurwanz: I labored with a variety of Olympic athletes, world and European champions, and I’ve seen them cry, discuss of quitting and so forth. It’s simply unreal how a lot work goes into being a professional athlete. And it is vitally essential to not solely see the champions. There is just one winner however 1000’s of athletes placing in the identical laborious work and energy with out that being acknowledged correctly at all times. It’s important to be bodily robust however even stronger mentally. However ultimately, we’re all simply human beings, and that’s typically forgotten with athletes. That can be the case as a photographer. Particularly in occasions of social media, don’t get fooled. There may be at all times somebody on-line who may have higher work than you, and you shouldn’t care; be impressed by it, don’t devalue your work by social media, which I see occur method too typically. 

I’ve had my very own moments the place I assumed my work was not adequate, sitting on the airport crying as a result of I used to be sad, however after a few years, I discovered to simply accept that feeling, that your work is rarely completed, it’s by no means adequate. However that’s okay for me; I simply settle for that I’ve this considering sample and depart it there. And this can be a place the place I nonetheless can be taught rather a lot from among the athletes I {photograph}. 

All pictures by Yannick Schurwanz. Used with permission. Go to his Instagram and Behance pages, in addition to his web site to see extra of his work