Thursday, August 19, 2010

Two things I love...

When I was tasked to handle the contact with a German writer who wanted to interview the head teacher of the aikido school I practice at, Imaizumi Sensei, I was very excited... In a usual class setting he doesn't really speak that much, so I was curious to see what would happen in an interview situation... What would he share? What pieces of wisdom would he impart? When it turned out that the magazine actually chose me to supply the images for their article I was even more excited... I had been studying at the Shin-Budo Kai main dojo for about 8 years and finally it was time to combine two of the things / arts I like best: Aikido and photography.

I figured I would shoot two classes, the interview and a short formal setting after the interview... And was kindly permitted that setup...

I was of course nervous... I always am. And I get made fun of for it as well...
Usually I am my harshest critic, but in this case I felt I needed to make an extra effort because I wanted to be able to go back and train and not have the shame of a failed shoot follow me around...

And I found new appreciation for what sports photographers do... It is actually not that easy to show the most typical part of an art, a sport or a technique... While it was suggested by a veteran sports photographer to just light a scene and have set up techniques I decided against it... I wanted to capture some of the fun and intensity that I know exists in aikido... That came of course with a price: Low mixed lights and circular motions in changing degrees took their toll in regards to file quality: Noise and missed focus were not making things easy... But in the end I am very happy with what I got.

The images show the story layout for my portfolio & website. For me they show a mix of concentration, intensity and fun that makes aikido so special to me.


  1. so much emotion and movement... beautiful work, dirk. (from aya)

  2. Wow, these are astonishing. A whole new window into SBK. The closeup of sensei is astonishingly powerful, showing both his nobility and his age. Powerful technique shots... we need your work on the SBK web site, if you'll allow it!!!

  3. Great pictures. My 2 little boys started Aikido this year and just had their first grading. It's a bit late, but I'm thinking of taking it up myself now :)

  4. @Andrew: Sorry, I haven't checked for comments in a while! Thank you for your kind words! I'd be happy to see the images used on the SBK website!

    @Emily: Thank you! I would recommend taking a class to check it out anyways... Good luck with it!