In a relationship with gymnastics for the last 64 years, Per traded his 70’s world’s appearance as a trampolinist to take part in the 2014’s edition as Trampoline Pundit’s photographer.
Let’s meet the man behind the camera!
#1 Who is Per Lindström?
I am a 68 year old retired Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science teacher. I studied at the Royal Technical High School (KTH) in Stockholm. I am a positive guy with much interest in Trampolining and Photography.
#2 Tell us how gymnastics came into your life.
#3 What were the most important moments of your gymnastics career?
When I was 7 years old (or so) I saw a circus act. They were training trampoline and I loved it! “I will do this in the future!” And 1969 (I think) I was in a big Trampoline competition in Gent. I came 14th out of 38. Later, in 1970, I met some of the trampoline top stars (like Wayne Miller) at the World Championships in Bern, where I went mostly to learn.
Historical fact: the Swedish Military didn’t want to let me travel. But, at the last minute, they gave me the OK so I arrived in Bern 24 hours before competition started. I was very disappointed.
#4 How did photography and gymnastics came together?
I love Trampoline, Double Mini Trampoline and Tumbling. They are such beautiful sports that I want to share it with everybody. When I was at the Trampoline Friendship Cup (CHE), I met Vladimir Zehman, and saw his beautiful Trampoline photos. I then decided to start taking Trampoline photos myself.
One problem is that you must have really good camera and lenses. It is too dark in most sport halls so, every year, I get better cameras. Nowadays I am using a Canon 5D Mark III and my lenses work well in the dark. Here are two of the lenses I use in competitions.
I have to say that a good photo can help you analyse a skill. Pictures (or videos) don’t lie. In a piked Triffis, for example, you can see if the legs are straight (or not!).
#5 How did the opportunity of working at Trampoline Pundit come about?
I had a chat with Leigh Hennessy about how to be an accredited photographer on the competition. I couldn’t register myself on the FIG Media Database because I don’t have an international/national photo license and some other documents. So Leigh asked “can you take photos for me?” (Trampoline Pundit) “Yes I would love to!” I answered! “Good then I will write a letter” she said!
#6 How was the experience of covering the 2014’s worlds?
It was really nice. Of course it is stressing when you have to capture Tumbling, Double Mini Trampoline and Trampoline at the same time. Every time I saw something nice, I took a picture. I was completely free to decide what to capture and the support I got from Catherine Tracy and Leigh was fantastic.
Leigh told me that many of the photos were storytelling, what made me feel really proud!
On top of that, I also learned how to take photos in lots of different situations.
#7 What were your favourite moments?
But the atmosphere was fantastic when Raquel Pinto took the bronze medal in Tumbling. She did very good passes. While she was walking back, after finishing one of her passes, she interacted with the audience with a little smile and wave which had a huge response.
#8 how, in your opinion, did the Swedish team go?
Not as good as we hoped.
The best boy was Oscar Smith who came 37th on Trampoline. Lina Sjöberg, 4th place at the European Championships, was a little unlucky on DMT and only got 19th place. Jonas Nordfors and Måns Åberg, that are at a higher level today, finished 30th in Synchronized Trampoline.
In WAGC Felix Holgersson was 10th out of 56 gymnasts in Under 15 Trampoline. That was great!
#9 and the Portuguese team?
I was impressed with the Portuguese Team. You had 2 senior woman (Ana Rente and Sílvia Saiote) and 2 senior men (Diogo Ganchinho and Pedro Ferreira) in the Individual Trampoline semi-finals, Tumbling senior girls were 3rd (Raquel Pinto) and 4th (Beatriz Botelho) and your senior DMT teams (men and women) came 4th.
In WAGC your girls took gold in Under 17 Synchronized Trampoline (Ana Gomes and Mariana Carvalho) and 5th (Bruna Li and Maria João Estevão) and Under 17 boys won silver (Afonso Fernandes and Miguel Magalhães) and a 5th place (Tiago Romão and Luís Afonso).
You had a lot of finalists in DMT and one of your boys (Luís Afonso) won gold in DMT Under 17.
#10 what message do you want to leave our readers that love photography and gymnastics?
Start taking photos yourself and share it with your friends. It´s so funny! Perhaps you need a camera a little bit better than your mobile’s. Looking at Facebook I have to say, wait for autofocus before you shoot, when the white rectangle turns green. Then, your photos will be sharp. And when you feel your work is better, start taking photos in RAW. Then you have high quality images with which you can work better.