Elena Chimonas' Blog

Photographic Inspirations

Interview with Richard Nelms

What influenced you to become a sports photographer?
I have always loved sport and photography so they naturally came together.
The buzz of capturing/ freezing the action and getting ‘that’ image is a great thrill.
Sometimes you get it sometimes you don’t, but when you do..Wow!
Still have the buzz after 25 years!

How would you explain the main difference between working with film and working with digital to capture sports?
The difference being you can check straight away whether you have got the shot
With film you had to wait to get back to the lab to see if you got it, if you did great if not disappointment sinks in.
But as I said before if you see it you have missed it, so deep down you know whether you have that great shot or not.
Do you miss the days of working with film? If so, how?
Not really, only for the above reasons.

Have you ever had one of your photographs used incorrectly by the Coventry Telegraph such as cropping or misleading text overlaying the image?
All the time! (well maybe not all the time)
This happens with lots of papers, sometimes sub editors have no idea of how to use an image properly, badly cropped can kill it
If the image does not fit the page page, they make it somehow.
Still after all these years you just have to live with it!

What motivates you to keep working freelance as aposed to working for a company?
To feed my Family!
Seriously though, ultimately it is still the same for me, my pictures appear in newspapers, that is what I do.
I loved working for the Coventry Telegraph, it still is a great paper, fantastic editor and journalists. I miss the banter and speed of the newsroom, again I had a great buzz trying to meet deadlines.

What has been the most exciting part of your carea?
Being able to work alongside some great photographers, getting my sports pictures published in newspapers etc.
Also I won on three occasions, sports photographer of the year, which is great to be recognized by your piers.
Football photography is what I do most, but if I were to say what was my greatest time as sports photographer at the CT then it would be taking pictures of boxing. A few years back we had a lot of great boxers in Coventry, fighting for British, Commonwealth, European and World titles, I covered the lot, home and abroad…..Great times!

How do you see the game when your photographing it? Do you see the movement, beauty and composition or do you find yourself focusing on the game itself?
Too absorbed with getting tucked into the action.
Anticipation is the name of the game, always looking to see what is coming next, staying focused.
A photographer could never report on a match as well, impossible I think. You see the game in a totally different light.
I get asked , ‘which player had a good game?’……I have no idea, too busy snapping!

Would you describe some of your images as fine art rather than to documentary?
I would say a bit of both.
With newspaper photography you are documenting it for the public to see.
Photography is an art form, which ever subject you are covering, I call it painting with light!!


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