Hows the project going?
I often get asked this and happy to say my daily portrait photo project is still going strong. Today is day 236 of the project and I have still been able to take one persons photo a day. In less than a month I will get to the next big milestone - the final 100 pictures. but before that maybe it’s time for a short recap of this summer.
Here in Estonia the summer does not last long, although last weekend was 28d degree, it’s already cold, rainy and windy. The summer this year in Estonia was not the best, if you are fans of hot cloudless days. In the winter and early spring i had wondered how it will be in the summer, will it be easier to find people to photograph for the project? Sure it would be i thought, I could just step outside and ask the first person which I see. Everybody is so super happy in summer, of course they will want to have their picture taken I thought. Well it was not 100% like that. With summer would come it’s own challenges but luckily nothing to difficult. One thing I did not count on during summer was that I myself would be much more busier. Work, my full time job as well as private photo work, free time in the great outdoors and the not so small matter or organising and preparing for my own wedding all conspired to limit my time for this project. But luckily that did not stop things and I pressed on. Around the time of my wedding it was very busy, but I was very fortunate to have so many great people around me and many visiting from oversea’s who also became part of the project. So many people close to me where photographed in the project at this time - My Father, my Grandmother, my friends and most importantly my wife Margit on 12th of August, our wedding day!! The picture of Margit was taken in the middle of the wedding, once we had moved from the Wedding ceremony to the wedding reception venue on literally the hottest day of the year (31deg). We were standing in the middle of a field just after a short but sweet photoshoot with our wedding photographer - the wonderful Kerli Sosi. I had given my camera to Kerli to keep in her car during the wedding and when we had a free moment I took the picture of Margit (Picture #224). The highlight of the summer on the day when sun shone the brightest.
Last weekend I photographed the Estonian National cycling champs. It was a two day event held near to Tartu. First day was a time-trial and second was for the road races. Both days were quite long, starting from morning and ending in the early evening once all the prize givings were done. Weather was luckily not a big problem, I say luckily because the forecasts predicted heavy rain for both days but in the end, despite threatening, there was not a drop.
On the second day I also had motorcycle support to take me around the track and keep me amongst the action, this helped a lot and meant I could always be there as the race changed and unfolded.
Here are my favourite shots from the two days of racing.
In 2006, when I was still a cyclist living in France, I first heard about this cycling race in Tartu from a teammate - Allan Oras. I never got to do this race but since moving to Estonia to live full time in 2010, it has become an annual highlight on the local sports calendar. usually the best place to watch is on Vanemuise hill which is a straight incline but thanks to the walls that line the route has become a great viewing area.
The race track is a 10km lap around Tartu. It starts on one of the main street, Turu street and follows the river to Supilinn then heads up to the more affluent roads of Tähtvere. The track swings down past the ruins of Tartu cathedral and back to the Tartu old town. It continues up the mentioned vanemuise hill past the theatre of the same name before a slow decent through the ramshackle neighbourhood of Karlova and into the industrial side streets of Ropka before swinging back to the start/finish straight.
The race attracts a lot of people who come out to watch cycling fans to casual observers, but at the same time life in Tartu continues almost regardless. People enjoy a drink in the road side bars, sunbathe in the park, mow their lawn or fix a car wheel while the racers speed by. I wanted to show this double side of life in this series. The relaxed and the speed - I aimed to show Tartu in it’s slow relaxed start-of-summer mood with the power cyclists racing for positions. I mostly used a landscape view for these photo’s and in some cases it can even be hard to spot where the cyclists are in the picture, viewer should first enjoy the relaxing context of the photo and then notice - ‘oh there is a bike race going on here’. For many people in Tartu during this day, this is the reaction they have when they see the race is going on.
I hope you enjoy this series dear reader.
Rest of the photo’s can be found here