Digitalab Featured Photographer: Ed Rollason
At Digitalab, we appreciate the power of photography, whether it’s personal or professional. We asked Ed Rollason for one of his images and posed a couple of questions to find out exactly what it is he loves about photography and what he’d say to any enthusiastic photographer hoping to make a career out of their passion.
Tell us a bit about this image and why you chose it to be featured.
I took this image at the finish of a cyclocross race in Huddersfield. A young competitor crossed the line and, right at the limit of his strength, fell off his bike and lay gasping on the floor. As he lay there a fellow competitor, who he’d been racing directly against, came over and reached out a hand in recognition of their battle. I was just lining up the shot of the rider himself and his bike as the other rider loomed out of the top of the frame.
I picked this image to be showcased as it’s one of the favourite images I’ve taken recently. It tells a great story and exemplifies everything that I think sport should be about, respectful competition and pushing yourself to the uttermost, that sometimes isn’t evident in elite sports.
Which styles of photography most interest/inspire you?
All of my photographic heroes/inspirations are photo-journalists, people like Don McCulllin, John D McHugh and the late Tim Hetherington. So photo-journalism of all kinds really interests me. Telling stories is always what I try and do through my images, trying to catch details that escape other photographers or even people who were there.
However, in purely practical terms I’m a sports photographer concentrating on cyclesport above everything else. This was a natural progression for me from competing in road and mountain bike racing (which I wasn’t very good at) to photographing the events (which people tell me I’m fairly good at). I therefore spend most of my time doing this.
I do try not to pigeon hole myself too much and will happily photograph anything. In the last year I’ve had the opportunity to photograph several weddings. I loved all of them, particularly when you’ve managed to capture tiny little personal details of the ceremony or of the speeches that the bride and groom just can’t believe you managed to get! (it helps that the weddings were all in the sunshine!)
What one piece of advice would you give to an aspiring photographer?
I’m not sure I’m really in a position to give such advice as I’m definitely still an aspiring photographer! However…
If there’s one thing that I’ve definitely learned is that sometimes opportunities present themselves when you’re not pushing it too hard.
Although you always need to work hard and push yourself you can take some of your best pictures when in fact you’ve relaxed and perhaps aren’t working with the specific aim of getting somewhere. Stepping back and taking the pressure off can sometimes yield big rewards in terms of quality.