Monday, 17 January 2011

interview with a photographer: Jukka Pätynen

The first photographer I interviewed comes from Finland. A person who shoot unforgettable pictures. Well I only wish you good reading and discover more about Jukka Pätynen.
if you find some grammatical error are memo dog's fault not of others. Well,otherwise it would be too perfect.

First of all some warm up questions...
Have you ever lost a beautiful photo because someone was passing in front of you while you shoot?
I must have been lucky, since I don't recall missing a really great
shot for such a reason. Or then I'm really cheeky, so not many are
passing in front while shooting. Or then I have a really bad memory.

You listen to the radio in the car or  you use CDs?
Earlier I listened to a lot of CDs, but nowadays it's more radio and
also Spotify with the cell phone.

Have you ever stepped on a piece of shit without noticing?
Yes, unfortunately, but it has not left unnoticed for long.

Ok , I think is enough , let's be more serious and begin with the interview

Could you tell our readers a little about yourself
My name is Jukka Pätynen and I live in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
As for the dog and agility photography, I represent the photography
site and its gallery located at
"Koirakuvat" means literally "dog photos" in English. Koirakuvat as
such was started around 2007. Currently, Koirakuvat is the photography
partner for the Finnish Agility Association.

Tell me a little bit about your start in dog sports photography?
In short, agility training with our older Belgian shepherd was begun
around 2006, and at that time I conveniently started shooting agility.
On the other hand, there was also earlier interest in photography
involved, so combining that interest into the dog sports was the
actual starting point.

Are you a self taught photographer or did you have a mentor that showed you
the ropes?

I am fully self-taught in photography. Once I went and booked a slot
in a photography workshop in order to improve my skills outside sports
photography, but it was cancelled!

What kind of equipment do you use?
I shoot with Canon DSLR system, a 1D-series body as its backbone. I
have got few fast primes for the majority of action shots and a couple
of zooms for wide shots and convenience. I'm also using an old 20D for
the backup and second body. For lugging the equipment around, I'm
using a pair of Lowepro and Think Tank backpacks for convenient

Which one item of equipment would you say is the most important to you?
It is definitely a 135mm prime, which has proved out to be just
fantastic in most situations. Fast, light, sharp, quick focusing -
what else is needed? Even though the build is tough, I would never use
it for hitting nails.

Of all the gear you’ve ever used, what’s your favorite?
Same as above. It's that good.

In general, during a session, how many pics would you say you take to find "the right one"?
There is not a simple answer for this. On the other hand, in most
cases the "keeper rate" in competition shoots is somewhere around
10-15%, depending on the lighting conditions. It would be possible to
get a far higher rate by playing safe, but that would become dull
pretty soon.

How do you know that a photo is really good?
Earlier, I had to import the photos to my computer to check out the
results, and it was nice to find a frame that stands out from the
rest. At some point it was enough to check the shots from the camera
rear display. Nowadays, I can spot a really good captured shot most of
the times right after the shutter was released. Hopefully, some day it
would be possible to know a really good shot even before raising the
camera - keeping in mind that in agility things happen rather quickly!
An interesting, good photo captures a moment of good feeling, sports
in action, success, grief, or atmosphere - or even all of those in
good proportions in one frame. Good technical quality is of course
intended, but there is no photo without content.

Before you put your work "out there". Do you have it critiqued by someone
else, or do you just go with what your heart tells you is right?

Yes, I'm usually the only critic for the photos published at
Koirakuvat. Therefore it tends to take a varying amount of time to
decide with photos to develop and publish. Sometimes in sports
photography the line between an embarrassing shot and a funny
situation is pretty thin. I try to keep on the safe side in that

Who are your influences (past and /or present)?
I must admit that I follow the photography scene much less than I
probably should. I've always felt that it is almost too easy to be
influenced too much by others' work, having an adverse effect on one's
own photography style. Possibly for that reason I find it more
relaxing to follow photography fields other than the one I'm mainly
representing. As for today, Aleksandras Babicius, a Latvian master,
takes stunning wedding photos with stellar quality, bringing the
"photo" in "photography" ( An Italian
fellow under the alias "Juza" presents often stunning nature,
landscape, and travel photos at Frequently, a
Canadian fellow Rob Galbraith delivers links to interesting galleries
in the field of photojournalism and multi-disciplinary sports.

Why do you love photography?
After a full day of shooting, it is just such a great feeling to
eventually see the finished photos with possibly one or two standing
out of the pack. When you leave on a cold weekend morning for shooting
in a freezing hall, it can feel an utterly stupid idea, but when you
get there and start taking photos, after five minutes you are all
excited and forgetting the troubles of the past week - especially if
the organizing club has put up a nice canteen :)

Plans for the future
That's simple: shoot more, shoot better. I'm aspiring to continue
improving the service provided by Koirakuvat for the national agility
scene. Recently, a joint effort was started with portal for
improved result listing with competitor photos by Koirakuvat. It would
be nice to be able to cover more events with international interest.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! Do you have
anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for this opportunity to bring out my thoughts on dog sports
photography! You are all invited to take a look at the gallery
contents at . My photography blog at is currently Finnish only, but I'm providing updates
on interesting events in my Twitter feed (
Finally, I wish to send my greetings to all fellow photographers in
the dog sports!

all the photos are a courtesy of Jukka Pätynen


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