"I mainly took those images around the end of the matches, when athletes leave the tatami and celebrate with their coach. It's always a special moment. I love those instances when the pressure is released, especially after the judoka has won a medal.
There is the emotion of the athletes obviously but also that of the coaches. They are proud of their competitors. I also noticed that most of the time they are proud and happy to celebrate but they are still composed and very much respectful.
In sports and in judo particularly, I believe that emotions are very important. I even think that those moments are more important than the action itself that led to victory.
I chose to shoot that series in black and white for several reasons. First of all, because here in Türkiye the light is just perfect for that kind of image. Also, because in black and white all the focus is on the expression, nothing else attracts the attention, you can concentrate on what people feel and what people show. It's just about emotion.
In the IJF, as official photographers we have the chance to be able to work on the opposite side of the mats from most of the photographers and cameramen. In a way it's very challenging but also incredibly rewarding. It's challenging because of the light of course, but also because it goes so fast and as a photographer, I have to be at the right place at the right moment to capture what I'm looking for.
I enjoy the technical challenge of capturing a fast-paced, dynamic moment in challenging lighting and movement conditions. Black and white photography can create a more dramatic or nostalgic mood, as it emphasises light and shadow, texture and contrast. This can be especially effective in capturing emotional moments. Black and white photography can simplify a complex image by removing the distraction of colour. This can make the image more impactful and easier to understand.
For photos of Antalya and all IJF events, go to ijf.org/galleries