The first thing the reader notices about Getty Images Photographer Alex Livesey’s photo is the how the background of the purple boards and Australian athlete Lucy Chaffer’s matching bib complement each other, creating an aesthetically stunning image.

The next thing that jumps out is the panning effect, which Alex uses to convey power and speed. He captured the athlete’s white helmet in pin-sharp focus, an incredibly difficult challenge, especially at a slow shutter speed.

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 11: Lucy Chaffer of Australia makes a run during a Women's Skeleton training session on Day 4 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center at on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

“I’ve practiced the low shutter speed effect many times and today I spent 30 minutes practicing it on other athletes before I nailed a shot I was happy with. When panning, the trick is to create the feeling of motion while capturing a strong focal point for the reader’s eye. Once you get everything right photographically, you have to rely on the athlete to comply with your plan!”

Getty Images Photographer Alex Livesey has received numerous accolades for his work, including a World Press Photo Award, SJA Sports News Picture of the Year, Barclays Premier League Football Picture of the Season and Nikon Sports Photographer of the Year. Based in Manchester, England, he has covered summer and winter Olympics, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, several Grand Slam tennis events and the Tour de France.

You can follow Alex on Twitter @LiveseyAlex

Want a chance to apply and showcase your creativity, passion and skill at shooting winter sports? 

Now the challenge is yours. We want to see your creativity, passion and skill to capture the essence, atmosphere and action – whether it's ice skating, skiing, curling or sledding -  anything that's a winter sport.

As the Sochi Winter Olympic Games commence, we want you to get out and shoot the winter sports taking place around you - Richard, and along with Clive Rose, another sports photographer for Getty Images, will review and select their top 5 favourites, and those photographers will receive an Amazon Gift Card to the value of US$500 each.

The competition run from 7 February 2014 to 7 March 2014 (till midnight GMT). For more details, to enter and to see all entries, visit the competition page. And don't forget to share using #gettymasterclass!


The 2014 Winter Olympics, will take place from 6 to 23 February 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Since 1988, Getty Images has been the Authorised Photo Agency for the IOC. Our coverage began with the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, while our archival Olympic imagery goes back over one hundred years.

Prepare for Sochi Winter Olympic Games with our coverage from all the venues, of all the athletes and from around Sochi & Russia via our Sochi Winter Olympic Games landing page.

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