Kai's Feed
Mar 5, 2012
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A glance into Germany’s dressing room

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By Kai Pfaffenbach

Football, or “soccer” for our American friends, is the top sport in Europe. With the Euro 2012 tournament in Ukraine and Poland later this year we are expecting another sports highlight just before the Olympics in London. Sixteen teams will fight for the European title and after their good performance at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Germany is amongst the favorites for this event. Title holder and World Champion Spain, Holland and France are on the bookmaker’s shortlists as well.

With the big tournament to come I had asked the team press spokesman a while back if I could get some behind the scenes access on Germany’s road to the final in Kiev. It was a big surprise when I finally got the opportunity granted to shoot the set up in the dressing room for an upcoming game. Almost 40,000 spectators in the newly renovated stadium of Bremen were expecting a great test match between Germany and France. By that time I was inside the catacombs of the stadium where even TV is usually banned from. You will never make it past all the security standing around without very special permission.

Feb 22, 2012
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Carnival in Germany, when everything is upside down

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By Kai Pfaffenbach

We Germans (at least most of us) seem to be well organized, diligent, reliable, politically correct and ready to help, even with our money. But there is one thing we Germans are prejudiced for – our lack of humor.

It looks like for that reason “Carnival” was invented.

Okay, that’s not true. About 600 years ago, people started big celebrations for the last days before Ash Wednesday and the end of the Christian period of fasting. To get better control of those festivities authorities “organized” Carnival. Over the years it became more and more popular to wear funny costumes.

Feb 6, 2012
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The fight of their lives

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By Kai Pfaffenbach

Steve Marcus, our Boxing expert in Las Vegas, is maybe the one and only photographer within the company who has shot more World Championship title bouts than I have throughout the last couple of years.

I shot “Iron” Mike Tyson in Copenhagen, South Africa’s “White Buffalo” Francois Botha on several comebacks, I got my picture taken with Lennox Lewis after a fight I photographed and I followed the untouchable Klitschko brothers on their way to dominate the heavyweight class as only “The Greatest of All Times” (Muhammad Ali) did before!

Nov 28, 2011
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Shooting heat without getting sweaty

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By Kai Pfaffenbach

The use of photographs showing global climate change, industries’ increasing emissions and its effect on our environment is growing rapidly.

Looking for different images Eastern Europe Chief Photographer Pawel Kopczynski came across thermal imaging technology and bought one of these cameras that shows different temperature levels. The camera was sent to my Frankfurt office with a short and easy job description: “Kai, play around with the camera and make good use of it”. After getting familiar with the technology (the first time ever in my career I had to read a 200 page manual) and taking a few silly shots of houses in the neighborhood I made up my mind to start a tour through southern Germany, shooting the nuclear and coal power plants of the region.

Oct 27, 2010
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Secrets to panning success

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There are a few reasons to use a slow shutter speed on fast or slow moving objects.

In sports like Formula One it is a great technique to visualize the actual speed. If you use 1/1000 sec on a race car it almost looks like the car is parked on the track. If you pan the picture on a slow shutter speed the actual speed of the race is a lot more visible.

Aug 17, 2009
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Fastest photographer on the track

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There was a second lightning bolt on the track with Jamaica’s Usain Bolt on Sunday night, Reuters photographer Kai Pfaffenbach. Below Kai talks about what it was like to keep up with the fastest man in the world.You can see Kai in action in this You Tube video.Despite setting up two remote cameras at the finish line myself, my colleague Michael Dalder (aka the remote king) set up six remotes and secured the best pictures of the finish line (above).Kai keeps up with Usain Bolt after the men’s 100 meters final at the world athletics championships at the Olympic stadium in Berlin August 16, 2009.  EPA/DPA Hannibal HanschkeI shot the finish line handheld on a 135mm Canon Mark3 and had an EOS5D Mk 2 with a 16-35mm ready on my lap. Bolt was running so fast on the outer curve that I decided to take a shortcut and cut the curve and catch up with him on the other side of the stadium, ahead of the other snappers. Running beside the world record holder, I was shooting on 1000 ISO at 1/800 sec f2.8.This was my tenth 100m final including Olympics and World Championships.  It definitely was the most exciting race. Of course I knew before the race that I would have to chase him but I didn’t expect him to be going that fast!