Photo Pick: Jakob Edholm and the legendary Pig Swim

Oct 23, 2017

Jakob Edholm

“It’s swimrunners in action, scrambling up the steep cliffs, not bothered by the seaweed hanging from their arms, yet with colourful details in their Garmin wristbands proving it’s only a game.”
EQUIPMENT: Nikon D810 & D5 with a bunch of lenses and AquaTech underwater housings. DJI Phantom 4 drone.
CAMERA USED FOR THIS PHOTO: Nikon D5 with Sigma 15mm lens. AquaTech underwater housing.
INSTAGRAM: @fotojakobedholm
FACEBOOK: @fotojakobedholm

By Josefine Ås

Taking this picture at the end of the legendary Pig Swim this year was truly a challenge, but so much fun! The wind, the waves and the rain were indeed tricky to work with, but for me, the highlight was surfing the waves like a rollercoaster. Since our boats could hardly dock any of the islands in the rough weather conditions, I was very limited in what pictures I could create early in the race. So it was a relief to jump into the wild sea and start working with everything in my own hands.

The many layers of the Pig Swim photo

What I like about this picture is all the layers it contains. It may look ordinary at first glance, but at a closer look, it shows many of the components that I like. It’s the rough sea spraying the rocks. It’s the athletes scrambling up the steep cliffs. It’s swimrunners in action. Their faces expressing life or death, not bothered by the seaweed hanging from their arms, yet with playful and colourful details in their handpaddles and Garmin wristbands, proving it’s only a game.

What the picture doesn’t say is that the athletes, Ida and Mattias, friends of mine from the swimrun community, are here taking on their first ÖTILLÖ World Championship challenge. Meeting them here in the water was such an inspiration for me, knowing that they are ordinary human beings, and a true example that you can achieve great results with some dedication and determination.

The official photographer tackling the conditions

Shooting ÖTILLÖ is very much about planning your shots: where you’re going to do the UV shots or the drone shots, what trails you’re going to run, when you expect to catch up with the different teams of interest and, finally, when and where you can upload your images to media. Since you are dependent on logistics, you schedule every minute in detail.

And, since you share the logistics with the film team, your plans need to be revised a few times. Finally, when you have weather conditions like at ÖTILLÖ WC this year, your plans are totally screwed. So you adapt to nature and improvise, using the experience you’ve gained from 8 years of working as the official ÖTILLÖ photographer.

For me, the way to tackle it this year was to keep it simple. One camera in underwater housing all day, no fiddling in and out. For the other cameras, no lens changes to avoid rain ruining the gear. On the windy islands, a large umbrella would protect my lenses from water dripping from the trees.

Of course, fewer islands to access by boat limited the number of places to shoot from. With a higher than usual crap ratio, due to the rain-soaked camera gear, I generated fewer images than I normally do from this race. But I must say I’m happy with the overall result, and especially this shot of Ida and Mattias on the Pig Swim.

Article first published in Swimrun Life Magazine Issue #4 (October 2017)

More magazine articles

Who the heck are the Löw Tide Böyz?

Who the heck are the Löw Tide Böyz?

Their hilarious swimrun memes on Instagram have us in stitches, and their swimrun podcasts are equally as entertaining, but who exactly are Chris Douglas and Chipper Nicodemus, aka the Löw Tide Böyz?

ÖTILLÖ Catalina puts right Foote forward

ÖTILLÖ Catalina puts right Foote forward

With ÖTILLÖ about to hold its first ever World Series swimrun outside of Europe at the end of the month, Natalie Foote gives us this inside scope about what to expect from the February 29-March 1 race weekend on Catalina Island.

Neogreen: how ARK Sports is taking the eco-lead

Neogreen: how ARK Sports is taking the eco-lead

For ARK, becoming the first sports company to be 100% dedicated to swimrun is only part of the big picture. Finding eco-friendly materials and transport methods is a responsibility they take seriously. Just look at their made-in-Sweden Pontoon pull-buoy.

ÖTILLÖ women take off

ÖTILLÖ women take off

There was a 30.5% spike in women racing at ÖTILLÖ events from 2017 to 2018. And with world champs Annika Ericsson and Kristin Larsson not defending their title this year, expect some formidable performances in the Women’s division next week at ÖTILLÖ.

International partners
  • Vivo Barefoot
  • ARK Swimrun
  • Mr Green