We were so lucky to have this opportunity to hear from such a successful photographer, not just how he has developed his career and skills, but the practical aspects of ensuring his success.This comes down to thorough research, preparation, visualisation and imagination. So, he works out where the light will be, where and when the "hot action spots" might happen and positions himself accordingly. For motor racing , he takes ear plugs, for concrete stadiums he has knee pads and for the rain, he wears just the right hat - with the right weather protection for his gear. He times horse racing events and runs from the starting point to the difficult jump and to the finishing line, using remote cameras to catch other angles. He knows the vital info on each sport, so he can predict who might score or run fastest or which team might win and be in the right place at the time they realise the gold medal is theirs. For Tom Daley's diving, he tied himself to a girder in the roof to take a unique shot from above. He says some of it is luck, but that you need to put yourself in a position "where luck might happen."
Tom shared his technical tips, too - reverse panning, star burst filters, multiple exposures, slow shutter speeds and when to use them. He uses manual control for 95% of his work, and likes to experiment to get more exciting images.
This was an evening when we didn't even want to break for coffee and at the end, Tom opened up his camera bag with folding seats, monopods, and an amazing array of lenses; people clustered round like bees round a honeypot and it was with very great reluctance we eventually managed to close the session. And Tom says he will come again!