German Wikipedia contributor and handball aficionado Armin Kübelbeck routinely takes pictures of sporting events, where he captures what he calls “unrepeatable moments,” or candid expressions that capture a sliver of time that will not come again. “I can’t tell a player, ‘Can you do it one more time, but now with a smile on your face?'” he said. “I have to take the available light and the moments as they come.”
In the unrepeatable moment above, which was the Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Day on 10 May, 2012, Kübelbeck captured Kiril Lazarov, the captain of the Macedonia national team and one of the most notable Macedonians in the history of the sport, right before he took a seven-meter throw. Unlike many of his images of players in action, this shot shows a much more interesting human element and very little movement.
“For me this smile shows resoluteness and a good portion of slyness and self-confidence. I’m not sure to whom he was looking: his coach, the other team’s coach, a teammate or an opponent,” said Kübelbeck, who was sure Lazarov was not looking at the goalkeeper, who stood in front of him at the time. “But the message is clear: I’ll throw that ball behind the line.”
Kübelbeck began taking photos in the 1980s with a Canon A-1 with a 50mm 1:1.4 lens. He developed the black-and-white images he took in the basement of his parents’ home, where he set up a studio and experimented with many kinds of chemical processing effects, such as sepia toning and solarization.
On December 31st, 2006, he uploaded his first photo to Commons, which he refers to as an archive for his pictures. Kübelbeck said he is not active in the Commons community nor does he submit his own photos for consideration as Featured Pictures.
He is committed, however, to improving the encyclopedic content of Commons and Wikipedia. He also contributes self-made illustrations when his photos don’t successfully capture the meaning of the article he is editing.
He did also admit to enjoying the attention his photos get when they are featured: “Where else would my images and writing have such an audience? A dilettante’s work!”
Matthew Roth, Global Communications Manager
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