Nikon D4, 400mm, 1000iso, f4, 1/3200th, Aperture Priority

A few days ago I told management I would love to try shooting tennis. Next thing I know I am scheduled for a busy day at world famous Wimbledon to shoot four matches, most notably the women’s singles gold medal match between Serena Williams of the USA against Maria Sharapova of Russia. That had me excited!

It was about an hour media bus ride from my hotel near Russell Square to Wimbledon. All these long bus rides have been good for only one thing. Getting my blogs posted!

Before we get started I should mention that outside of an old Nintendo Gameboy (remember those?) Tennis game that I stole from a local neighborhood kid in New Jersey I knew NOTHING about the sport. This day would be a trial by fire!

Below, detailed view of the Olympic Rings on the net as my first game of the day got underway.

Nikon D4, 400mm, 1000iso, f4, 1/4000th, Aperture Priority

Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) tosses the ball up as he prepares to serve against Great Britain in the mixed doubles quarterfinals during London 2012 Olympic Games at Wimbledon.

Nikon D4, 70-200mm, 800iso, f2.8, 1/5000th, Aperture Priority

Andy Murray (GBR) lets out a great reaction as he celebrates after defeating Australia in the mixed doubles quarterfinals. Murray and playing partner Laura Robson would advance to the gold medal game, where they would lose and end up with the Silver.

Nikon D4, 400mm, 1000iso, f4, 1/2500th, Aperture Priority

For the women’s gold match they would open the roof of the centre court. That made me happy as I much prefer sunlight to shoot in. Too bad most of the day would be spent adjusting exposures as the sun went in and out of the clouds. I honestly haven’t seen it stay sunny for more than an hour straight my entire time here.

Nikon D800, 14-24mm, 200iso, f5.6, 1/2500th, Aperture Priority

The sun lights the hair and muscles of Serena Williams as she returns a shot to Maria Sharapova.

Nikon D4, 400mm, 500iso, f2.8, 1/2000th, Aperture Priority

Sharapova would clearly be overmatched in this game as Serena dominated and quickly ended the match in straight sets.

Nikon D4, 400mm, 500iso, f2.8, 1/4000th, Aperture Priority

Serena was very happy with her first singles gold as she celebrated alongside a much less happy silver medalist Sharapova.

Nikon D4, 70-200mm, 250iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Aperture Priority

The toughest part about shooting tennis was when I found out early on that photographers and fans are not allowed to move around much during the match. That made changing positions during the match rather difficult so it was hard to produce much variety.

For the men’s doubles gold medal match I would start up top to get something different.

In this shot from the highest point of the stadium I shot wide to show the whole court. The black on the top of the frame was a semi shiny roof that angled down. The sunlit field reflected slightly off it.

Nikon D4, 70-200mm, 400iso, f4.5, 1/3200th, Aperture Priority

Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan (USA) celebrate after defeating France during the men’s doubles gold medal match during London 2012 Olympic Games at Wimbledon.

Nikon D800, 400mm, 800iso, f3.5, 1/2000th, Aperture Priority

The Bryan brothers kiss their gold medals after the medal ceremony.

Nikon D800, 400mm, 800iso, f3.2, 1/1000th, Manual

They didn’t do this on their own, they did it after multiple “professional” photographers yelled for them to kiss the medals. Seems like this type of behavior is more prevalent outside of the United States (where you would get chastised in the media room for doing that.) Nothing pisses me off more than when photographers tell the athletes what to do for photos. On top of being unethical (as a photojournalist) since you are essentially posing them, its incredibly lame. Let the athletes do their thing and document what happens. Right after that photographers then yelled for them to bite the medal. Truly pathetic to see some of the worlds best photographers resorting to directing the players…

That wraps up a long day getting my ass handed to me by the sport of tennis. Still was a fun day though with a couple shots I liked.

I have a Facebook page devoted my photography where I routinely share my favorite photos from each shoot as well as favorite photos from the past. Click the below banner to check it out. Be sure to “like” the page so you can be kept up to date on all the events I am doing!

Posted in Sports   5 Comments

5 responses to “10 Spot / Olympics Aug. 4”

  1. Afsel Kamal says:

    Awesome photography…. Congratulations for your brilliant works..

    How is D800 performance in low light compare to D4? especially i would like to the know performance and noise between ISO 800 to ISO 4000.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Saw you prime time on NBC’s coverage of the women’s vault! Was more interested in watching you in action that the actual result.

  3. Interested to read your thoughts Mark on photographers asking to pose for particular shots and how it just doesn’t happen in the USA.

  4. Rick Samsal says:

    Doesn’t mater what the sport, you capture the great images….I agree with your comments about the “photojouranlists”…sports photographers capture the moment, they don’t involve themselves in “making” the shot…nice work once again…

  5. Dave Collister says:

    Supply and demand Mark – The fault of directing a medal winner to kiss/chew his hard earned medal isn’t really the photographers fault, ultimately it lies firmly with some lazy Editor who use’s that same old shot every day full page on the front / back / middle of most newspapers over the top of anything else.
    If these “journalists” don’t get “that” shot plenty ready to take they’re place who will.

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Check out my Facebook page devoted my photography where I routinely share my favorite photos from each shoot as well as favorite photos from the past. Click the below banner to check it out. Be sure to "like" the page so you can be kept up to date on all the events I am doing!