Tag Archives: WTA

Tennis anyone?

USA’s Serena Williams – Click image to enlarge

My wife and I are big tennis fans so this past Tuesday we travelled to Mason, OH. (just north of Cincinnati, OH) to take in the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament.  The tournament, played at the Lindner Family Tennis Center is a top tier tour stop for both the men and women of the ATP and WTA tours.  All the top players like Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Serena Williams and Sam Stosur were there so if you like tennis and photography, this is the place to be!

This tournament and Cincinnati have quite a history.  Since 1899, just 25 years after the first recorded playing of the sport in the United States, tennis tournaments have been staged in Cincinnati, and what is now known as the Western & Southern Open is the country’s oldest professional tennis event still played in its original city.

Having attended the tournament for a number of years, I had a good idea of where I’d be shooting from so I knew what lenses would be the best to use.  Except for Center Court and the Grandstand Court, all the other courts are smaller so a zoom lens with a focal length range of 70-200mm is perfect.  For the Center and Grandstand courts a 300mm lens or longer is best.  Having carried around 2 lenses all day at the tournament in the past, I knew that 2 lenses get really heavy by the end of the day so this year I opted for a lighter load and only carried one lens, the Canon EF 300mm f/4 IS.  I was also excited to give the 61-point auto focus system on my Canon 5D Mark III a workout, and it was impressive.  Out of almost 1000 images there was only “one” slightly out of focus.  I used “Case 2” of the 6 available AF Configuration Tool Prests.  Case 2 is set up so that even when a subject momentarily moves from the selected AF points, the camera will continue to focus-track the subject.  The camera will also continue to focus-track the subject even if another object gets in the way.  This is prefect for tennis.  For the most part, I set the camera to aperture priority mode (Av) with an aperture of f/5.6, ISO at 400 and shot away.

 

Great Britian’s Andy Murray, currently ranked #3 in the world – Click image to enlarge

You can see more tennis images from the tournament my Tennis Gallery here.  If you have any questions about this website or my photography, please click here to email me.

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Tennis

World #2 Rafa Nadal - Click image to enlarge

In a significant departure from my usual landscape photography subject matter, I thought I would share some sports photography today. My wife and I are both avid tennis players and enjoy watching professional tennis.  Fortunately, the ATP men’s and WTA women’s professional tours have a top level tournament stop at the Western and Southern Financial Cincinnati Masters every August, just north of Cincinnati Ohio.  Since it’s a master’s level tournament we get to watch all the top men and women players.  The Lindner Family Tennis Center where the tournament is held has been remodeled and expanded over the last several years and for the first time in 2011 hosted both the ATP men’s and WTA women’s tournaments as a combined event.  If you like world class tennis and photography, it’s a fantastic opportunity to see and photograph the world’s best men and women players!

 

American Venus Williams - Click image to enlarge

Except for the main center court, the other show courts have open seating so you can get close enough to some great action shots with a moderate 200mm telephoto lens.  I usually use my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L zoom  lens with a 1.4x extender which gives me a lot of flexibility depending on how close to the court I am.  One year I rented a Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L lens and had a lot of fun shooting with it.  The lens is a monster and impossible to hand hold for more than a few minutes so a monopod is a must.  While shooting around the practice courts with it, another fan asked me if I worked for Sports Illustrated and even moved aside for me so I could get closer….I guess I looked like a real pro, so there are some definite advantages to carrying around a big lens like that!  The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L lens is beautiful, and the images are razor sharp, but it got awfully heavy by the end of the day.  I’d love to own one, but they aren’t cheap and are well beyond what my photography budget can afford!

You can see more of my tennis images in my gallery here. If you have any questions about this website or my photography, please click here to email me.

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