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!
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!