I was lucky enough to ‘sneak’ down to the photographers row at the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament being staged in New Haven, CT. Actually, I was properly credentialed to be there, though my job doesn’t include carrying a camera. I brought my three week old Digital Rebel and my two Sigma lenses.
The press photographers I sat with were evenly divided between pro Nikon and Canon cameras and lenses. Using my ‘thin’ Sigmas, I was giving up at least 2 f stops to everyone there.
The match started well after 7:00 PM. There was little natural light left. The majority of what we got was coming from the stadium lights.
I asked the Hartford Courant photographer to my left how fast he was shooting and he offered up 1/500th. That would be enough to stop the players but not the ball. I switched to shutter priority and ISO 1600.
The top photo is Elena Dementieva serving. This is a crop with my 18-125mm lens at 77mm f/5.6 1/500. All the photos received noise reduction, level adjustment and sharpening.
Next up is Claudine Schaul. It’s a full frame using my Sigma 70-300mm lens at 300mm f/8 1/500.
After returning to my office, a photographer I work with (now video, but formerly still) talked to me about timing shots. While I was shooting I heard a chorus of shutters every time the ball hit the racket. He said everyone’s a little off on the first day, but by the end of a tournament it becomes much easier to time your press to catch the ball in the frame.
My final shot here is Claudine again. Full frame, Sigma 18-125mm at 125mm f/5.6 1/500.
Blogger’s note: Click on any image to see it in a larger version.