I had four matches to cover, three of which were scheduled at the same time. I wasn’t worried, though. Tennis matches can be fairly long and I only needed a few action shots from each. It also helped that they were already running late when I got there, so the matches I needed to cover were more staggered than expected.
Tennis isn’t terribly complicated to shoot. Really the hardest thing about it is timing and making sure you know which match is on which court. Every court at this particular facility had a fairly clean background, so there’s not too much to worry about there. I used my D700 with my 200-400 f4 most of the time. Keep your focus on the player’s face and follow them with your lens as they play, then click the shutter just before the ball enters the frame (use peripheral vision). You should get a shot with the ball close to the racquet, just before or after it’s hit.
If this were Wimbledon or the U.S. Open, there might be rules about where to stand/sit, how loud your shutter can be, what to wear, etc., but there aren’t any rules like that for high school tennis. Also, I shot the quarterfinals, so the matches weren’t very emotional.
Anyway, first up was girls singles – Jarrett Fisher.
Next up – boys doubles with Alejandro Sanajo and Tucker Brown.
Next up was another boys doubles team – Hunter and Yates Johnson. They’re identicle twins. It’s really not fair to have to write cutlines for twins who play doubles tennis, especially when they’re dressed alike and use the same racquet. Thank goodness one had a yellow arm band and one had a navy arm band, and that I found their parents outside the court.
After that match, I had about an hour to kill, so I went and got my laptop from the car, found a quiet spot inside with an electrical outlet and edited. When I finished editing and lunching, it was time for the fourth match – girls doubles with Kelli Hine and Liza Fieldsend.
When I had a few shots, I headed to the nearest Starbucks to transmit, and went home.