- Some excessive ambition in tennis as well. Hard competition makes the borders between enthralling verve and mere grim catfight pretty fluent now and then. I’ll never will cease being fascinated by those ITF matches without ballkids, where the returning player always has to provide the one on serve with the balls. If nothing else would, this permanent alternation of competition and cooperation finally would make the fabulous sport called tennis unique and veritably special to me.
- The point here is to celebrate the aspects of flow, abandon, presence, vigilance, strength and shine of beautiful WTA and the human side behind the scenes.
There is much to spot!
“Forever is composed of nows.”
― Emily Dickinson
P.S.: Taking single pics without any motor usage I’m always happy with these shots showing the ball at or very close to the racket. In fact nowadays I often focus on the ball much more than on the player. Of course it’s not very polite to say that, but it’s true, and truth is beauty. If it’s not about ambiente, motion or emotions, I like to synchronize with the moment of hitting. That’s, why for me the ball is the star. But of course without all those exquisite, talented and wonderful ‘actresses in the supporting role’ the star would be nothing.
* click to enlarge
Große DTB-Meden-/Poensgen-Spiele | TC Neheim-Hüsten
3/9/17 — Excellent light situation on this at first chilly but then lovely sunday morning in Neheim. The whole setting with the view over the valley and all those beautiful old trees keeping guard made photographing this match between Tayisiya Morderger and Anna Gabric quite enjoyable. Unfortunately due to another appointment I couldn’t cover the other match. Maybe I’ll find someone someday to explain to me, why there were two ladies’ finals on that very day. Forgot to ask. Cozy venue though, nice event!
2/9/17 — Semifinal day.
1/9/17 — Nice tennis action today in Arnsberg… …each german federal state has an own tennis association and this is the annual competition between them, fortunately this time just 80 km from where I live.
In Hechingen there has been a discussion with a player’s father due to some misunderstanding as far as a compliment is concerned I once had given to his daughter. Here’s the comment I wrote to this. Guess it helped to clear the situation. Or at least I hope so…
“Cheers to life!!!”
Just be calm and enjoy life!!! Yours and your daughters. Nothing to be afraid of. Only me! Learning by doing and in order to avoid such nonsense in the future I however never will tell a player that I find her beautiful again. But that’s not a big deal, since for me every player truly dedicated and committed to the challenges and wonders of tennis is adorable. How nice life could be without all that anxiety and mistrustfulness among people. One just could feel tempted to call it… … …beautiful. As for me, and even with all those obstacles given, I stubbornly never will cease doing so. We all are thrown and expelled on and off this planet against our will. So, let’s try and make the best out of it instead of wasting our precious time with useless rubbish. Carpe diem. Love & Peace! Cheers to life!!!P.S.: Albeit unhappily, I am deeply in love right now. And I’m glad to be. Yes, one can be glad to be unhappy. So, dear daughter’s father, one more reason to relax…
3756 views until now...
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Heading for Rosmalen again today. The weather forecast predicts sunshine and lots of good tennis action. Let's see, if I meet my new friend again, the camper salesman...
Maybe at Rosmalen tournament office they have read my former text. Could easily be, as I gave them my website address as reference for my fruitless badge application. Fact is, that after a two hour ride from Germany they told me at the security desk, that very surprisingly tele lenses now are banned. Being far from illuminated, old, but not wise at all, I was pretty angry about that and already on my way home again, as I changed my mind and returned to the Autotron to take advantage of the ticket upgrade they had given me after having made some booking mistake. So I did something, that I hadn't permitted myself to do for a long long time: I just watched tennis all day long. Could have been worse. And how relaxed this day was, not having to be alert all the time in order not to lose a precious moment. No need to brace oneself against dumb approaches. In fact I do appreciate this change of policy for the reasons I describe in my last post. So I'm forced to try the next step now, which is to go and get me a decent press card somewhere. It's good to be urged that way, because I'm not very good at asking for something. The answer might be "No", and that is what I normally try to avoid. What else to report: - The security guy, who had to prevent me from entering at first, said "Thank you." five (!) times, as I returned to his desk without the photo gear to follow my plan B. - A big laugh at the end of the first set between Giorgi and Witthoeft, as the chair umpire, who had had to fight against an only partially functioning microphone for several minutes yelled a then very loud "DEUCE!!!" into the now again properly working device. - A wagtail flies a complete round through the center court, watching and inspecting the scenery very closely. Everything seems to be allright, as the bird leaves the spot again without any complaint. - A remarkable win of Antonia Lottner against Dominika Cibulkova. And a nice interview afterwards as well. - Oksana Kalashnikova is not related to the famous russian gun inventor, as she told me. With her beautiful face she could have been a perfect model for one of Vermeer's paintings. - An elderly woman safely catches a ball during the Zverev match, throws it back as perfectly to the ball boy. An astonishingly swift and harmonious action. - In the eighth game of the first that incredible lop by Mannarino answered by Zverev with that perfectly beautiful tweener. So, let's see now, how my video footage from today has turned out to be (as I was allowed to keep the camcorder). Got some of Cibulkova, but every time I started the camera she was losing the next point. But shortly before I left I filmed a Demi Schuurs practice session. Maybe that is something for Youtube... UPDATE: Yeah, did some cutting and the clip should be up at approximately 9 am. I especially recommend the two little slomo sequences at 1:11 and 1:30. Here's the link.
Of course it's much more difficult to get good results, when you're shooting without a badge (accreditation). Tried, but there was no way to get one here. I'm really really fed up by all those suspicious looks and saucy remarks you get, when you are not identifiable as a seriously working person. The worst are those reactions, that are not despicable, but sympathetic instead with your alleged slimy motives. Some camper salesman is asking me with an off-colour grin on his face, if I am content with my pictures so far. I ask in return, if he's content with his camper sales so far by adding, that he could do me the favor to just keep his grin by himself. As a matter of fact I do appreciate to find those players who choose to dress up in a more revealing way for their matches in more normal clothes at the practice courts. There is one player, who likes to wear very sexy dresses even there and now is suspecting me of being chasing after it with my camera. So the last two or three times she slipped some sweater on as I came to shoot her practice sessions, obviously supposing me to be disappointed by that. If only she knew, that she does me a favor by doing so. Infact I really don't care. It's the players decision how to show up in public, and if somebody is preferring to be sexy I take that as a characteristic attribute worth to be respected and portrayed as well. But I am not after it under any circumstance. I just want to take good photos, that's all. Photos, that ***shine***, no matter, how much skin is revealed in them. Difficult to communicate that on site, as there would be only the nonverbal option. And even if it would be possible or admissive to talk to the players about it, they probably would hesitate to believe me, cause in fact there are quite a lot of hobby poachers out there with their expensive cameras and big lenses, most of them being exactly my age..."The most beautiful curve on a woman's body is her smile." - Bob Marley But as you can see, it was possible again to shoot some enjoyable pics on this cold and windy day in Rosmalen Autotron. More and more players are nice to me by now, smile, when they see me, say hello. There are some starting points, how are the eyes of Tamara Korpatsch, who had some allergy problems in Altenkirchen, or where's the daughter of Evgenyia Rodina, whom I took some lovely photos of last year in Prague. Others send friendly signals, but are too shy or too cautious to say hello, which is perfectly fine with me. There are haughty one's as well, but not so many... It's just a little bit comforting not to be dealt with as perfect stranger anymore after almost two years of intense work.As it's much nicer being able to avoid all the above issues and to chose angles and positions more freely, I am looking forward to next week with a badge in Mallorca.
WOW, 2200 visits for my little Kaia Kanepi practice video from Essen within three days. Well, maybe this is just because it is quite short, so that everybody is replaying or looping it. T'was fun shooting and cutting it anyway.
ITF Bredeney Ladies Open ’17
The Bredeney files can be found here by now.
1/6/17 --- Constantly working on the 'Players A - Z' section. Found a way now to cope with the flood of pics without risking to drown. Hope to get it up and ready within a week or so. A little distraction will be the 'Bundesliga' event in Aachen on Saturday, followed by the ITF week in Essen - Bredeney, which fortunately is located very very near to where I live. Then the two quali days in s'Hertogenbosch. Nice little consolations for missing Paris this year. Really good news is, that I'll make it to Mallorca, with an accreditation. Pretty much looking forward to that.
Home, sweet home for me now, but I wish all the players "bonne chance" in Paris!
Nürnberger Versicherungs Cup 2017
So, what shall I say. Had a ball. It began on Thursday night [18/5/17], when I joined the autobahn to Cologne with my good old Vespa “Granturismo”. Due to an insecure weather situation I had decided to travel earlier as planned and the strategy to drive through the night turned out to be the right one, since I had it clear ‘n dry for hours, and when I got caught in this thunderstorm near Würzburg at 3 am, I found a service area within minutes, where I did some nice napping and coffee drinking, at dawn taking smaller roads then for the rest of the way to Nuremberg. At the venue I met the first kind person of many to come, who allowed me to store my luggage away in some tent and so I used the rest of the day to acquaint myself to the facility and to shoot some pics of the still ongoing construction works and, as some of the players were there already, at training sessions.
Then came the official shooting days, drifting and strolling around between the courts, deciding which situation to focus on next, which lens to chose, which shutter time, ISO and aperture, whether to take photos or video and so on. When I do this, I am good. Shooting tennis somehow for me is like coming home. The synthesis of the sport and the photographer’s challenges often puts me in a nice state of flow, which lets the hours fly by and makes me as happy as a lark. Many players know me by now, everybody was very nice and welcoming, the catering was ok, my AirBnb – accomodation, reachable with a twenty kilometer ride on a tree-lined country road, cozy and clean. The weather was incredibly good all week long. Had there not been the accident of Laura Siegemund, everything would have been just perfect. Thanks to Mr. Adrowitzer, whom I owe the accreditation, Mr. Fessler, the chief press officer, Sandra Reichel, the tournament director, who did an amazing job, all the ‘colleagues’ from the press, the coaches, the players, the thrushs and the sparrows, this has been an entirely enjoyable week worthy to remember. As I said before, I had a ball. Really had!
The rest of the Nuremberg files you can find here now…
UPDATE: Moved the Wiesbaden files to the 'Tourneys' section. Here's a link to the page. A larger version of Maria Sharapova's training session (Stuttgart, 26/4/17) can be found here. 'Best Of Stuttgart '17' moved to Tourneys' as well, here's the link. Some very nice pictures of Simona Halep in 'Players A - Z' and here. See nice pics of Samantha Stosur in the 'Players A - Z' section.
Kind of "Walk To Canossa" for Masha to do this training session on 26/4/17, her first public appearance in Stuttgart. You can see on her face how hard these days must be for her. Hope that she'll find a way out of that mess soon. There is some truth in these portraits. And as "Beauty is truth, truth beauty..." (Keats) these pictures imho show indeed the most beautiful Masha Sharapova I have seen for a long time. Maybe she never was more beautiful then nowadays... These images can be found in a larger version in the 'Players A - Z' section by now or via this link.
Chose this unusual perspective not just because I am a Marija Čičak fan (she's a predator!) or just to be witty, but in order to focus on the audio of the energized crowd. Didn’t want to share the media’s voyeuristic and greedy view on Maria S., which were represented with a huge number of photographers and camerapersons. They have better lenses anyway. But in fact I do find it quite interesting to watch this impressing chair umpire working.
Stuttgart 25/4/17 – Kader Nouni – The Master Himself At Work
Pic Of The Day
20-27/5/17 —- WTA Nuremberg (with accreditation).
1/2/3/6/4/17 —- Wiesbaden Tennis Open (WTO).
22-26/4/17 —- Porsche Tennis Grand Prix @ Stuttgart.
18/4/17 —- Next: Players A – Z. My new plan is to replace the ‘Player Portraits’ section with this one, for which I’ll review and edit all the images again, which will take some decent amount of time. In fact it’s a huge, huge project, which to realize will take weeks or months. So, for the moment I leave the structure as is while working constantly on this new territory. As I’ll be off for Stuttgart tomorrow, there will be a few days until the next updates though.
8/4/17 —- NEW: Darmstadt ’16 [138 pics]. link
6/4/17 —- NEW: Hechingen ’16 [373 pics]. Lots of “human factor” in this one… link
1/4/17 —- NEW: Aschaffenburg ’16 [Schönbusch Open, 123 pics] link Next: Hechingen ’16.
1/4/17 —- NEW: POTD trailer added on Youtube. link
26/3/17 —- NEW: Bredeney Ladies Open ’16 [35 pics]. link
23/3/17 —- Versmold ’16, 131 color pics, for starters… (to find via ‘new galleries’)
21/3/17 —- “Eastbourne revisited” finished [205 pics]. link Next one: Reinert Open ’16 [ITF, Versmold].
20/3/17 —- Finished the new Linz gallery yesterday. link Next project is “Eastbourne revisited”.
14/3/17 —- At the moment I work on a b&w gallery of Linz ’16. It’s fun to sort out the essence of thousands of pics. But it’s work, too, which needs some time. So, why not come back to this now and then in order to see, if there’s an update available…
12/3/17 —- While the players give their best in Indian Wells and elsewhere, I did the same today by creating this lovely black and white gallery of the ITF event in Prague I was allowed to take pictures of last year. In the process of reconstructing this domain I fall in love more and more with black and white. Could be that I’ll change horses completely. So, if you like color pics, maybe you should download a few before they are gone…
The tally below adds up with aprox. 23000 visits on my former website, which I started in Nov 2015.
16/7/17 — Had to repair my start page, with the result, that aprox. 7000 visits are not shown here anymore. So, starting from zero again…
23/9/17 — And once again I had to move, cause suddenly I wasn’t able to enter the editing mode any more. WordPress all in all is a good thing, but it can be a nuisance sometimes. So, folks, hello again…
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