All posts by Christian Brockmeier

About Christian Brockmeier

Pro musician discovers in his late fourties his love for tennis and photography. That he adores female beauty he even knew before (since the age of three and a half). Now he's photographing women's tennis...

A time for everything

There’s a time for everything. This morning my Vespa Granturismo, who, as I mentioned before, is my personal Jolly Jumper, was heavily chomping at the bit for Luxemburg. Took a little effort to persuade him, that it’s better to stay with my momentary task, which is to edit the already existing pics properly instead of adding new one’s to the tremendous pile. As I gave him an extra portion of delicious hay, he gave in and was content and calm again. Smart horse! So we both wish good luck to ourselves and all the Luxemburg players of today.

The index finger…

Sometimes the cozy and not very political tennis world meets the realities of our time. What was this guy in Hechingen thinking, when he decided to prick his stiff index finger into my back on the Hechingen semifinal day? As this happened, I was looking for another shooting perspective, with my tripod stool in my hand, and came to stay in front of this man just about to set up the stool and sit down on it, which would have given him a perfect view again pretty soon. But now I was momentarily blocking this view, which very quickly, after not more than two or three seconds, led to his insulting and physically hurting reaction.
Meanwhile I have pondered a bit about this, had it almost forgotten again, but remembered now by editing all the photos I took in Hechingen this year. The only explanation I could find, was, that this guy must have been sure, that I was about to remain standing right in front of him, which of course would have been quite reckless and impolite and would at least have justified a verbal complaint.
But why was that so? Why are there so many, and perhaps more and more people, who seem to be sure, that the neighbor has nothing in mind but being up to something bad or despicable. And by this prejudice come up with some hostility right from the start. The behavior of that man, who all in all gave the impression of a petty bougeois, was ugly, rude and out of the question, which by the way I told him unmistakably, as I hope. But he was obviously convinced, that his action was completely right and justified by my alleged misdemeanor.
Does the woodcut, the potato print get the upper hand over the more distinguished perceptions all over in our times? Or is this thesis itself an undue simplification? And, if yes, what to do with it? Ignore? Fight? Try to explain, to persuade? Where will this, if true, lead us all? Peculiar political parties are growing rapidly in all so called civilized countries. In the still largest superpower a laughingstock, clad in a golden bathrobe, is sitting on his throne between the twitter button and the red one. Every morning at 5pm, when listening to the radio news for the first time, I am happy and relieved, when the first announcement doesn’t deal with that red button…
To be honest, my tennis activities followed a period, where I was very much into politics and the overall developments. Maybe they even were meant as a little escape. I ceased to check my facebook account on a daily basis and other things that started to annoy me more and more.
But one cannot escape. The woman on the title pic of this post, taken on the very same event in Hechingen, was a little reminder for me, as far as this is concerned. Seems to be an interesting book she’s reading. And this index finger did help me as well, in the end, for which I am thankful. Everything is lesson, everyone is guru. The things one does not understand in the first place, the enigmas of life, are especially helpful in learning and growing. Stupid and immature, as I am, almost every time I meet such gurus I can’t help being pissed off in the beginning. But then, after days, weeks or months, years or decades sometimes, I finally begin to harken, and what I then start to hear often turns from noise into music after a while, reluctantly first, then clearer and clearer. Melody. And harmony. Which I don’t mind at all.
In the end, and after all, dwelling on this planet doesn’t seem to be the baddest thing to do. My personal definition of sin is to refuse to enjoy life as diligently as ever possible. So, let’s all be angels instead!
And as to the finger prickers, the potato printers: Let’s try and give’em a big hug. Because that’s, what they’re lacking the most.

Lately, In Hechingen

Anna Zaja and Lena Rueffer

How patiently these two nice girls deal with the quite different concept of time of this man, who was busy shooting pics for the tournament website all week long with his tiny but goody camera, probably voluntarily. Tennis players are used to react very swiftly, which applies also for their style of communication. But it’s not the first time that I was able to witness, how adorably some of them are willing and able to switch mode when dealing with wordy colloquists.

Neheim

Revisiting the tournament folders I chose to follow them chronologically, from the newest to the oldest. The newest was the cozy event in Neheim called Meden-/Poensgenspiele. The gallery will take some more time though. As I learned from a very kind professional sports photographer at the Bredeney Ladies Open this summer I now spend quite a time with each file, straightening the horizon, defining the image section, then checking out the best values for color, saturation etc. This is elaborate, but it’s fun, too. Here I start a new category now called ‘Players Perspective’, with a pic that was taken back there in Neheim on 2/9/17. In Luxemburg last year there was a ‘colleague’, who seemed to be very anxious to prevent me (without an official accreditation) from shooting from the ‘premium’ positions. So I started to try out other angles and were quite happy with some of the results. The player depicted here is german Anna Zaja, an impressing talent deserving wider recognition. [click to enlarge]
Anna Gabric . Neheim
Tayisiya Morderger . Neheim
Katharina Hering . Neheim
Santa Stromberg . Neheim
Katharina Hobgarski . Neheim … [these files will move to an own page as soon as all the pics are ready.] [click to enlarge]

→ To the pics…

Beautiful Tennis

Frequent visitors of this page probably will know by now that I do like the player in the center of this photo, but there is so much more, the beautiful light (ok, I helped that a little afterwards…), the nice action in the fore- and background. You get an impression of how wholeheartedly these young players are working on the improvement of their game, instructed and supported by their teachers and coaches. [f.l.t.r.: Katharina Hering, Katharina Gerlach [#404], Christina Singer-Bath – click to enlarge]


Hobgarski, Gerlach, Ute Strakerjahn . Nürnberg ’17


Hobgarski, Jasmin Wöhr . Stuttgart ’17

The Ambassador

Whenever I see such an ambassador of another reality visiting the court, it reminds me of the famous “butterfly dream” of Zhuangzi, which goes like this: “Once upon a time, I, Zhuangzi, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Zhuangzi. Soon I awakened, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”

Blue Laura

This photo from a Laura Siegemund practice session in Nuremberg ’17 is one of my favorites from that category, Not only, that the ball is captured while just pressing through the racket, by looking more closely you can see the clay dust spraying from it in the opposite direction. And there is this transparent tarpaulin with the other player practicing on the next court. How nicely even the strap on Laura’s left shoulder suits the overall color setting. For me, these are the most precious lucky pulls, when several aspects come together in harmony.

Just one more thing…

Mülheim, 27/9/17 — After two years of shooting now’s the time for revisiting, selecting, deleting, editing, publishing. Thought, this would feel a little bit less cool than sitting at the tennis courts with my camera, somehow like homework (which it actually is). Just didn’t expect it to be as enjoyable as it now finally turned out to be.

And how good it feels to get up early every morning working on the files for two or three hours before even the daylight starts to come up. And to see, that I had some new visits again, for which I am really thankful. The coffee, then the tea is steaming in my cup. There is music or silence. If I find a pic that inspires me to turn it into one of my infamous → ‘Wallpapers’, I often spend a long time with it, hours sometimes, experimenting, varying… I prepare the six or seven images which I want to publish here the next day. Then I go through the folders sorting the wheat from the chaff. Plenty of chaff, but lots of wheat as well.

“It’s here and now. All over!”

Having spent all the rest of my inherited money for this project, I had to pull in the reins and now I’ll have to try to find some construction which would allow me to continue with it, as I’d very much like to do. Next week I’ll probably find the courage to write some mails on that behalf. But even if I wouldn’t succeed with this quest at once and would have to find me some ‘decent work’ instead, perhaps by even being required to sell my photo gear, which indeed would be the hardest thing to do, I will be happy and thankful for the rich and worthwhile journey.

And continue to work on the treasure I have collected, and to publish it here, six or seven new pics every day, some new words sometimes, so that, after a while, maybe there comes a solution naturally. Or there will come something else. Everything is lesson. That, which led me to choosing tennis as topic of my photographic endeavors, the eastern-inspired philosophy of cherishing the moment, is of course even more valid when having to take it up with the obstacles of strong emotions, wishes or other more practical issues.
It’s here and now. All over!

P.S.: Hey, players, interested in some personal photo shooting? Or in donating? Or in purchasing some pics in high resolution including the permission to use them for your own purposes? Or do you perhaps have any other idea of how to help this ‘BeautifulWTA’ project to stay alive and breathing? Would it make sense to recommend me to the officials at the ITF or WTA? Any idea is welcome. You can contact me here:

or via the form in the side bar of this page, where you find a donation button as well. But you’re cordially invited to enjoy the services here anyway. In closing I apologize for bothering you with that nonsense. In fact I would understand, if nobody would react on this. But I hope as well, that you understand, that I have to try nevertheless… Don’t worry, be happy!