Category Archives: Allgemein

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.

How come…?

As I get the „How come“ question from time to time, which by the way is perfectly understandable, I decided to write a little text about my motivation to walk this path of tennis photography, especially women’s tennis photography with the focus on „beauty“, whatever that is.

After an unremarkable childhood, being bullied, overfed and overlooked, with a protestant mother quite hostile to life and a rake and ladykiller as father, I discoverd my talent for music followed by turbulent twenty years with too much lovin’ and drinking, too little sleep, with my hair dyed, golden sneakers and lots of lovely women. Stretched too thin by that there had to come the obligatory breakdown and crisis, therapy then, healing, self-discovery. From then I didn’t go on tour again so much, played in hotel bars and places like that instead and discovered my love (and talent) for teaching music.

Then the years, where my (at very old age finally divorced) parents each needed some aid and accompaniment on their last paths, first my mother, then my father. Since my father had been a director at some big company, who had earned quite good money, I inherited some of it, which I, besides musical instruments and equipment, put in some very nice travelling and a rather decent photo gear. I shot pictures on my journeys and in nature, buds contre-jour and so on. Got some compliments from artist-friends, always combined with warnings, that there would be almost no perspective in trying to make some money out of it.

 

After a six-year regular educational job as keyboard teacher for primary school children had ended, I had a creative boost and wrote a whole repertoire for a large band project with a five-strong horn section and all the trimmings. When the time came to give birth to that baby by contacting musicians and so on, I fell into a deep depression, which lasted almost six months. I finally realized, that it would have needed an energy to help this project through the mandatory growing pains, which I probably wouldn*t have anymore.

 


Here’s some of my music. What I do is always kinda jazzy, but I chose some of the more groovy stuff for this playlist…

So I did nothing much than to sleep from autumn to spring. Then finally I started thinking. Years ago I had begun to watch tennis more and more, bought the apps of Eurosport and Tennis-TV, started to visit tournaments in person, Stuttgart, Luxembourg. I was in the crowd, when Simona Halep played Sharapova in the 2014 Roland Garros final, and so on. And I always loved to see/make good photos.

The idea was to combine those two fields of interest, which I did, accompanied by the vision of seeing the images published in high quality photobooks some day. One thing led to another and now I am working hard to get the presentation of all the photos I took since autumn 2015 in shape in order to contact some publishers and sponsors, hoping to find some interest and support for my vision somewhere.

From my parents, the nun and the debaucher, I inherited the splits between strong morality and the deep love for women’s beauty. After having tried and failed twice to settle down in a serious and lasting partnership, I decided to quit looking for love but to live alone as a “promiscuous celibate”, practicing my adoration without living it.

What I am looking for in my pictures is nothing but the ball, the communication, energy, flow, unusual aspects. As I prefer to take single shots instead of leaving all the work to the camera’s motor, I often have to shoot hundred pics in order to get the two or three results I am content with. That of course is giving an a little bit weird impression. Not so often anymore, but still from time to time I have to face suspicious looks or remarks from people who cannot believe that I am seriously working and prefer to assume base motives instead. Understandably, as there are a lot of hobby poachers out there. But a little bit tedious as well. But it’s part of the job. I hope that there comes the time when a wider public will get the chance to form their own opinion of what it’s all about.

So: „Three minutes.“ „Two minutes.“ „One minute.“ Time!“

P.S.: Sometimes I paint as well…