Getting good photos of athletes in the heat of competition are usually about luck. But knowing where to be when the action is about to happen comes from practice. Knowing I’ll be photographing a few tennis matches this summer, I showed up at a practice session to try out some lenses and get an idea of where I’d like to set up.
I like to get photos of the action coming directly into the lens. The problem is obvious, there’s a net in the way. For standing able-bodied players you see action and their heads over the net, but for chair players far more is happening directly in line with net. For low balls, they duck at the last seecond and really mess up the auto focus.
So, thats why its good to practice. I know its probably not too practical to use my beloved 400mm lens unless I’m elevated and can be off the court by 30 yards or so. Might need its little brother, a 300mm. By summer, I’ll be ready.