Monday, July 2, 2012

USA Gymnastics Olympic Trials in San Jose, CA - Day 4: Women's Finals

Last night was the last day of the 2012 U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials, and the finals for the women. It was an exciting night for the athletes and fans in front of a sold-out crowd in San Jose, CA.

Positioned in the center of the venue, I was able to grab this shot of the gymnasts for the National Anthem.

The ever challenging uneven bars, both for the athletes and for us photographers trying to grab sharp images. This is a very difficult sport to shoot.

I like this shot of the gymnast in a perfect arc while her coach watches on intently.

Once again, I spent a lot of time photographing at the balance beam. After shooting the numerous events at the competition, I determined that the balance beam yielded the most interesting shots of the girls.

I am amazed that these girls can jump this high and land on this small surface.

I like this image for two reasons. Firstly, it is a good capture of the gymnast stretched out in midair, but more importantly, I like the way that you can clearly see her Olympic Ring tattoo on her neck.

Awesome abilities...

Gabby Douglas working the uneven bars.

This is one of my favorite shots of Gabby in midair. I especially love the light on her, while everything else is kept dark. (Photographer's note: I shot all three days of this meet in manual mode. Because the light is different as you move the camera to track the athelets, aperture priority will not work well in this environment. Without shooting in manual mode, I would have ended up with images that were either severely over or under exposed. Most of the photos were taken between ISO 2500 and 5000 with shutter speeds in the 1/1250 range at f2.8)

After Gabby completed her floor exercise, her family figured out that she had clinched the top spot and guaranteed herself a spot on the Olympic team. I had just moved over by them, to take pictures of her dad with the flag, when this happened. Good timing!

One of the last vaults of the night and then it was time to take a 15 minute break and find out who would be representing the US in London.

As we waited for them to announce which girls would represent the US in London, all of us photographers moved into position to shoot the ceremony. Just a few of us, huh?

As they were determining which girls would be going to the Olympics, they introduced the guys who had clinched their spot the night before. This is a shot of the 5 gymnasts and 3 alternates who will be making the trip overseas.

And then, they announced the team and the girls came out to thunderous applause. As you can see from this image and the image below, they were completely overwhelmed. (Click on the images to see the emotions on their faces.)

And here is the final US Olympic Gymnastics team for 2012. Congratulations to all of them. I can't wait to see them all again in 3 weeks!

1 comment:

Lisa Estep said...

Hi, Jeff. I think I commented about your blog post on Sigma's facebook page today. Just wanted you to know that I enjoyed viewing your gymnastics photos from the Olympic Trials, and meant no disrespect by commenting on my own experience! Instead, I was surprised and sort of excited to realize how much I've learned in three years of doing this! Since there aren't a lot of people experienced in Acrobatic Gymnastics photography, especially among the subset of humble mom-photographers, I've had a lot of "on the job" training. But I still roam the internet looking for extra bits of knowledge. In that sense, it was very helpful to read your comments.

I look forward to following your work from the Olympics.