Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Men's and Women's Water Polo: Heading into the playoff rounds

This blog post combines two water polo games in one. I am combining them for two reasons. First, I am running behind on my posting images to you all, and secondly, I don't want to spam all of you (for those who subscribe to the blog) with too many email messages.

Yesterday, the men played their last game before the playoff round. They lost pretty handily to the team from Greece, but the game really had no effect on the standings. It would have been nice for the men to get a win against this unbeaten Greek team and go into the playoff rounds on a high note, but it was not meant to be. 

As much as the American men tried, they could not keep the opposing team from getting the ball into the back of the net.  

It is pretty impressive to see how muscular these guys are.

I assure you, that even after lugging all this camera gear around for a month, my body looks nothing like this. :)

The goalie, Drew Holland, was a bit frustrated and vocal about it. The interesting thing about having no spectators is that I can hear everything that the athletes are saying in the pool. Good thing you can't! 

Luca Cupido taking a big shot. I like the way that we see his Olympic Ring tattoo and the rings in the background.

And then today I photographed the first playoff game for the women of Team USA. They played against Canada and had a pretty easy time winning this game with a final score of 16 to 5.

Obviously, there was a lot of offense to photograph.

Ashleigh Johnson played a strong game stopping almost everything thrown her way.

Maggie Steffens added three more goals to her Olympic record tally.

Using back button focus has its advantages, as I was able to lock focus on Rachel Fattal and then put her off-center for this shot. I really wanted to get to the Tokyo 2020 logo behind her. I am also trying to shoot images differently from the first games of these Olympics. I have a lot of photos of the athletes firing off shots, so I am trying to look for other action in the game.

Makenzie Fischer winding up for another score. This time I pulled back to get a wider shot of the action.

The job of a photographer, regardless of what we are shooting, is to keep our eyes open and try our best to show all aspects of our event. Things happen all around us that we can not predict, regardless of whether it is sports, a wedding, a bar mitzvah... I heard Adam Krikorian (the coach for Team USA) yelling about a call. I quickly framed the camera on him and got this shot. It makes me laugh, and I know he will too.

Aria Fischer reaching out for the ball.

I saw Maddie Musselman swimming up with the ball and zoomed in close to isolate just her and the ball. Keeping the shutter speed above 1/1000 sec freezes the water in place.

Maddie saying "I am not committing a foul".

Melissa Seidermann is constantly battling in the 2 meter position and she is one tough competitor. In my quest to get other photos for the team, I zoomed in on her and photographed the battle.

I really like this shot, because it is different, with the ball and Tokyo 2020 logo in focus, and everything else is soft.

In the 4th quarter I saw that Adam had put Amanda Longan into the game, giving Ashleigh Johnson a much deserved rest. Knowing that she had not played in any games in these Olympics, I knew that I had to get a good shot for her and the team.

I basically spent most of the last quarter focusing in on Amanda, waiting for the big save. Late in the game, she went high to stop this shot, and I was happy knowing that I captured it.

After the game, Kaleigh Gilchrist was waiting to do an interview in the mix zone, and I asked her if she wanted a photo. I took one portrait of her and then asked her from a thumbs up. I am not sure why, but this is my thing. I always ask people for the thumbs up. So... she did. It really works for Kaleigh because this also shows the Olympic Rings tattoo.

Tomorrow the men face the spaniards for their first playoff game. Go Team USA!


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