Sunday, August 8, 2021

Rhythmic gymnastics - something different to photograph towards the end of these Olympics

Yesterday was a huge day with the women of USA Water Polo winning gold, but before that 4:30pm game, I decided that I would venture out for one more event in the morning. I decided to head over to the Rhythmic Gymnastics, because I figured that it would be photographically compelling, and also not too strenuous. I knew that the latter half of the day would be stressful and crazy, so I did not want to burn out early. It turned out to be a good choice.

Rhythmic gymnastics is full of great motion and colors.

When I looked at this first image in camera, it almost looked like I had done one of my multi-exposure photos. The gymnasts were bunched up just right for this photo.

I positioned myself to have the Tokyo logos in the background, with the least amount of distractions.  I fired off shots when I saw synergy amongst all the athletes.

I liked this with all the women with their feet off the ground, and the balls being thrown in the air.

I was shooting with the Canon RF 100-500mm lens for two reasons:

1. I wanted to go light weight to keep myself rested.
2. I wanted to test out the lens a little more since I had relied heavily on Canon 200-400mm lens for most of these Olympics. 

Because I was shooting with a variable aperture lens,  I knew that the background would be more in focus if I was zoomed out (like you see here).

When zooming in tighter, it created more depth of field and blurred the background.

For the rest of the time, I tried to zoom in tighter to isolate certain gymnasts.

This worked well unless I saw a good grouping, and then I would pull back and shoot wider again, like you see in these images above and below.

I had one area with a background that was really clean. Less people, no exits signs, no weird lights, and so I did my best to shoot when the gymnasts where in front of that area. 

The Japanese team did this one move where one of the women threw the ring in the area and then it came down right around the the gymnast who was upside down.

This was not the cleanest background, but I liked the way that she made this move and had the Olympic rings behind her.

I had a shot of this gymnast balancing the ring on her head and thought that was a cool photo, and then this other woman jumped through the ring. Pretty cool move!

This photo made me laugh, because I see the rings as additional zeros so that it is Tokyo 2020000.

Here is another image that looks a bit like a multiple exposure shot. I like the way that we see the different "parts" of the jump in this one photo. 

I photographed this sport for about an hour and a half and then I headed off to the water polo venue. And, as you know from the previous blog post (yeah - this one is out of order), I had a great time there. 


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1 comment:

Jeff said...


Your photography captures the beauty of this sport. I can't always catch this competition, but I love the athleticism of these women and the poetic symmetry they bring to the floor!

You do them a great service by sharing some of your captures!

As always, thank you!