Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Synchronized swimming - A fun time photographing the Pairs and Teams

Along with providing photos to USA Water Polo, I also helped out the USA Synchro team with some images for their web site and social media.

This year, the US only had a pair and not a full team, which I hope changes by time the Tokyo Olympics come around in 4 years.

This first photo shows Anita Alvarez and Mariya Koroleva competing in the pairs competition. For this session, I shot everything from a high position, looking down at the ladies.

It is hard to believe that they can perform maneuvers like this without touching the bottom of the pool. I can see where synchronized swimmers and water polo players have a lot in common.

And like the water polo athletes, these girls use their leg strength to get themselves high out of the water.

Anita and Mariya were both very happy with their performance and their advancement into the finals.

For their next performance, I decided to shoot from a low position, to get a different look from the previous competition.

The lower position allowed me to get in closer to the ladies...

...and include the logo.

They had great symmetry in the pool.

Even though they did not win medals, they were once again very happy with how they placed.

On the second to last day of the Games, I decided to photograph the team performances of synchronized swimming. I had shot this once before, albeit very briefly, in London and remember it being pretty nice for photographic compositions.

Unlike the pairs competition, eight women in the pool to perform even greater maneuvers out of the water. Remember, none of the swimmers are touching the bottom of the pool. They are supporting these ladies with the strength of their kicking. Pretty remarkable.

From my position (which wasn't really a photo position, but an area in the spectator area which I liked), I was able to capture the teams facing me...

...and facing the other direction.

So cool!

This woman came slowly out of the pool and just kept going higher and higher.

Just like when I photographed the Rhythmic Gymnastics, I looked for good patterns and symmetry.

These ladies were showing off some amazing arm strength, to get themselves this high out of the pool.

This was not a difficult sport to shoot. The three biggest challenges were:

1. Finding the right location to shoot from.
2. Making sure the focus was in the right spot, since they move around under water and then come up quickly.
3. Keeping my hands on the zoom ring, since I was sometimes keying in on one athlete and then the group would all come together forming a cool shape and I would have to zoom accordingly..

I really enjoyed capturing images of this sport.

I hope that you get a sense of how much fun this is to watch. I know a lot of people joke about synchronized swimming, but takes a lot of strength, finesse, lung capacity and skill.

Well folks, this is the last blog post showing sports from the 2016 Summer Olympics. The only post left is from the closing ceremony. And since I am writing this on the way to the airport in Rio, the last one will likely be posted from the good ole USA. And even better, from my house, with my own bed, safe water, fast Wifi, and safe streets. As amazing as it has been here, I cannot wait to get home!!!


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Unknown said...

Jeff - As usual, I've loved following the Olympics through your eyes, words, and lenses. Great job with the photography, and many thanks for taking the time in such a hectic schedule to share your experiences! I've been sharing many of your blog posts and photos with my friends and family and they've all loved seeing different images than what's on TV. Now get home and get some rest!

Anonymous said...

Beautifull! Very demanding to get such good results. Is it all taken in raw?

Thank you

Unknown said...

Beautiful photos and great commentary!

Unknown said...

Beautiful photos and great commentary! Thank you for showing my beloved sport and such great light!

Todd Steinberg said...

Jeff, I wanted to thankyou for sharing all the photos on your blog. I certainly got a sense of what you contended with in shooting those venues. I also enjoyed your brilliant commentary as well. I wish I could get media credentials to shoot track and field at the olympics some day? Do you have any insite into the process of getting credentialed for the olympics?

Also, what becomes of all the used Cannon equipment that was loaned by cannon? Will it be for sale somewhere?

Thankyou once again