Tuesday, July 27, 2021

USA Water Polo: Men vs South Africa

Today was a really busy day, with me shooting three different events in three different venues. I photographed water polo, diving, and women's team gymnastics. You might be thinking "Only three events in one day?" but if you understood the challenges of transportation here, you would know that hitting three events is no easy task. I will blog about the transportation challenges in another BTS post to come soon. 

I started my journey this morning at 8am and will be hopefully be back at my hotel some time around 1am. The first sport today was water polo, with the men of Team USA taking on the South Africans.  The men were feeling their groove today and cruised to an easy victory of 20 to 3. And I got into my groove as well, getting used to all the logistics at the venue, tweaking camera settings, and just being more in the game.

Being a photographer, just like being an athlete, involves us practicing, honing our skills and just being in the zone. It also helped that there was a ton of offense today, so I could get ample photos of the men firing away.

This is the best backhand water polo shot that I have captured. Most of the time, I don't even see the shot coming, but this time I anticipated the backhand play and got it in the camera.

For this shot, I saw the Olympic tattoo on Luca's arm which matched the Olympic Rings in the background. 

Whenever I shoot images, I try to get something different from what I have captured before. Part of this is for the team, and part of this is for me, to keep me on my game. I love this shot with the only two things visible in the shot being the USA cap and the Tokyo Olympic logo on the ball.

This shot really shows the physique and strength of these men.

Johnny Hooper taking a big shot at the net.

The second period ended and I saw Jesse Smith playing with the ball. I quickly framed him in the shot and captured this. Something totally different, and I love it.

Here is a shot of Max Irving rising over the other swimmers.

Unlike the first game, this game featured Alex Wolf in net, and he played an excellent game. As the team photographer, this is important information for me to know before the game, Who is playing that has not played before, and any other information that might lead to better images for the team.

I like this photo of Ben Stevenson shooting the ball. I just wish I had not clipped the top of the ball. I included this photo in the blog t show you that yes, I do make mistakes. Even with that said, the shot is still good for the team.

In the fourth period of the game, I had taken a ton of images of the guys shooting and the goalie stopping shots. So I spent some time focusing on other aspects of the game. In this case, I was keying in on the action in front of the net (the 2-meter position). I could have cropped this in tight to the action but chose to leave it wider to include the Tokyo 2020 logo at the top of the frame. 

Here is Alex stretching out to block a shot. I love capturing these!

Max had a breakaway and a one-on-one dual against the goal tender. He made sure to make the most of it.

This is another example of me trying to capture action other than shots and stops.

As I shoot, I try to take mental note of who I have photographed, and if I don't have a lot of shots of a certain player, I will do my best t capture images of them in the pool.

Bam! Alex took this shot right in the face. The good news is that he stopped a goal, the bad news is, that must have hurt.

But he was all smiles as he finished the game giving up very few goals.

Look - another photo of a water polo player looking through a ring of water.

Here is a photo that is really different that anything I have captured so far at these Olympics (and the others). I was able to achieve focus on our player, even with a small window to work from, and get this shot from the goaltenders point of view.

One last stretch by Alex before the buzzer sounded and the game was over.

I will do my best to post images from the diving and gymnastics sometime soon. Maybe after some much needed sleep.

Good night everyone!


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Unknown said...

Great shots, Jeff. Hav just discovered your blog and really enjoy see your. images. It would be great if you could post the meta data for shots for the nerds like me. :-). I understand you can't for images taken with the R3 while you are bound by the NDA, but for the others, it would be very interesting to see.

OnionKim said...

Great shots of my don Alex Wolf...I will definitely need to get some of these.