Monday, August 2, 2021

Photographing Gymnastics - Men's Rings / Women's Floor and a gold medal for Jade Carey

Tonight I was going to photograph the equestrian jumping event, but since we had rain this morning, I thought that it might be cancelled, so I made a plan B. I decided to go to the gymnastics venue to catch the men's rings event and the women's floor routine.

Before the competition starts at the Gymnastics venue, they have this group come out and perform. It is a bit ironic, since there are very few people in the stands. Basically, they are performing for the media and for the other athletes who are in attendance. But, it is colorful and fun.

I decided to photograph the men with the Canon 200-400mm lens at f/4 to try and get as much separation between them and the background (which was not ideal).

The Chinese dominated in the rings competition taking the gold and silver medals.

I love the way this Chinese athlete cocked his head and gave us a look like "you try this!"

The Greek athlete showed his strength on the rings...

...had a solid dismount...

...put on quite a show and ended up taking the bronze medal.

After Elefterios was done with his performance, I noticed the tattoo on the back of his neck. I had to get a shot of that. 

Here are your winners.

Then it was time for the women to compete on the floor routine.

I was shooting from the Field of Play (FOP) and hoping to get some decent backgrounds behind the gymnasts. As I mentioned before, the Olympics is geared for television and the Olympic Broadcast (OBS) people get the first priority for positions, so...they are in my shots a lot.

Jade Carey was second in the rotation, and she seemed really nervous before her performance.

She must have channeled that nervous energy, because she was awesome.

She jumped so high, that she actually jumped out of the frame of my camera numerous times.

This is the background I was aiming for, with the gymnast in front of the Olympic Rings.

Hoda Kotb was in the stands and cheering loudly for Jade.

The other young women came out and Jade had to wait to see how their scores would add up.

Since I had such good success with my fencing multiple exposure shot, I thought I would try it at gymnastics. It did not work as well because I did not have the contrast of the athlete against a dark enough background. But it was fun to do anyways. You gotta try, right?

Then I slowed the shutter to 1/50th of a second and panned along with the gymnasts to show more motion in the photos. 

For this image, I slowed the shutter to 1/30th of a second...

...and then I went even slower for this one. Setting the camera to 1/15th of a second. The face is not sharp, but I like the motion of her hands and legs and the blur of the Olympic Rings.

After all the young women were done, it was clear that Jade won the gold medal.

I flipped the teleconverter on my Canon 200-400mm lens to get me to 560mm and shot this tight shot of Jade and her big smile.

The winners (including the bronze medal winners who ended up in tie).


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