It’s June and that means the football season has come to a close and tennis is here. For those lucky enough to be enjoying grass court tennis that means the absolute pleasure of shooting outdoors in natural light. Up in Scotland we rarely see the sun and it rains plenty so indoor play is the natural choice.
This is the second year I have shot the Scottish Cup which is a team event featuring doubles play between teams of six.Both the men’s and women’s finals are played out at the same time on opposite sites of the building meaning there is a lot of action to cover.
From experience I remember this event being a nightmare last year due to my love of photographing at indoor tennis facilities. Craiglockhart Leisure Centre is significantly better than Scotstoun over in Glasgow but I could write an entire article detailing the lighting issues in these places and the additional steps needed to get passable images. Unfortunately those issues usually extend into the post processing as well which really slows things down to a frustrating crawl.
It wasn’t all bad news though. I turned up well prepared, knowing exactly what shots I wanted and with a good idea of what was possible given the working conditions. The 400mm is always an awesome weapon to have in the arsenal at any sports event, regardless of how close the action is. It allows headshots but here it also allowed me to shoot through the net from the raised spectator platform down the middle of the hall. It means being able to pick up nice shots of players volleying at the net (such as Caitin Steel below).
I always find doubles is tough to shoot at smaller events because it’s hard to capture action shots that really show the doubles aspect. The best angle for getting both players in the shot is from high behind the baseline. That requires a stadium court with plenty of seating which is a rarity at smaller events. Craiglockhart actually has such a court but it’s outdoors and was being used for another competition. Hopefully one day I’ll get the opportunity to shoot some doubles out there as it would offer the prospect of some exciting possibilities.