Thursday, 30 July 2009

The British Open

The Ricoh Women's British Open got underway today at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club. First tee time was at 06:30 this morning and it is not 22:15 and I am still uploading to the the various agencies I supply. The only good thing about the golf carrying on into the evening is that you get the chance to shoot with some interesting light. This shot was taken on the 18th hole with Sandra Gal of Germany shooting into the 18th green.
Another early start tomorrow. Most of the photographers here are hoping that the rain will hold off.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Evian Masters Win for Ai.

After a beautiful sunny week in Evian Les Bains, Ai Miyazato of Japan won the Evian Masters tournament along with the $322k purse for first place. She is pictured left in front of the Japanese flag which is nicely back lit by the sun. A reflector was used to create some of the fill light and due to the scrum of photographers I was using a 70-200 lens on a 1DMkIIn body. There were some great crowds at the event and the large grandstand round the 18th green was packed with spectators.
The classic "Evian Shot" is on the 5th hole which affords a beautiful view of the lake is sometimes known as "Lazy Corner" by the photographer as you can sit there all day with your arsenal of lenses letting the entire field come to you and snapping them as they go by. I have included a shot of Ai Miyazato below taken from Lazy Corner just because it wouldn't be the Evian Masters without one.
Tomorrow I am off to the Ricoh Women's British Open at Royal Lytham, The only Ladies Major outside the USA .

Monday, 20 July 2009

Alinghi on Lake Geneva

This morning I had a quick flight from Barcelona to Geneva for the Evian Masters Golf event which starts on Thursday. I had just arrived at the hotel in Evian Les Bains when I noticed the Americas Cup yacht Alinghi undergoing sea trial on Lake Geneva. The yacht itself has been a source of controversy recently as it is the first Americas Cup yacht to have an engine, albeit one not used for powering the boat but for powering the massive winches for the sails. Anyway I thought I would grab a shot or two. I used the 70-200 f2.8 and 400mm to try and get the best framing. There is a bit of a mist on the lake so you I had to boost the contrast a little in photoshop. I also used a polariser to boost the sky but that not in the shot on the left. Tomorrow the Evian Masters begins in ernest so back to golf photography.

Spanish Open.

Last weeks' tournament at Panoramica Golf and Counrty Club in Spain gave me an opportunity to top up the tan/ burn in the 30+ degree heat. Becky Brewrton of Wales proved to be a popular winner. She claimed her second LET title in the heat and in doing so qualified for the Evian Masters, one of the two flagship events in Europe. The shot on the left was taken with the 400mm f 2.8 and 1D MkIIn at 1/1250 f5 The shutter speed allows the club and ball to be frozen whilst the aperture gives just enough depth of field to the image. It can be fun to play with shutter speeds when taking shots of bunker play as you can capture some really cool effects with the sand club and ball with motion blur.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Dorset Diving.

With a week or so away from golf photography, I have been able to slip into the water for a dive or two. The water here has warmed up considerably from the 7 degrees C we had at Christmas time. A balmy 18 degrees signaled it was time to don the 5mm wetsuit and spend some quality time with the creatures under Swanage Pier. I did a couple of solo dives under the pier and then persuaded my girlfriend to venture into UK waters for the first time. This enabled me to get someone to model for me for some wide angle shots under the pier. This in itself was quite challenging as the visibility was not at its best but I managed a couple of shots. I also went for another dive with Alex Mustard who wanted to get some shots of Tompot Belnnys for an article he is writing for a diving magazine.
I also spotted my first flatworm on this dive (pictured right) as well as 2 different species of pipefish and a scorpion fish.
I have uploaded some more shots of the other creatures that I found here. It always amazes me how much life can be found in UK waters and I would highly recommend it. I was using my Canon 5D with a 100mm macro lens and occasionally a 500D dioptre for the smaller stuff. I was also testing out two Sea and Sea YS 110 Alphas that I have just bought. These are a lot lighter than my other strobes, (YS 250 Pro), but still pump out enough light to be hitting apertures of f22 at 200 ISO.
Next week off to Spain for the Open de Espana Femenino 2009.
After a rain soaked week in Ireland last year I arrived at Portmarnock Links only to get sunburnt. Portmarnock is a typically picturesque Irish links course with sand dunes and a view across the sea from a couple of tees. It was a busy week as I was shooting for the promotor as well as the LET so early starts and late nights were in order. The Vagliano Trophy team, the best Amateur girls from the UK & Ireland. were practicing before the tournament so I managed to get some shots for the Ladies Golf Union which can be viewed here. The good weather continued for the first three days of the tournament but the famous Irish weather returned on the last day. Not rain as you may be thinking but a sea mist that delayed play for about 3 hour in total. Diana Luna claimed her second LET victory, her first LET victory in 5 years. There is a break in the schedule for a week now so hopefully I will be able to get some diving in and increase my UK underwater portfolio.

ABN Amro Ladies Open 2009

The ABN Amro Open took place in Eindhoven, Holland. Eindhovensch Golf Club is about 15 minutes from the centre of Eindhoven and the layout is such that you feel like you are the only players on the course as each hole is shielded from the others by the woodland through which the course is built.
After three days of competition, Tania Elosegui of Spain claimed her first Ladies European Tour victory.
Sadly the weather was not the best and plenty of rain fell on the last day.
Next stop on the LET for me is the AIB Ladies Irish Open at Portmarnock Links just outside Dublin.