Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2012 US Open - Week 2

On September 3, 2012, I returned for the second week of the US Open and stuck around to the very end.  It was a lot easier working the second week of the famous tournament, simply because with every passing day, there was much less of the field remaining.

Now recall in a previous post, the action in week 1 was pretty much spread across the tennis center's 17 courts so I was pretty much bouncing around the place all day.  It was a lot easier in week 2 with all the remaining matches pretty much consolidated to the two main courts.  Now while that was easier on my body in that I didn't have to haul heavy cameras and lenses back and forth and up and down all day long, there are still challenges that come with that convenience.  With fewer matches, amongst fewer courts, with the same amount of media, securing photo positions got a lot more difficult.  So a lot of the creative stuff I shot in week 1 was not really possible in week 2.  If I left my spot in the photo dugout, I probably would not have easily gotten it back.  As you can imagine, tennis action from ground level kind of looks the same after a while, so in reality, the people in the dugout are essentially on "reaction watch."  So while I was down there, I was mostly just camping out waiting for good reaction photos and match point.  Fortunately with it being week two and pretty much all quarterfinals and semifinals matches (and the women's final), the reactions and celebrations were usually quite nice:

Now for the men's final on September 10, I was assigned to the elevated concourse position (I deferred and gave a more experienced colleague of mine his preferred spot down low).  That was fine by me, as with the 4pm ET start time, I was again able to get creative with the sunlight and long afternoon shadows.

As the sun continued to set, I climbed to the top of Ashe Stadium and got some nice views of the venue, as well as the New York City skyline in the distance.

Finally after nearly five hours of play, Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic to win the tournament.  As photographers, we pretty much expect a really excited, over the top celebration from the winner, but apparently Murray didn't get the memo (Serena did though... see above).... an in fact almost looks like he lost.

So while the end of the tournament celebration was quite disappointing, it was still a great two weeks for me, and I hope the US Open gets added to my list of annual work trips.


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