Hard water!

You might be thrown by the title of this weeks blog. That is until you imagine being a diver coming down from 10metres up and getting it all wrong. Suddenly that nice soft landing into 15 metres of water must be like landing in wet concrete. Unfortunately Mexican diver Rommel Pachero found out this hard way when he failed to make the last 1/4 turn and landed rather painfully.

Rommel PACHECO (MEX) lands badly while competing in the men's 10m platform semi-finals

Rommel PACHECO (MEX) lands badly while competing in the men’s 10m platform semi-finals

 

Nikon D3, AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor 200-400 f4 lens at 400mm, 1/1000 @ f4, ISO 3200, set manually, hand held

Photographically this image just goes to show how important it is for a sports photographer not to let his or hers concentration lapse for a moment. One of the hardest things for a sports photographer to do is to maintain a high level of attention in a repetitive sport like canoe sprints, dressage or diving. But of course one lapse means you miss the shot that can be that incident of the day, and you can be sure if you don’t get it someone else did! On this occasion, the someone else was me – no other photographer got this shot – just goes to prove I’ve still got it.

To shoot the best images of diving you need to take a different approach depending if the event is 10 metre platform of 3 metre springboard and if it is singles or synchronised diving. I chose to shoot the men’s highboard from the pool deck basically shooting up from water level. This is a difficult sport to photograph and you need to be prepared to have a lot of outtakes as the divers twist and somersault through the air you will inevitably end up with many images of the divers backs or arms and legs will obscure much of the body. For the highboard I expect a success rate of only around 25%.

London, England, 12-02-25. Gleb GALPERIN (RUS) competing in the men's 10m platform semi-finals at the 18th FINA Visa World Cup Diving, Olympic Aquatics Centre. Part of the London Prepares Olympic preparations.

London, England, 12-02-25. Gleb GALPERIN (RUS) competing in the men’s 10m platform semi-finals at the 18th FINA Visa World Cup Diving, Olympic Aquatics Centre. Part of the London Prepares Olympic preparations.

 Getting the timing right in this sport is more a question of luck than judgement. One of the few sports where this is actually the case.

Nikon D3, AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor 200-400 f4 lens at 400mm, 1/1000 @ f4, ISO 3200, set manually, hand held

London, England, 12-02-25. Peter WATERFIELD (GBR) competing in the men's 10m platform semi-finals at the 18th FINA Visa World Cup Diving, Olympic Aquatics Centre. Part of the London Prepares Olympic preparations.

London, England, 12-02-25. Peter WATERFIELD (GBR) competing in the men’s 10m platform semi-finals at the 18th FINA Visa World Cup Diving, Olympic Aquatics Centre. Part of the London Prepares Olympic preparations.

These athletes must be among the fittest and strongest in the Games, certainly if the 6 pack on Peter Waterfield of GBR is anything to go by!

Nikon D3, AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor 200-400 f4 lens at 400mm, 1/1000 @ f4, ISO 3200, set manually, hand held

For the 3 metre springboard the angle of shooting needs to be a little different, especially for the synchronised events. Rather than shooting up I decided to go to the highest photo position available, way up in the upper levels of the seating area, parallel to the boards so that I could shoot down at an angle where I could see both divers clearly, with the added advantage of having the water itself as a clean background. This is a real long lens shot from this distance requiring at least a 500mm.

London, England, 12-02-25. Alicia BLAGG and Rebecca GALLANTREE (GBR) competing in the women's synchronised 3m spring board at the 18th FINA Visa World Cup Diving, Olympic Aquatics Centre. Part of the London Prepares Olympic preparations.

London, England, 12-02-25. Alicia BLAGG and Rebecca GALLANTREE (GBR) competing in the women’s synchronised 3m spring board at the 18th FINA Visa World Cup Diving, Olympic Aquatics Centre. Part of the London Prepares Olympic preparations.

 Nikon D3, AF-S VR  Nikkor 500mm f4G lens, 1/1250 @ f4, ISO 2500, set manually, Gitzo monopod

Note that I was able to drop the ISO a little from this position due to the direction of the lights, shining more directly onto the boards and coming from overhead much more than for the 10 metre platform.

London, England, 12-02-25. Katja DIECKOW and Nora SUBSCHINSKI (GER) competing in the women's 3m spring board at the 18th FINA Visa World Cup Diving, Olympic Aquatics Centre. Part of the London Prepares Olympic preparations.

London, England, 12-02-25. Katja DIECKOW and Nora SUBSCHINSKI (GER) competing in the women’s 3m spring board at the 18th FINA Visa World Cup Diving, Olympic Aquatics Centre. Part of the London Prepares Olympic preparations.

Nikon D3, AF-S VR Nikkor 500mm f4G lens, 1/1250 @ f4, ISO 2500, set manually, Gitzo monopod

Note how in all the springboard photos I have included the tips of the diving boards to give a sense of place to the event, otherwise it can be difficult to tell exactly what sport is taking place.

To see the full selection of diving images click here

 

This entry was posted in 2012 Summer Olympics, Blog, Latest images.

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