It’s Olympic Year – 2012

We finally have to stop calling it next year’s Olympic Games, it’s now this year’s Games and we are getting closer to delivering one of the best Olympics ever.

The test events have started up again the same day I arrived back from spending Christmas and new year at home in Canada with the artistic gymnastics running last week at the North Greenwich Arena, perhaps better known as The Dome. Gymnastics has always been one of my favourite sports to photograph with it’s huge range of photographic opportunities, offering strength, grace, acrobatic skill, speed, and daring and featuring both men and women competitors and all taking place in a single arena. A photographers dream.

Isaac BOTELLA PEREZ (ESP), competes in the floor exercise, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics

Isaac BOTELLA PEREZ (ESP), competes in the floor exercise, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics

Nikon D3s, AF-S VR 500mm f4/G lens, 1/800th @ f4, ISO 2500, set manually

Gymnastics requires a bit of thougt in your photography. Different disciplines require different minimum shutter speeds to freeze the action. For the floor excercises you can get away with a speed of 500th or so, although I prefer to go a little faster when the light allows.

Erica FASANA (ITA), competes in the vault, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics, Olympic Test Event, North Greenwich Arena, London, England January 12, 2012.

Erica FASANA (ITA), competes in the vault, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics, Olympic Test Event, North Greenwich Arena, London, England January 12, 2012.

 Nikon D3s, AF-S VR 300mm f2.8/G lens, 1/1000th @ f2.8, ISO 3200, set manually
Image processed with Noise Ninja noise reduction software

Although the Nikon D3’s are excellent at high ISO settings I felt that some of the images taken on apparatus at the edge of the arena where the light falloff was a little more than I would like could benefit from a quick run through Noise Ninja. see www.picturecode.com for full details of this program www.picturecode.com

Matteo ANGIOLETTI (ITA), competes in the rings, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics, Olympic Test Event, North Greenwich Arena, London, England January 12, 2012.

Matteo ANGIOLETTI (ITA), competes in the rings, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics, Olympic Test Event, North Greenwich Arena, London, England January 12, 2012.

Nikon D3s, AF-S VR 300mm f2.8/G lens, 1/640th @ f2.8, ISO 2000, set manually

The rings is a lot slower in it’s movements, apart from the dismount which usually makes horrible photos anyway, so you can get away with a slower shutter speed. Note how I have consistently tried to use the lowest ISO possible that enables me to achieve the shutter speed I need. Although the latest cameras are great at  the higher ISO settings you will still achieve the highest quality of file with the lowest you can get away with.

Francesca DEAGOSTINI (ITA), competes in the beam, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics, Olympic Test Event, North Greenwich Arena, London, England January 13, 2012.

Francesca DEAGOSTINI (ITA), competes in the beam, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics, Olympic Test Event, North Greenwich Arena, London, England January 13, 2012.

Nikon D3s, AF-S VR 400mm f2.8/G ED lens, 1/1000th @ f2.8, ISO 2500, set manually

I love photographing the beam. There is a host of opportunities within this one piece of apparatus to shoot detailed close-ups, full frame shots, and various actions. Although much of the action is slow and graceful you need to keep a high shutter speed for the flips and somersaults, not to mention the odd fall!

Carlotta FERLITO (ITA), competes in the beam, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics, Olympic Test Event, North Greenwich Arena, London, England January 13, 2012.

Carlotta FERLITO (ITA), competes in the beam, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics, Olympic Test Event, North Greenwich Arena, London, England January 13, 2012.

Nikon D3s, AF-S Zoom 80 – 200mm f2.8 ED lens, 1/640th @ f2.8, ISO 2000, set manually

Masahiro YOSHIDA (JPN), competes in the parallel bars, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics, Olympic Test Event, North Greenwich Arena, London, England January 13, 2012.

Masahiro YOSHIDA (JPN), competes in the parallel bars, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics, Olympic Test Event, North Greenwich Arena, London, England January 13, 2012.

Nikon D3s, AF-S VR 400mm f2.8/G ED lens, 1/1000th @ f2.8, ISO 2500, set manually

Masahiro YOSHIDA (JPN), competes in the parallel bars, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics, Olympic Test Event, North Greenwich Arena, London, England January 13, 2012.

Masahiro YOSHIDA (JPN), competes in the parallel bars, The London Prepares Visa International Gymnastics, Olympic Test Event, North Greenwich Arena, London, England January 13, 2012.

 

Nikon D3s, AF-S VR 400mm f2.8/G ED lens, 1/1000th @ f2.8, ISO 2500, set manually

Watch out for details around the field of play at sports event. They can often be as interesting as the sport itself as in this image of a gymnast preparing his hands

To see a selection of images from this event go to the main web site and do a search for “gymnastics”

Many thanks to Nikon for the loan of a 400mm f2.8 lens to cover this event while my 200-400 zoom is in for repair.

Watch for details of shooting with a D4 coming soon!