Palm Springs, CA – Maria Sharapova

This photo is from last year at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA (Palm Springs).  This tournament is going on right now.  We miss not being there!  As big tennis fans, this to me is the best tournament to attend for fans all year.  Great weather, beautiful location and great players to see!   This shot was of Maria Sharapova’s practice session last year.    She was just coming back from her shoulder surgery.  It is still an issue for her. We watched her last nite vs. Zheng.  Her serve and metal game is a big mess.  She lost.   Sorry Maria!

She is my favorite player on the women’s side.  Her drive and competitiveness is tops in my book!  I hope she can overcome her issues and get back to the top.  She has the ability.  Like the pic above, the ball is in her hand! Sports are a BIG percentage mental.  If your mind has issues, your game (no matter what sport) will falter.

As for the photo….I love to watch the practice sessions at Indian Wells!  You get so close to the best tennis players in the world.  Sometimes they walk among the crowds!   Bust out a big fast lens and you can get some great shots!  We hope to get back to this tournament next year!!!   I think it is 85 degrees there today?  NICE!!  Time to book a flight!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 VR f/2.8
  • Setting: Manual Mode
  • Focal Length: 240.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/1600 sec
  • Aperture:  f/4.0
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4
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Maria Sharapova – Palm Springs, CA

Sharapova 07 copy

NIKON D300, Nikon 70-200 VR, TC-14EII Teleconverter

One of our favorite sports is tennis.   Not only to play, but also to watch.   As it is the best time of year for tennis – the French Open and Wimbledon are coming up in the next few weeks.   My favorite women’s tennis player is Maria Sharapova.   She has beauty and a drive to win unlike any other player I have ever seen.   That winning attitude has made her go far in life.   She had been injured over the past year and missed alot of action.   We were lucky to see her only tournment play this year in Indian Wells.  She is now back playing this past week in Poland and I’m sure will regain her form soon!  

Our family tries to go to a match every year.   This past year we went to the Indian Wells (Palm Springs, CA) tournament in March.   Per my previous post on Rafael Nadal…this is the best tournament to visit!  Beautiful Palm Springs in March is lovely!   Not only to you get close to the players, but you can watch them practive from only a few feet away!   I had rented through LensRentals.com a dream lens of mine – the Nikon 18-200 VR F/2.8.   This lens was amazing!  What does amazing cost??  $1900.00 just for this lens.   But what it can do blew me away.   I added a teleconverter to the lens and this added another 100mm of action to my camera.  As you can tell by the picture above…so close!  I was about 30 feet away from Sharapova to get this shot.

It was my first time shooting with such a big lens and using it in conjunction with sports.  So I had a learning process.  This shot is solid, but needs a little EV+ kick.  I will learn next time to work better with shadows.  I also took this hand held.  With so many people around it was difficult to manuever such a lens.  If you click on the link above you can see how big this lens is.  I’d estimate with my camera body, teleconverter, lens and the hood – the length of this outfit was around 18-20 inches!  Wow!  I overheard a few people around me say “that guy is getting great shots!”  Hopefully I will get this lens this year.  If not, I may rent it again for some baseball action.

We met Sharapova later the next day.  She was signing autographs and my 4 year old gave her a flower and Maria thanked her signed a poster for her and laughed  “hey isnt this poster bigger than you?”  Thank you to Maria…she was so nice to us!    Hope you think this photo is an “Ace”!