It’s hard for me to put the camera down when Serena Williams is playing

BEIJING—Between editing stories I try to get to some matches. My first instinct is to grab the camera and head to the photographer’s pit. But with my camera, I don’t really get to see the game. Because I see isolated moments of players, I don’t really get a sense of how either player is doing or how the game is going.

But when I head to the stands, I feel out of place without my gear — an iPhone camera is not the camera you want for sports.  Today, I decided to shoot.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both lighting situations. But I think I prefer the definition and drama of sunlight in this case.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both lighting situations. But I think I prefer the definition and drama of sunlight in this case.

I went to the first match of the day, Serena Williams vs. Maria Kirilenko. The situation here is good. The photographers have a “pit” along the side opposite the chair umpire. We’re up close and personal. Because Diamond Court has a retractable roof, the court is often part sun, part shade. It makes photography interesting.

In the shade, the light is nice and even. But you have to boost your ISO up to 1000 or so. In the sun you get nice light that’s dramatic and not too harsh. I even tried some slow exposure stuff on that side, dropping down to ISO 100.

The nature of tennis is that you get many chances to shoot the same photo. Without a stumble or a mishit or such, the images are pretty routine. It’s hard not to make a good image—though it can be hard to get a clean background. Before you know it you can fire off hundreds of images that all look the same. But you can’t take your eye off the court because you might miss that one different moment of the game.

But because I’m here, I really should shoot, right? Here’s a selection of pictures from today’s match. Tonight I’ll go to the Sloane Stephens match. Don’t know yet if I’ll shoot or watch.

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