Which Venues Are Good For Photography? - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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Which Venues Are Good For Photography?

People in this forum have personally attended tournaments all over the world. I have only been to the southern California events plus Sarasota (once). I'm wondering which venues people think are good (and bad) for taking pictures of players. Good venues give spectators access to lots of courts, including practice courts. It's also good if you can stand on any side of a court instead of being restricted to one side. For example Indian Wells is great because it is wide open, i.e. all practice courts are open to the public and most can be viewed from all 4 sides. The Home Depot Center in Carson (Los Angeles) is also pretty good for similar reasons. These venues were both built for hosting pro events which really helps. Country Clubs tend to have fences with curtains and light poles around the courts. La Costa, where they hold the Acura, is a country club in which most of the practice courts are closed in by fences with curtains on them - not very good for photography.

In one of the reports from the Rogers Cup someone mentioned that he/she could not get near many of the practice courts. This would make it not so hot for picture-taking.

So, in your opinion, which venues are good and bad for photography.

Thanks ...
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 01:47 AM
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Well if you pay attention to clips on documentaries/commercials... you will nearly ALWAYS see photos/video from Charleston

They only have about 6 practice courts...most with bleachers, so its very easy to locate the players... also the fans aren't too wild so you can get up very close.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 01:54 AM
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Well, the Luxembourg Seat open is great for that, you can go everywhere especially there is a corridor between the training courts and the centercourt that players are forced to use.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 02:25 AM
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Eastbourne and Birmingham

Eastbourne is great for photography in terms of the outside courts and practice-courts, where you can get really close up, and from any angle you want (the courts are separated by narrow walkways, open to the public).

The centre-court at Eastbourne has a large stadium, so it's not so good for photography unless you have a very powerful zoom-lens.

Birmingham by contrast has a much smaller stadium, but the outside courts and practice-courts can only be viewed from two of the four sides, are not separated by walkways, and the view is restricted in places by netting or foliage.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 02:28 AM
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Toronto is both very good and bad. The grandstand must be the smallest of all the Tier I+ tournaments. From front row (and because everyone is allowed to sit anywhere), you are very close. You can even go on the south end and take pictures from higher above. The practise courts are great if you want a player from the first court, but past that it is difficult because fans only see one side. Courts 1,2,3,4, and 5 are also ridiculously close from fans to the players. The downside is Centre Court which is massive (9,000+ seating). All in all, for a Tier I it's all around amazing.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 416_Man
Toronto is both very good and bad. The grandstand must be the smallest of all the Tier I+ tournaments. From front row (and because everyone is allowed to sit anywhere), you are very close. You can even go on the south end and take pictures from higher above. The practise courts are great if you want a player from the first court, but past that it is difficult because fans only see one side. Courts 1,2,3,4, and 5 are also ridiculously close from fans to the players. The downside is Centre Court which is massive (9,000+ seating). All in all, for a Tier I it's all around amazing.
I agree, I could take very good photos with a 300 mm zoom from in all courts except centre court.

In centre court, unless you have at least a 600 mm telephoto lense you won't get good photos.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 02:54 AM
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Flushing Meadows - Side courts, grandstand (if you're in the first few rows), ditto for Louis Armstrong. Practice courts are terrible. Forget about Ashe - you'll need a 10,000mm lens

Amelia Island - Probably the best venue to take photos. Practice courts are extremely accessible. Stadium is not too bad, either.

Eastbourne - see Amelia Island above

Miami - Side courts and practice courts are great; stadium is terrible unless you're lucky enough to have box seats.

Wimbledon is a lot like the U.S. Open but with more accessible practice courts.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. They are very helpful. I usually go to the early rounds, often the qualies, of tournaments when I know the crowds will be thin. That way I can get as close as I want to side courts and practice courts. Some events even let me get close in the stadium on those days. However, I usually don't shoot in stadiums since I don't have a media credential. So I'm most interested in the side courts and practice courts.

Linnie - That's too bad about Flushing Meadows, because that's one event I'd like to shoot. I'll keep Amelia Island and Eastbourne in mind. AndrewBroad also mentioned Eastbourne. It would be fun to shoot on grass for a change. Played on grass once at the Tennis Hall of Fame in Rhode Island (US). It was a blast.

Fingon & 416 - I'm getting mixed messages about Toronto. It seems to be very popular with the players. I shoot with a digital camera with a 10x optical zoom. The 35mm equivalent range is 38mm to 380mm. That's not bad, but I still take most of my shots from the first 10 rows of bleachers.

Frenchie - Luxembourg would be a fun place to go. Jeez - I'd be afraid to touch Anna K! Shot her once just before she retired in Indian Wells.

Davenselesport - Charleston is a real possibility for me. I've heard good things about it from other people. Plus - since it's in the U.S., it would be more affordable. It takes place at a time of year when I like to vacation too.

Thanks again for the info.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 07:36 AM
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I think all places are pretty good for photos. Surely RG is good, Open GAz is fine though they dont like flashes. Actually Bercy they dont like flashes either, but you can catch some pre-match photos.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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i've only ever been to wimbledon and i was sat on the back row of centre and number 1...and i managed to get good pics with my digital camera.




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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 04:45 PM
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I'm going to have to say Charleston is great....all you have to do is chat up the volunteers and their let you go down to the expensive seats to get close-ups of your fav if you want them in the stadium....plus all that was already said.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 04:55 PM
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She pretty much usually looks the same. Her tennis outfits the last couple of years I have really liked, so get her like before a match before she's all grungy and ragged out from running around. Off-court regular clothes pictures, she can be hit and miss. The candids from Turkey I really liked, though.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 05:15 PM
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Charleston was good for me. I had clear shots from the 2nd tier of the stadium, really good shots at the practice courts and the Althea Gibson court, and it is no big deal to stand at the ground floor stadium entrance and take photos. At the end of the tournament, I went all the way down to the front row and took pictures.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 05:46 PM
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Shooter -

great thread!

As you mentioned, Indian Wells is fantastic -- camera friendly, practice courts are accessible and the outside courts are pretty small. The big stadium...forget it, unless you have killer seats. The two smaller stadiums are okay, and I think for next year I will try to get the lower box seats for one of them to get closer to the action. The price is not that much different, and since I only go the first weekend anyway, it would be worth it.

Bank of the West / Stanford: This sums it up: two years ago I had tix to the finals - the classic match of Lindsay vs Venus. I arrived late and my friends told me that someone actually got kicked out for taking photos. needless to say, my camera stayed in the bag the entire match. I am not sure why this particular tournament is so restrictive, when other tournaments don't mind at all.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2005, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter
People in this forum have personally attended tournaments all over the world. I have only been to the southern California events plus Sarasota (once). I'm wondering which venues people think are good (and bad) for taking pictures of players. Good venues give spectators access to lots of courts, including practice courts. It's also good if you can stand on any side of a court instead of being restricted to one side. For example Indian Wells is great because it is wide open, i.e. all practice courts are open to the public and most can be viewed from all 4 sides. The Home Depot Center in Carson (Los Angeles) is also pretty good for similar reasons. These venues were both built for hosting pro events which really helps. Country Clubs tend to have fences with curtains and light poles around the courts. La Costa, where they hold the Acura, is a country club in which most of the practice courts are closed in by fences with curtains on them - not very good for photography.

In one of the reports from the Rogers Cup someone mentioned that he/she could not get near many of the practice courts. This would make it not so hot for picture-taking.

So, in your opinion, which venues are good and bad for photography.

Thanks ...

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