Comments For Photographers
Just got back from shooting the qualies at Indian Wells. There have been changes at The Tennis Garden which impact amateur photographers. Though you still have to give em props for letting us shoot with DSLRs and interchangeable lenses.
Access to practice courts gets a little more restricted every year. A couple of walkways that used to be open to the general public have been blocked off. New bleachers have been added around the outer match courts which also block off walkways. On the plus side, the bleachers provide unusual vantage points onto neighboring courts for those of you with enough energy to lug your equipment up to the top row. The sides and back of the bleachers are covered with green curtains which can be used for clean backgrounds if you pick the right camera angles.
For those of you who like to sit behind the umpire in the first or second row (a popular spot), there are some of new problems. You know those tables behind the umpire's chair right up against the first row? Some of those tables are higher than they used to be. This can cut into your line of sight. To make matters worse, they are putting microphones on those tables to pick up ambient court noise. The mikes definitely take away camera angles I used to use. How about putting those mikes somewhere inside the umpire's chair?
Finally, didn't ball boys/girls used to kneel down around the net? They were not doing that during the qualies, which was a major pain in the butt. It's hard enough trying to get shots without ball boys and linemen in the background. Now we have to steer around them in the foreground too.
Hopefully some of the pro photographers will complain about some of this stuff.
Indian Wells is still the best tournament I've been to for amateur tennis photography.