Mülheim/Germany, Jun 24, ’23
Thanks for stopping by on a more or less regular basis.
There has been some development here of late. My keen interest lies by now in the page b&w, where I come pretty close to what I’d originally intended when starting this adventurous project. This collection will get larger and larger during the upcoming days, weeks and months. Eventually this will grow to maybe a thousand or more pics. This will become my ‘opus one’, which I still hope to present to some publishers some day. If they don’t like it then, it’s their fault, not mine. 😉
Color is entertainment. Black and white is culture. Color is party. Black and white is rite. Tennis is both entertainment and culture, party and rite. In the last twenty years or so the party aspect has gained the upper hand in a shrill and often repugnant way. Money rules. There's no business like show business. The worship of the golden calf has seized power. Netcord and circenses. Rackets are smashed against umpire chairs missing the poor man's foot just by a hair. Without any significant consequences. Some bucks fined, maybe. Players are howled down by audiences for no other recognizable reason than nationalistic chauvinism. Well, not by chance most of this pertains the men's department. But more and more the event-design has been delegated to professional firms, who have turned it into a media circus over the years, and have done so with good old WTA as well, that WTA, which mustn't be called WTA anymore, but HOLOGIC-WTA instead. Contracts. Money rules. Benefit at any (spiritual) cost. No. I'm with the Glass Bead Game, all those but seemingly weird and illogical regulations, the sports|wo|manship, the hoary cultural achievement. As most of the players I'm with decency and fairness and commitment. Lots of that can be seen in my portraits, where the ball, the moment is the star and the player's in some circumstances towering ego and vanity is playing at best a supporting role. I'm with the rite. I'm with the culture of the sport. I'm with black and white tennis photography. Before I chose tennis as my topic there were beautiful results in nature, buds, bark, backlight, depth of field. There are dense moments and shallow one‘s. Fragments of the whole as it actually is, shards of reality, colorful, brightly fragrant, radiant. Surrounded by the mud of irrelevance. The same place, the same person, the same bud, the same bark can be highly exciting or boring and petty. To catch the exciting moments and capture them was my goal. There is nothing but the moment. Past and future are illusions, constructs. Past has gone, future is not to be yet. Ask Aristotle. Ask modern brain research. The present lasts three seconds. Or shorter. Never longer. There are ethnic groups whose language doesn't even know words for yesterday and tomorrow. The more I soaked into the essence the more my goal became to capture the moment of ball contact. Without using automation one has to synchronize with the player which is a fascinating 'sport' as well, if you will. Power to women. Men blew it. For millennia they have demonstrated their incapacity with their legs wide apart. Now history has come to its senses. The other scale is sinking. Women are the issue. Rigidity is death. Motion is life. Tennis is nothing without good footwork. The head is cool, calm and composed, constantly trying to anticipate the ball, developing strategies, creating angles, shot decisions, plan B, plan C... The mind is focused and alert. For hours. And the body is trying to do all it takes to achieve the goal of winning the rally, the game, the set, the match... I'm all but a capitalist. I don't romanticize the poor as I don't condemn the rich. Wheat and chaff on both sides. As a non-capitalist chosing to abandon to a money-driven sport against all genderistic jaundices is weird, but it is an act of esthetical sovereignty as well. Many cases where I found lower-ranked tennis mothers and players at the ALDI counter by the way. Big money is but in the top 50. Photographing women's tennis, all birds with one stone. Portraying women's power. Cherishing motion and abandon. Honoring the magic of the moment. And, last but not least: Celebrating the miraculous sport of tennis, the splendid art form of photography! The journey is going well. [...]
There has been so much learning during these years from 2015 until today, in managing the camera parameters, in finding the right focus as to what to depict, in post-production. And the learning never stops. Culture can be so entertaining. Hope you enjoy as much as I do.
All photos are downloadable strictly for private use. If you want to post them on social media you may do so by giving proper credit to beautyoftennis.com.
All other use is strictly prohibited.
P.S.: Ah, I always forget to mention one of the main aspects of my work. All here is done with single shots and manually, that is without using any of the camera’s automatic features except autofocus, which is inevitable in sports photography.