Thursday, May 07, 2009

Players Championship: Round 1

TPC Round 1-10

Some of you may know that last year I had the opportunity to serve as a grip and secondary photographer for the Florida Times-Union during the first two rounds of the 2008 Players Championship. I had an amazing time, learned from some of the most talented photographers and editors in Florida and worked/walked my ass off - I even had a few shots published which was an added bonus. Needless to say I was more than excited when I got the email last month asking me to help out again this year, but this time I would be working all 4 rounds.

Today we headed to the course at 8:00 a.m. to get started. After a quick breakfast we were out on the course. Weather conditions were better in the morning than in the afternoon but it was pretty HOT most of the day. It is really amazing to watch these golfers on such a beautiful and well kept course, walk inside of the ropes with them, and to top it all off have the chance to photograph them - for me, it just doesn't get any better than this.

I had a great time shooting and walking for miles on end and I learned a ton as always. One very important lesson I learned today is while shooting you must be 100% aware of yourself and surroundings at all times. This is really important for sports for safety reasons and to ensure you do not disturb the athletes. Sometimes you get so caught up in the action of the event or trying to get the shot you want/need and forget your surroundings or other athletes nearby. This happened to me on a very small scale today (shot a frame right as another golfer was stepping up to his ball - it was from a pretty good distance and the player didn't react at all so I doubt he even noticed) but it put me on notice so hopefully this small slip today will remind me to be aware of everything going on around me while I'm shooting. After talking with some of the others about what had happened it was pretty clear that it wasn't a huge deal, and even the pros do it! :-)

Much to my wife's dismay I had the chance to shoot with a Nikon D3 and 200-400mm zoom - man what a setup! I'd love to be able to have that as part of my arsenal someday.

Here's a shot of one of my favorite current golfers Camilo Villegas when he was on 18 today - although I can't openly root for anyone - he's a Gator, I'm a Gator - Go Gators! :-)

TPC Round 1-346-2

One thing is for sure is I need to get in on his weight training program!

I'm sore and tired already but I can't wait to get out and do it all over again tomorrow. More blogging and photos to come!

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