Attended a gymnastics competition last weekend, the Total Gym International Gymnastics Tournament 2017 (6th Edition). I was there on Day 2 of the competition, where my daughter and her team took part in the team competition. Unfortunately, her team did not win any medals on the day, but they certainly put up a worthy and gutsy performance, and had fun and exposure participating in an international event.
From my experience shooting a number of these events at different venues, a key aspect I find in getting good shots of the gymnasts is finding suitable spots, getting sufficiently close and planning the shots to minimise any background clutter (e.g. unnecessary details, awkward line formations, bright light sources, etc.) which distracts the viewer from the main subject of interest – the gymnasts.
Another equally challenging aspect, at least for me anyway, is photographing the gymnasts when they are going about their routines with a camera which is ‘slow’ to acquire focus when the action picks up (GAS for X-T2 🙂 ); but then again, if it’s easy, then where is the sense of achievement and satisfaction of getting the shot ;). Preempting a routine’s ‘sweet spot’s, manually pre-focusing on them, and wait for the action to ‘land’ works wonders at times.
That’s how I went about getting some of the shots posted here of the competitors on the day, working the venue, understanding and working within the limitations of my gear and doses of luck :). Hope you enjoy the selection, the gymnasts certainly trained hard and gave their best in the spirit of the sport and competition, and did themselves, their team, coaches, parents and country proud, surely.
I learned something new on the day, Aesthetic Group Gymnastics, which was included to the competition for the first time. Aesthetic Group Gymnastics is about prominent and continuous body movement in larger teams, apparatus are not used, and stress more on physical qualities such as flexibility, balance, speed, strength, coordination and sense of rhythm where movements of the body are emphasized in the flow, expressive and aesthetic appeal.
A routine typically encompasses versatile and varied body movements, such as body waves and swings, balances and pivots, jumps and leaps, dance steps, and lifts, with the team striving for by uniformity and simultaneity which characterizes a good performance.
All photos: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF 55-200 mm