I started playing volleyball with friends and then started attending the women's volleyball games at a local college. The coach and team noticed that I was a regular fan, and introduced themselves. When they hired a tall and obviously highly skilled assistant coach, Dave, I met him, too. And when he told me about his amateur volleyball team, I was hooked.
Amateur volleyball is played at a variety of levels, starting with the lowest skills at the "C" level and progressing up to "B" and then "A" and then, sometimes, "Open". The players at the highest levels play a game just a tad less complex than that played at the Olympic level. Most of them played at in college, often on nationally ranked teams. I was amazed at what I saw when I attended their practices, and then their matches.
The first photographs I took were experiments. Here are two of the better ones. Man, but that guy was tall, and could jump!
Over the next year or so, I learned about the technical problems of taking action photographs indoors, how to focus a manual focus lens quickly, how to anticipate action, how to compose images on the fly, and how to burn enormous amounts of film (remember film?). I ended up taking some 15,000 pictures over the next few years. Here are some of the pictures that I took, with some comments about why each picture is special to me.
Note that I have not been able to acquire permission to use any of these pictures from the subjects, because I no longer know how to get in touch with any of the people. If anyone wants a picture removed from the site, please get in touch with me.
The first successful shot I ever took outdoors was at a tournament. I took pictures of many people, most of whom I knew, but the best one of the group was of a woman whom I did not know, and whom none of my friends knew. To this day, I do not know who she is, nor did I ever manage to show this picture to her. She was not highly skilled, at least on that day, but the picture was quite good. If you look closely, you will see that her forearms are still indented from the pressure of the ball.
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