Many of the pictures shown above are of players who's facial expression indicated clearly how focused and dedicated they were at the time the picture was taken. Expressions can "make" a picture, sometimes in surprising ways.
This picture was taken when the US National team played the Canadians (I think). The expression speaks for itself.
This picture shows it all: the hitter, the blocker, the follow-through, the ball. The hitter's expression is icing on the cake. Notice that he is still following the ball with his eyes, even after he's hit it.
Here, the blocker's expression is exciting, and her ability to track the ball with her eyes during play helps us focus our attention on the play.
This woman is quite tall, so she should be a hitter, not a setter. In fact she was a hitter, and not a setter, which might explain her anxious facial expression as she tries to set the ball precisely and cleanly. The real setter looks on with her back to the camera.
Same situation, different woman, different day.
This hitter seems so calm in the middle of the chaos. Her teammate who is yelling behind her only accentuates her calm in the moment.
This blocker is similarly tranquil and focused in a moment when she might be more flustered. It is interesting to note that not all blockers keep their eyes on the ball: they often close their eyes just before impact, but she is clearly confident and relaxed.
As I said above, many setters are short and most hitters are tall. Here we have a short setter who is trying to block, and a tall hitter who is trying to help her. The urgency in their facial expressions is made almost humorous when you realize that the hitter is so tall that she can stand behind the setter and still be a more effective blocker.
The pose, flexibility, extension, perfectly positioned arms, and the facial expression combine to make this picture interesting. You might think that anyone who bit her lips during play was nervous, but in fact this was one of the most highly skilled players I ever photographed at the college level.
This woman is clearly at war with the ball, or her opponents. The height of her jump also adds to the drama of the shot.
Another cool, calm, and collected player, with her eye on the ball and an arch to her back.
As I said, some people keep their eyes on the ball all the way into their hands, and then there are those who do not. The intensity is there in her facial expression: whether it is focus or fear is not clear to me.
Flexibility, extension, a grimace of extreme effort, hair flying, even the loose draw string: they all contribute to the drama in this picture.
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