I was up in Auckland a few weeks back, to cover the national gymnastics championships. Here are some of the images, showing the amazing things these athletes can do. First the from WAG (Women’s Artistic Gymnastics) competition:
All but one of these WAG images are from one apparatus, the Balance Beam. Lighting in the stadium was terrible, which prevented me from getting a reasonable proportion of ‘keepers’ from the other parts of the competition. But what they can do on that narrow beam is astonishing, especially when you see it up close.
Some of the moves are very graceful,
and some less so:
but they all involve great skill and flexibility
Strength too. Just look at the bar bending in this shot:
The MAG (you’ve guessed it – Men’s Artistic Gymnastics) was easier to photograph. Many of the difficult moves are strength moves, carried out more slowly. The rmgs especially present good opportunities:
Houston from Nelson did well in his first nationals. He can do the classic move:
but what you don’t see in the next shot (a still photograph) is that he can raise himself back up out of it!
More gymnasts showing good form:
The high bar was more of a challenge for photographers.
Here are two shots in quick succession of Sam, also from Nelson, who had a great championships. He’s quite flexible, isn’t he?
Photographers: you can see the motion blur and narrow depth of focus (I was forced down to 1/125 sec , at f/2.8 and an ISO of 6400, at 180 mm)