How can a golf shot be both very bad and very good?
That was the case when Tiger Woods hit an errant chip that smacked Mail on Sunday photographer Mark Pain right in his Nikkor 24–70mm lens—and Pain managed to get a shot of the ball right before it hit.
Pain's remarkable shot—and Woods' remarkably bad one—came on the 18th hole at the 2010 Ryder Cup in Newport, Wales, U.K. Woods, who is famously irritable about photographers, didn't object to Pain's camera stopping his ball for him.
(Is the guy on the right with the cigar famous for his Groucho Marx impression?)
The shot came in a winning effort by Steve Stricker and Woods. However, the Europeans carried the day overall behind the last-minute heroics of Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, reigning U.S. Open champion.
What we want to know is, why didn't Pain's Nikon D3s focus-track the ball?
Read more at The Mail Online.
(Thanks to Adam McAnaney)
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Michael Houghton: "I'm not into golf and I'm no fan of sulky-faced Tiger Woods, but I assure you this was an outstanding golf shot: it hit someone who works for one of the nastiest tabloids in Britain."
Featured Comment by Dan States: "The camera is so darned good it knew that no pro photographer could sell a blurry photo of Tiger and a sharp photo of a golf ball. That is technology for the better good!"
Featured Comment by Daniel Fealko: "The expressions of the onlookers are, to me, the best part of this photo. Study the photo and you see a range of reactions as people realize where that ball is headed."
Featured Comment by Jason: "Reading around the web, I think 'EuroCheech' is getting more attention than the ball."
Featured Comment by Ken Bennett: "Why didn't Pain's Nikon D3s focus-track the ball? Probably because he uses the thumb button to focus, and once focus is achieved on a static subject, he lets go of the button.
"This is a common tactic among sports photogs and photojournalists—separating the focus from the shutter button means I can leave my camera in continuous AF all the time, and adjust focus as needed with my thumb. If the subject starts moving, just hold down the thumb button and keep shooting. If the subject stops moving, let go of the thumb button. Repeat as needed. In this case Tiger isn't moving, so one quick thumb press to focus, then recompose and shoot as needed without having to refocus every time.
"This feature was present on the early Canon professional AF cameras like the original EOS 1 (film version). It helped a lot with the transition from manual to auto focus.
"(On my current Canon cameras, there are two possible thumb buttons. I have one set for center-spot focus, and one for all-45-area focus. It's surprisingly quick and simple to manage.)"
Featured Comment by richardplondon: "Ouch! I hope that didn't leave a painful mark (sorry)."
Featured Comment by Martin: "Compare my much less dangerous shot achieved with sellotape and a bit of string: