« Canon S95 Review | Main | The Tom Liljenquist Civil War Bequest »

Tuesday, 05 October 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

To give credit where credit is due, I was tipped off by my friend Mark Hendrixson. Thanks, Mark!


I can see the ebay ad already:
"Hardly ever used, no fungus, no scratches. Has one small cleaning smudge on the front element, doesn't affect the image quality at all. True auction, starting price covers the postage only".

"What we want to know is, why didn't Pain's Nikon D3s focus-track the ball?"

Ha! Still room for development then. But I wonder how the S95 would have done?

Pretty good, but he should have adjusted focus, depth of field, and shutter speed so the ball wouldn't be blurry. Also the ball should have been positioned using the rule of thirds. :)

this is amazing, I love the expressions on everybody's faces!

I used to do golf photography as a freelance here in Cornwall.
What these big shot golf stars need to be reminded of is that the photographers are the people who bring in the large crowds that pay their stupidly high wages.
So if Mr Woods is not keen on cameras he'd better remember that he would be nothing without us!
I have also been Glared At by Severiano Ballesteros who thought I was too close to the tee (I wasn't) and moaned at by Tony Jacklin, who said my camera clicks distracted him. At that point I had not in fact taken any pictures, it was someone behind me!
Golf photography is in fact very boring. Photographers are not supposed to fire their shutter until after the shot is taken, so every shot is followed by a machine gun rattle! There's little scope for creativity but if you have to be bored at least it's in some nice countryside!

"What we want to know is, why didn't Pain's Nikon D3s focus-track the ball?"

Duh, because the artificial intelligence in the D3X determined that having the audience in focus would make the better photograph.

tough shot to authenticate. pretty easy to 'shop that white smudge in.

> What we want to know is, why didn't Pain's Nikon D3s focus-track the ball?

Indeed. I'm quoting from the marketing-speak on Nikon's web site:


"Milliseconds prior to shooting, the Scene Recognition System recognizes a scene’s essential elements and then applies that information to the camera’s other analytic processes. As a result, AF, AE, i-TTL flash control and AWB have achieved an entirely new level of accuracy and performance that dutifully reflects the expectations and desires of today’s photographers."

It is truly a disgrace that the camera's vaunted "Scene Recognition System"-driven AF can't even cope with what must be a quite common "scene", or picture-taking situation — a contrasty, well-delineated object moving towards the lens ;-)

To Nikon's credit, the SRS seems to have gotten at least the AE and AWB right…

Is that blue thing sticking up on the left a periscope somebody is using to see over the crowd?

I suspect it would have been a far less interesting shot if the ball had been in focus (because Woods and the crowd would then have been so blurred as to be indistinguishable); hence, the super-fancy modern camera magically did the right thing! (On the Nikon AF-C scheme, you can select how long something at a different distance has to intervene before the camera changes focus to the new thing; the setting on Pain's camera was probably long enough that the camera didn't change focus to the ball before it hit.)

I wonder if that lens will show up in a Sotheby's auction soon?

It's strange to me that no one in the background seems to see this coming.

"Woods, who is famously irritable about photographers, didn't object to Pain stopping his ball for him."

I saw the shot on TV and didn't realize it hit a photographer. These pro golfers have ample opportunity to object to someone's placement before they swing. What Woods hates is a camera making a sound (or even any movement) during his swing. Once the club makes contact, it's fair game. In other words, Woods didn't object because the photographer didn't do anything wrong.

What I found interesting was the number of cameras on the course. I usually don't see that on tv. In fact, I thought about going to the Canadian Open this year. Their rules made it very clear that no cameras would be allowed. I didn't go.

If that is "Euro-Cheech" in the shot, then that ain't a cigar in his mouth...

This photo redefines the oft-left Flickr comment, "Nice catch!"

I recall seeing a photographer working a Mariners game last season take a foul tip right on the side of his 400 f/2.8--the lens snapped off right at the mount. Hope it belonged to his paper, and not him. And he was too busy ducking to get a shot of the ball coming at him.

Believe it or not, the reason that golfers hate cameras and their movement is not so much that they can't play through noise and movement (they can and do all the time, as long as they can identify the sound and movement before the swing), but because you're concentrating so hard on the ball that you don't know what a sudden unexpected movement is -- Did somebody just walk into your swing? --and you flinch. Of course, there's very little chance that somebody or something is moving into the radius of your swing, but it *could* happen -- and if it does, you'll kill that person. Imagine a hammer-head on the end of a 46-inch handle, moving as fast as the head of a golf club...

So you flinch. I once in my life was on my way to an even-par nine holes, and the guy I was playing with walked into my swing on one hole. It's the only time it's ever happened. I don't know what he was thinking of -- nothing, I guess -- but I flinched horribly, and topped the ball, hitting it on the ground and sideways, about fifty yards off the tee. I was really unhappy about the problem-- you don't get do-overs in golf -- but I was appalled by the thought of what almost happened. If I'd hit him in the head...

(I bogied the hole, but got a lucky birdy on the next one, and kept the round intact.)

If there was only one photographer shooting, and if he told a golfer that he was planning to shoot just as he came through the ball, there wouldn't be much of a problem. But there are too many photographers...even a few who'll have their little pop-up flash turned on...

As for the idea (suggested by someone here) that photographers are the reason that golfers make as much money as they do...excuse me, but there have always been photographers out there out there on the golf courses, and at the height of their power, back in the forties and fifties, before television, golfers made a small fraction of what they do now. Television made golf, not still cameras.


"What these big shot golf stars need to be reminded of is that the photographers are the people who bring in the large crowds that pay their stupidly high wages. So if Mr Woods is not keen on cameras he'd better remember that he would be nothing without us!"

I don't believe that still photography has much bearing on how much pro golfers make anymore. TV coverage and ratings probably have orders-of-magnitude more effect.

"Their rules made it very clear that no cameras would be allowed."

That's true of every PGA tour event for spectators. In order to prevent noise, there are no cameras and no portable electronics of any kind. (Except for those with actual credentials, or the Shot-link PDA-type things they lend out at the course, which are silent.)

So, I was just looking through the Library of Congress photos on Flickr, and, as luck would have it, came across this one:


The ball hit him in the chest actually, neither he nor the camera were harmed.

'Cigar guy' has apparently taken off...http://deadspin.com/5655370/the-cigar-guy-photoshops-have-begun

And this salmon would have hit me right in the lens had it not been for the sure hands of this fish catcher.


I am a little surprised at all the (partly funny) comments about why the camera didn't focus on the ball. The real answer is that this isn't what the photographer was focusing on, and the camera tracked Woods, not the ball.

In the unlikely case that the photographer had not started focus-tracking before the shot, the reason that the ball isn't in focus is that it isn't in the centre, Woods is.

"I am a little surprised at all the (partly funny) comments about why the camera didn't focus on the ball."

That was a joke! Of course neither the camera nor the photographer should have focused on the ball. Nor could they have.


Michael's dead right about the Mail - it's a peculiarly ugly hate-fest that plays to Middle England's paranoia about coloured folk, anyone to the left of Genghis Khan and everything's that's happened, anywhere, since 1950. One can only assume that Tiger's deadly accuracy was a political statement. If so, I for one won't hear a word said against the boy.

Gentlemen if anyone doubts the power of the printed page, yes! even in this instant electronic age then just Google for Golf Magazines and see how many there are.

There is a limitless market for good golfing pictures simply because the big players come and go. If you have some long lenses and a liking for hikes in scenic countryside you may well care to supplement your income in this way.

It is common for cameras to be banned at professional matches and Press passes are only issued to bona fide golf photography professionals. I had to prove myself at club level before I was granted a pass at Internationals. You get a lovely lunch too, as a rule!

@Martin are the girls photoshopped in then? Or is it just odd lighting?

Even if the photographer wanted to track the ball, it might well have been travelling at more than 50 m/s (depending on the shot) - can a high-level DSLR track *and* adjust focus that fast when the focus is that close?

>So if Mr Woods is not keen on cameras he'd
>better remember that he would be nothing
>without us!

Umm...just how much of a GOLFERS income can be traced back to the print media and stills photographers? I rather think the big bucks in golf come from the television deals and this author has the well developed narcissism of all budding paparazzi.

A fun shot though...I particularly like Stevie's expression.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007