Covering seven days of swimming sucked the creativity right out of me. My next stop on my 20-day road trip was to Grand Rapids, MI to shoot the 2012 U.S. Table Tennis Open. My tennis was to focus on the members of the United States Olympic Table Tennis team who would be competing in the event. It would be my last opportunity to shoot them before the London Olympic games. When I thought about table tennis, I immediately pictured the movie Balls of Fury where the players constantly practice in a super-secret club! When I arrived, I was instantly overwhelmed. There were 220 tables set up in a giant hall. Everyone was playing while I wandered around like a lost puppy, trying to find the people on my list to shoot. I was focusing on:
• Ariel Hsing
• Lily Zhang
• Erica Wu
• Timothy Wang
Two of the players on my list were eliminated the previous day, so I was forced to focus on Ariel and Lily, both sixteen years old.
Prior to competition, every single paddle has to go through inspection to ensure they’re legal.
While I was waiting, I noticed this guy in the stands, wearing a giant USA tie, videotaping the match.
Here is an overall view of tables #1 and #2. Look at all of the people in the stands cheering them on! Just kidding.
And here are a few images of other players in action.
Ariel Hsing competing.
After she was done competing, I asked Ariel if I could do a quick portrait of her. I used a black sheet that was set up in the corner as a divide and an off-camera flash. I fired off a few shots and let her get on her way!
That ends my 20 day 3,200 mile trip! Up next is a day off then covering NHRA in Norwalk, Ohio!