The 2011 US Open through Photos

"2011 US Open men's singles champion Novak Djokovic (SRB)(1) poses with the US Open trophy atop the Empire State Building in New York City Tuesday, September 13, 2011."

"2011 US Open women's singles champion Samantha Stosur (AUS)(9) poses with the US Open trophy in Times Square Monday, September 12, 2011."

I’m currently on the Bolt Bus on my way back to Baltimore from New York City after an amazing two weeks working as a photo editor and photographer for usopen.org at the 2011 US Open. 

My main responsibility was to work alongside a photo team in editing images of US Open matches and events shot by our team of photographers. This involved cropping and resizing, as well as adjusting saturation, levels, sharpness, and curves. I also built organized, created, and produced a large collection of photo galleries. We were told last night that we had uploaded over 3, 300 photographs over the two week period. Given that high volume of photos, the work was monotonous and hectic at times, but after working for a website that gets approximately 35 million page views worldwide on each day of the tournament, I leave feeling very accomplished. 

I also got to shoot more photographs than I anticipated, which I’m thrilled about. In the hours I wasn’t working, I spent my time on the courts or around the grounds, making pictures and adding to my portfolio. Life as a photographer can be pretty exciting sometimes. As you can see, yesterday I was in Times Square with the women’s champion, and this morning I was on top of the Empire State Building with the men’s winner. 

That being said, the daily grind of the tournament definitely took a toll on me. Traveling an hour and a half to and from the National Tennis Center on the subway every day was grueling. I worked the night shift, which kept me there until midnight or later just about every night. 

I was tired at times, but I’ll remember this experience most for the people I was around. I’m grateful for the incredible usopen.org staff for their help, advice, and inspiration. I was able to make lots of new connections, and got a taste of the New York City media lifestyle. I’m also thrilled to have met up with so many friends I haven’t seen in  awhile I was there, and I’m glad to have yet again worked alongside Ben Snyder for another media adventure (also, thanks for the NYC pad!).

Tonight, it’s back to work at the O’s!

Below is a list of galleries comprised of photographs I took:

  1. Monday, August 29, 2011, Day 2: USTA Serves Night
  2. Wednesday, August 31, 2011, Day 3: Ivanovic/Zimonjic vs. Chan/Fyrstenberg
  3. Thursday, September 1, 2011, Day 4: A walk through the Grounds
  4. Sunday, September 3, 2011, Day 6: US Open From The Ground Up
  5. Monday, September 5, 2011, Day 8: Around the grounds
  6. Monday, September 12, 2011, Day 15: Olympus Photos of the Day

Below is a list of galleries I created or contributed to: 

  1. Thursday, August 25, 2011, Qualifying Round: Nadal Tennis Clinic
  2. Thursday, August 25, 2011, Qualifying Round: Draw Ceremony
  3. Tuesday, August 30, 2011, Day 2: Night Matches on Ashe
  4. Wednesday, August 31, 2011, Day 3: Sharapova vs. Yakimova
  5. Thursday, September 1, 2011, Day 4: Djokovic vs. Berlocq
  6. Thursday, September 1, 2011, Day 4: Azarenka vs. Dulko
  7. Thursday, September 1, 2011, Day 4: King vs. Gajdosova
  8. Friday, September 2, 2011, Day 5: Blake vs. Ferrer
  9. Friday, September 2, 2011, Day 5: Roddick vs. Sock
  10. Friday, September 2, 2011, Day 5: Kirilenko vs. McHale
  11. Saturday, September 3, 2011, Day 6: Ivanovic vs. Stephens
  12. Saturday, September 3, 2011, Day 6: Tsonga vs. Verdasco
  13. Saturday, September 3, 2011, Day 6: Stars at the Open
  14. Saturday, September 3, 2011, Day 6: Djokovic vs. Davydenko
  15. Sunday, September 4, 2011, Day 7: Murray vs. Lopez
  16. Sunday, September 4, 2011, Day 7: Lisicki vs. Zvonareva
  17. Monday, September 5, 2011, Day 8: Federer vs. Monaco
  18. Thursday, September 8, 2011, Day 11: Federer vs. Tsonga
  19. Thursday, September 8, 2011, Day 11: Court 13
  20. Saturday, September 10, 2011, Day 13: Quarterfinal: Kerber vs. Stosur
  21. Saturday, September 10, 2011, Day 13: Semifinal: Murray vs. Nadal
  22. Saturday, September 10, 2011, Day 13: Men’s Doubles Final
  23. Saturday, September 10, 2011, Day 13: Semifinal: Wozniacki vs. Williams
  24. Monday, September 12, 2011, Day 15: Stars at the Open
  25. Monday, September 12, 2011, Day 15: Men’s Final: Nadal vs. Djokovic
  26. Monday, September 12, 2011, Day 15: Men’s Final Goes Into the Night 

US Open Photography: Friday, September 2, 2011

"Andy Murray (GBR)(4) returns a shot from Robin Haase (NED) in a men's singles match in Louis Armstrong Stadium Friday, September 2, 2011."

"Sabine Lisicki (GER)(22) signs autographs in Grandstand at the US Open Friday, September 2, 2011."

I got on court for the first time last Friday to shoot some tennis action. The US Open crowd has some great energy, and I was pumped to be sitting courtside in the photo pits in these iconic tennis stadiums. 

I made the best pictures I could with my really slow 18-135 lens. It’s about time to upgrade to some new gear. 

*Don’t forget to vote for “Billie with an I.E.” for Baltimore’s Most Valuable Blog! You can vote once per day per computer or smartphone until September 9, 2011 (TODAY!). Click here to vote! Thank you so much for your readership!*

US Open Photography: Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Fans watch as Gael Monfils (FRA)(7) plays Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) in Louis Armstrong Stadium at the 2011 US Open Thursday, September 1, 2011."

"Roger Federer (SUI)(3) fans celebrate outside Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 2011 US Open Thursday, September 1, 2011."

"The sun sets behind Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open Thursday, September 1, 2011."

Although I’m an editor, I’ve been assigned to shoot several galleries for usopen.org as well. These are usually “Around the Grounds” themed galleries, which give viewers something else to look at besides the players.

Here are a few from my first gallery, which is the one I’m most proud of so far. It’s organized as a walking tour of the grounds, beginning at the entrance and progressing to the tennis action on court. You can check out the full gallery here!

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USTA holds 2011 US Open benefit auction.

"Singer Tony Bennett signs a 200 pound bottle of champagne in the President's Suite in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open Saturday, August 27, 2011."

"Actor Alec Baldwin leads a charity auction on opening night of the US Open Saturday, August 27, 2011."

"Former professional tennis player Jim Courier attends the USTA Serves Night at the 2011 US Open Saturday, August 27, 2011."

I’m not exactly sure what I was doing at this event, but for some reason, I was there. One minute I was across the grounds sitting in front of a laptop editing photos. The next minute I’m told that we needed coverage of the USTA Serves charity auction event in the President’s Suite in Arthur Ashe Stadium, and that I was the one who’d need to cover it. 

Once I was allowed in, I found myself surrounded with the likes of Tony Bennett, Alec Baldwin, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Robin Roberts (the host of Good Morning America), and other actors, stars, and tennis royalty. It’s a good thing I was dressed for the occasion. I fit right in with my Nike sneakers, khaki shorts, and polo…

Anyway, I enjoyed it and learned a lot that night. You can click here to see my full gallery from the event. 

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US Open Photography: Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Melanie Oudin (USA) practices during the qualifying rounds at the US Open Saturday, August 27, 2011."

"Juan Monaco (ARG) returns a shot from Andreas Seppi (ITA) in a men's singles first round match at the 2011 US Open Saturday, August 27, 2011."

Here are two that I liked from play last Saturday. I’d venture that Melanie Oudin has the best tennis face for photographs out of all the players on tour. 

*Don’t forget to vote for “Billie with an I.E.” for Baltimore’s Most Valuable Blog! You can vote once per day per computer or smartphone until September 9, 2011 (TODAY!). Click here to vote! Thank you so much for your readership!*

US Open Photography: Friday, August 26, 2011

“Marta Domachowska (POL) prepares to serve in a women’s singles qualifying match at the 2011 US Open Friday, August 26, 2011.”

“Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) plays a qualifying round match at the 2011 US Open Friday, August 26, 2011.”

“Fans sit under umbrellas in Louis Armstrong Stadium at the 2011 US Open Friday, August 26, 2011.”

“David Ferrer (ESP)(5) practices against Andy Murray (GBR)(4) in Louis Armstrong Stadium Friday, August 26, 2011.”

I’m way behind on posting my work from the 2011 US Open. I’ve done so much work so far that it’s difficult to figure out exactly how I want to organize these posts. I’m a Photo Editor for usopen.org, however I’ve spent much of my off hours roaming around the grounds and shooting to add to my portfolio. I’ll have a post for each day that I shot something worth sharing. Once the tournament ends, I’ll do a longer post displaying all my official work, and I’ll include some closing thoughts on my time in New York. 

The photographs above are from one of the early days of the qualifying rounds of this year’s tournament. I spent the day wandering the grounds and familiarizing myself with the National Tennis Center. This collection is a bit of a hodgepodge. I knew I wasn’t going to shoot anything great that day. I viewed it more as a warm up to a very busy two weeks ahead of me. 

*Don’t forget to vote for “Billie with an I.E.” for Baltimore’s Most Valuable Blog! You can vote once per day per computer or smartphone until September 9, 2011 (TODAY!). Click here to vote! Thank you so much for your readership!*

Nadal, Fish among many stars to appear at 2011 ‘Taste of Tennis’ event in New York City.

"Rafael Nadal poses for the media during the 12th annual Taste of Tennis Hotel at the W New York Hotel in New York City Thursday, August 25, 2011."

"Tommy Haas poses for the media during the 12th annual Taste of Tennis Hotel at the W New York Hotel in New York City Thursday, August 25, 2011.

"Fernando Verdasco poses for the media during the 12th annual Taste of Tennis event at the W New York Hotel in New York City Thursday, August 25, 2011."

"Mikhail Youzhny poses for the media during the 12th annual Taste of Tennis event at the W New York Hotel in New York City Thursday, August 25, 2011."

"Janko Tipsarevic and his wife, Biljana Sesevic, pose for the media during the 12th annual Taste of Tennis event at the W New York Hotel in New York City Thursday, August 25, 2011."

"Gilles Simon poses for the media during the 12th annual Taste of Tennis Hotel at the W New York Hotel in New York City Thursday, August 25, 2011."

"James Blake poses for the media during the 12th annual Taste of Tennis eventl at the W New York Hotel in New York City Thursday, August 25, 2011."

"Vera Zvonareva poses for the media during the 12th annual Taste of Tennis event at the W New York Hotel in New York City Thursday, August 25, 2011."

"Mardy Fish and his wife, Stacey Gardner, pose for the media during the 12th annual Taste of Tennis event at the W New York Hotel in New York City Thursday, August 25, 2011."

After a bit of last minute planning, I got to shoot the 12th annual Taste of Tennis event at the W New York Hotel in Manhattan last Thursday night on behalf of the very hip tennis fashion and style blog, Tennis Served Fresh. An opening celebration of sorts as we gear up for the 2011 US Open, Taste of Tennis brought the world’s best tennis players and chefs together for a night of cooking, partying, and plenty of photo opps. Be sure to check TSF for a full report of the night’s activity.

This was the first time I’ve shot a red carpet event, although this carpet happened to be green. It was exactly like what we see on television at these types of occasions: hordes of photographers packed together like sardines for two hours screaming at famous people to look their way. 

I was beat by the end of it, but it was extremely exciting to be there. It’s exhilarating to be so close to so many tennis players my own teammates and I have watched throughout the years. 

Thank you to Nick McCarvel for allowing me to shoot for him, and to Ben Snyder for making the connections!

*Don’t forget to vote for “Billie with an I.E.” for Baltimore’s Most Valuable Blog! You can vote once per day per computer or smartphone until September 9, 2011. Click here to vote! Thank you so much for your readership!*