Nope, i am not tired of bird photography yet! I was given a Player's Guest Pass for the Iskandar Johor Open golf tournament and on learning that some world class players were in town for the pretigious event, i felt it was an opportunity that i shouldn't miss, as i have wanted to photograph some famous athletes, up close i mean! And besides, the pass entitles some free meal, as i was told!!!
It was "old habit dies hard" for me, that on my arrival around 7am on the morning of 20th, i was actually busy looking around for birds while the visitors were busy checking for top players' final tee off schedule hoping to get close with their idols, and i took a slow walk towards the Grand Stand hoping a migratory vulture would appear in the sky...
Not much luck with birds except two hungry pipits were hopping around at the 18th hole looking for food, and scores of Blue-throated Bee-eater hovering overhead with cheerful and loud whistling calls. And I was quite tempted to play some bird calls as i have the MP3 set up in my Lowe'pro backpack!
So if you are here only for birds, perhaps you would want to skip the following from now.
Armed with D5100 with 24-70 F2.8 for scene shots and D3s with 300 F2.8 on a monopod, i set out with the intention to capture every player's img, whether it is a swing shot, a putting shot, or in worst scenario at least a butt shot for the record! After all, we don't usually get to see that many international events in Malaysia, and much less in Johor i guess.
I started at the 18th hole, with absolutely no clues which player would be coming my way as the finalist of 70 top players were split into two groups for the final 9 holes, i.e. I would miss all the players in group one, whom play from hole one to nine across the Main Clubhouse.
So, I should have obtained a copy of the schedule at the information counter like the rest of spectators instead of eagerly squinting at the blue sky looking for migratory raptors!
Kwanchai Tannin (Tha)
Henrik Stenson (SWE)
Stephen Gallacher (SCO)
Lu Wei-Chih (TPE)
Gary Orr (SCO)
Julien Clement (SUI)
Raphael Jacquelin (FRA)
Jyoti Randhawa (IND)
Camilo Villegas (COL)
Tabuena Miguel (PHI)
Christian Cevear (FRA)
Scott Barr (AUS)
Andrew Tampion (AUS)
El Salvador (PHI)
Alejandro Canizares (ESP)
Pucay Mars of Philipine has his ball landed less than 20' directly before me, which reminded me an advice from a friendly marshall that always watch out for the flight path of the ball when a player tee off due to the cross wind.
Pucay Mars (PHI)
Scott Hend (AUS) and Ross Bain (SCO)
Scott Hend (AUS)
Monty was the only player I am familiar with in this event, I've watched him play in the past in PGA Tour when i still could afford cable tv!
Colin Montgomerie (SCO)
Steven O'Hara (SCO)
And I almost got a warning for the above shot! I snapped just a bit too soon. The rule is simple, absolute silence and you are only allowed to snap in the down swing, not when the club is still up! My bad!
Oliver Fisher (ENG)
Shiv Kapur (IND)
Anthony Kim (USA)
Danny Willette (ENG)
Juvic Pagunsan (PHI)
Mardan Mamat (SG)
Steve Webster (ENG)
Sam Walker (ENG)
Louis Oosthuizen (RSA)
Marcel Siem (GER)
Michael Hoey (NIR)
|Nirat Chapchai (THA)|
Peter Karmis (RSA), Manie McLeary (SCO)
And this media crew certainly deserves a good pay, this is the guy that gives us all the amazing BIF (ball-in-flight) shots. Take a look at the pic below to see how high he was! If I was asked to do the job, i would probably demand a 20' container to be suspended up there with a/c, c/w WC and a shower room too! Oops, not forgetting a sponsored bottle of BOSS Num 1 Eau-De-Toilette Natural spray too!
Despite the 9FPs capability of D3s, it is actually not easy to get a shot like below (with the ball in frame). You only have one chance, or two at max if you are not too near, to get the desirable shot.
Jose Manuel Lara (ESP)
Gregory Bourdy (FRA)
Christian Nilsson (SWE)
Mohd Siddikur (BAN)
James Morrison (ENG)
Daniel Chopra was in the same group with defending Champion Padraig Harrington and James Morrison, so media and enthusiastic crowd naturally follow them thru out the final 9 holes in the final as the three were highly expected to win....
@ 16th Hole
towards the 17th Hole
Daniel Chopra ((SWE)
@ 17th Hole
@ 18th HoleAnd the winner, Joost Luiten!
Joost Luiten (NED)
Ian Walton of Getty Images (centre)
Getting ready for the arrival of VVIPs for the ceremony of trophy presentation.
The arrival of TMJ, accompanied by MB Abdul Ghani
Chief Minister of Johor, MB Abdul Ghani
Sobs...sobs....that was what happened w/o a media pass!
Trophy was presented by the Crown Prince of Johor,
HH Tungku Ismail Idris ibni Sultan Ibrahim
Luiten with the staff of Horizon hill Golf and Country Club,
And I hope I got their IDs right! :)
If you are eager to know how much each player wins here is the Results
Oh boy, I hope they buy my photographs!
Oh boy, I hope they buy my photographs!