Covering Golf with Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

March 07, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutGolf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutFebruary 24, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout men's golf tournament at Hiddenbrooke Country Club. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos

You've been waiting for the #1 problem I have with the E-M1 Mark II? Here it is, it's the PERFECT camera system for golf. Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutGolf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutFebruary 24, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout men's golf tournament at Hiddenbrooke Country Club. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos

And Mark Twain (though there's evidence he never actually wrote or said this) best described how I feel about golf: "Golf is a good walk spoiled" Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutGolf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutFebruary 24, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout men's golf tournament at Hiddenbrooke Country Club. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos

I generally hate photographing golf. But I make my twice annual exception in covering Cal State East Bay Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout at Hiddenbrooke. Once for the men's tournament and once for the women's. (I guess I also make the exception for the Special Olympics High Tech Challenge, but that's more fundraiser team photos than it is golf.)

Women's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutWomen's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutMarch 7, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer shootout women's golf at Hiddenbrooke Golf Course. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos What I love about the Pioneer Shootout is that it lacks the "uppity-ness" of most golf tournaments and courses. While I don't see anyone wearing jeans, and I don't wear jeans, there is no hard-line "we won't let you in" extreme dress code. And there are actually people of color participating from players, to supporters to coaches. And dare I say people are having fun?! Women's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutWomen's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutMarch 7, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer shootout women's golf at Hiddenbrooke Golf Course. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos

Women's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutWomen's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutMarch 7, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer shootout women's golf at Hiddenbrooke Golf Course. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos

Anyway, back to the photography side of the sport. Electronic silent shutter means I can shoot in the back swing!

Women's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutWomen's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutMarch 7, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer shootout women's golf at Hiddenbrooke Golf Course. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos

I have always made camera upgrades only when the camera can help me get a photo that I COULD NOT get before. For my jump to 1-DX it was the ISO capabilities. Switching to mirrorless (among other perks) is silent shutter which means when I'm on TV sets I can shoot during filming instead of needing to wait for the moments of downtime as they show clips, and shooting in the backswing of golf. Thought that's really not the biggest concern since the backswing doesn't really make a nice photo. But it means I can shoot freely while they are lining up their put, or doing some practice swings, without a distractingly loud shutter.

Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutGolf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutFebruary 24, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout men's golf tournament at Hiddenbrooke Country Club. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos

Golf is such a silly process (to me, someone who has never actually played anything but mini golf and gone to the driving range) because if you think batters take a long time to warm up in baseball, you haven't photographed a golf tournament. Approaching the hole in the golf cart, reading what the distance is, asking what "it's hitting" and using all these little tools to check what the distance really is, deciding what club, watching the other players and then changing your club, all before you even get started lining yourself up and taking practice swings.

Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutGolf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutFebruary 24, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout men's golf tournament at Hiddenbrooke Country Club. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos

And if I go a blink too soon before the club actually hits the ball, I won't get any evil eyes because only I will know! Though full warning, there is a risk of some wonky rolling shutter type of effects where the club might look like it curls before strike. In this case the client thought it was cool, so I kept it in the set.

Women's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutWomen's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutMarch 7, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer shootout women's golf at Hiddenbrooke Golf Course. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos

I suffer through golf (I know I'm being harsh, it's not really that bad) trying to take pretty pictures of manicured water-consuming landscapes

Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutGolf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutFebruary 24, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout men's golf tournament at Hiddenbrooke Country Club. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos

And enjoying when nature fights back, against all odds

Women's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutWomen's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutMarch 7, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer shootout women's golf at Hiddenbrooke Golf Course. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos

Some of the players enjoyed the landscaping a little more than they might have hoped ;)

Women's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutWomen's Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutMarch 7, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer shootout women's golf at Hiddenbrooke Golf Course. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos

But my favorite for sure was this egret, IN the tee box, not seeming to be too concerned that golfers were about to tee off. What's up guys?

Golf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutGolf: Tim Tierney Pioneer ShootoutFebruary 24, 2017; Vallejo, CA, USA; Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout men's golf tournament at Hiddenbrooke Country Club. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos


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