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I joined the Beacon Camera Club (based in Great Malvern) at the start of September 2011. It is the only camera club I have ever been a member of – and although I didn’t quite know what to expect from being a member, I was hoping that I would learn new skills as a result.

On one of the first club nights of that season, the members were asked to go out into Great Malvern and take some images. On return to the club, images could be put forward for critique. I suspect the idea was to encourage us to find interesting images in a bland urban environment at night-time. I had the good fortune to join up with a couple of experienced club members and we headed off to the town’s Manor Park Tennis Club to see if there was anybody playing there that evening. There was – and the two people involved seemed more than happy to have us snapping away while they tried their best to play tennis.

Over the space of about an hour, I took something like 90 images. I knew the theory of how to take action photographs, but this was the first time I’d ever tried to put that theory into practice. It’s certainly more difficult than it looks! And on that evening, with a dark sky and harsh lighting from a few floodlights, getting what I wanted was proving nigh on impossible.

Until I had the good fortune to take this image, that is. It felt right when I took it, and seeing it on the camera display just confirmed that I wasn’t going to do any better that night.

I hope you like it as well.

Nikon D5000, Nikon 55-200mm at 90mm, ISO-2500, 1/160s, f/4.5
Processed in Photoshop CS5

[For the record, this is also the very first image I ever post-processed in Photoshop. The ball was not in the original image – I cheated somewhat, and copied a ball trail from another image taken that night into this one. And I also extended the image to the right – filling the court in using the cloning tool].

Keen amateur from Great Malvern in Worcestershire. Still learning …

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