Three Years On – Back on Court

Sometimes it’s good to revisit something from the past.

In 2013 I went along to capture local volleyball team, the Lincoln Cannons, take part in the LVA Cup Final – which they won. It was the first time I’d ever taken images of a different sport to motorsport and it was certainly an eye opener.

Really difficult shooting conditions made the experience frustrating but rewarding at the same time and I left the court feeling like I had some unfinished business with volleyball. In early 2016 just before I headed out to the iconic Rallye Monte Carlo another opportunity arose so I headed back to the court to see how I could tackle it this time around.

Since I last took images of the Lincoln Cannons they’ve now elevated themselves to be playing in National League rather than local league so the competition is even tougher than before – but the Cannons are showing their talent and the Womens Division 3 team (which I was photographing) are currently placed third in the league.

It always takes a little while to get your head back into a different sport, different rules and ways of playing means you have to quickly figure out who the key players are and what their roles are within the team. As I was focusing purely on the Lincoln Cannons I could just observe them and they’re playing style.

The strength that all of these players have is incredible, how they manage to leap, dive and generally run around for the period of time that they do is really quite impressive. Bear in mind these aren’t ‘footballer’ dives either – as soon as they’ve hit the floor they’re back up again already tracking the ball. There’s no laying crying on the floor to be seen here…

Watching the strategy of the game fold out in front of you is interesting to watch, just like endurance racing it’s a game of planning and adapting to what the other team throws at you. Looking at how the state of play would change depending on if the team was ahead or behind in the points was really interesting. Different ‘deflective’ techniques would be used to try and hide what the team was going to do and how they’d play a set. It’s really easy to see how people could get into this sport as it’s so addictive to watch.

It’s really impressive stuff to watch and something that you should definitely go and take a look at if you ever get the chance. With the Rio de Janeiro Olympics coming up later this year hopefully the sport will become even more popular.

Photographically it’s quite a hard sport to capture, the ball constantly moves quickly and in a rather unpredictable fashion but the focus and determination of all the players helps to create some strong imagery that hopefully comes across in this set.

Needless to say if you’re interested in trying something new then why not give volleyball a try? Go and visit the Lincoln Cannons website to find out more about the sport and get involved!

Thanks to the Lincoln Cannons Volleyball Club for having me along – I’ll definitely be back!

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