A small bird flies above Maria Sharapova of Russia as she prepares to serve to Eugenie Bouchard of Canada...
A small bird flies above Maria Sharapova of Russia at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 27, 2015.
Carlos Barria - A perfect five-set tennis game (6-0, 6-0, 6-0) can have anywhere from a minimum of 72 serves to hundreds.
It can run from about 30 minutes to six hours or more. During that time, and when you have to photograph several games a day, thereÕs plenty of time for distractions.
On my first day covering the 2015 Australian Open tennis tournament, positioned on "the catwalk" Ð the metal structure that surrounds the stadium's roof Ð I noticed an unusual, at least for me, activity of birds flying above and into the stadium.
I looked closer and noticed the birds were eating insects flying about, creating a colourful scene as they flew around the stadium.
I was told by my colleagues that they have a competition amongst themselves every year to see who can shoot the best picture of a bird and a player in the same frame, so I decided to give it a go.
I tried a simple approach first. I looked at the player with one eye through the camera, and kept the other eye open for a bird peripherally. It wasn't easy. I got just a couple of frames and the birds were out of focus.
Then the challenge: How to get a bird in perfect focus with a player in the same frame?
So I tried the reverse approach: I followed the birds as they flew over the stadium, hoping to catch a player at the same time. But even with a Canon 200-400mm 1.4x lens and a Canon 1Dx camera, which are the top of the line, it was difficult.
The birds in this case are very small proportionally inside the frame, and they fly fast over a variation of different backgrounds which makes it almost impossible to follow with auto-focus.
Then I remembered something a friend once told me about statistics.
He told me a story about moving objects and the probability of two objects colliding. He gave the example of two people moving randomly around an airport Ð they have a greater probability of m