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Elementary-School Water Polo
Attack Anthony in one of his first water-polo games  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kodama, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 240mm — 1/500 sec, f/6, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Attack
Anthony in one of his first water-polo games

As I mentioned the other day in “Candid Portrait of an Athlete”, 10-year-old Anthony has been playing water polo for about a year. His first actual game was last month, during a series of matches over the course of a three-day tournament at the Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム) in Osaka.

Photographically, the situation was pretty bad... spectators we were behind glass and had very limited mobility....

Behind Glass not the best situation for photography  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Behind Glass
not the best situation for photography

The large windows on the opposite wall made for blinding backlight when the sun was out. One day it was pouring rain, so the light was more even then.

Silhouette ( some other kid during practice )  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 340mm — 1/640 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Silhouette
( some other kid during practice )
Interjecting Himself Anthony moves between the attacker and his goal  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 95mm — 1/160 sec, f/7.1, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Interjecting Himself
Anthony moves between the attacker and his goal

Anthony was apprehensive about participating because he wasn't even at the point of knowing the rules yet. I was sort of surprised that after a year they hadn't gotten to small details like how a game is structured... they had just been practicing basic skills (and, as is appropriate for elementary school kids, I suppose, having fun).

So I looked up info on water polo online, and gave him the gist of the sport.

Standoff  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 210mm — 1/160 sec, f/7.1, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Standoff

In the shot above, the opposing attacker has no idea that Anthony has no idea what to do, and it turned out that Anthony's mere presence was enough to deter a shot, and the attacker ended up passing it away. Woo-hoo!

Later that night, and exhausted Anthony asked me whether he was allowed to block a ball that had been thrown at the goal. Yes, yes, you can (and should) block any ball the opposing team tries to throw! I thought it was cute that he had played in several games and still didn't know this. I was also proud that he had the guts to participate when he had no idea what was going on. He wasn't alone... it was the first game for several kids.

Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 380mm — 1/200 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 240mm — 1/500 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Rest Between Periods  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 240mm — 1/500 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Rest Between Periods

They can't touch the bottom of the pool during the entire match (including when jumping up to block), so it's exhausting.

Successful Block  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 170mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Successful Block
Wall  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 240mm — 1/500 sec, f/6, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos
Wall

That particular game was a 2-2 tie.

For some other games, they had dark caps. Anthony was #6 either way.

Looking Sharp  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 380mm — 1/500 sec, f/6.3, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Sharp
Team Camaraderie  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 340mm — 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Team Camaraderie
Mad Rush  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 240mm — 1/500 sec, f/9, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Mad Rush
Larger Opponent  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 140mm — 1/500 sec, f/9, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Larger Opponent

Behind this goal was another half of the pool, where kids not participating in the current game could warm up or play.

Anthony is in fourth grade. Some kids seemed to be in first or second grade. Many were in fifth or sixth grade.

At this level, it's co-ed.

Big Block  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kodama, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 340mm — 1/800 sec, f/6.3, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Big Block
Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kodama, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 240mm — 1/400 sec, f/6, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

At one point after a match, Anthony wanted to communicate something to Mommy, but couldn't be heard through the glass. He improvised...

Creating a Writing Surface  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kodama, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 116mm — 1/40 sec, f/5.3, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Creating a Writing Surface
Message to Mommy ( “leave my stuff here” )  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kodama, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 210mm — 1/125 sec, f/6, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Message to Mommy
( “leave my stuff here” )
Exhausted  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kodama, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 170mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Exhausted

A few more random non-Anthony action shots...

Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 380mm — 1/500 sec, f/6.3, ISO 110 — map & image datanearby photos
Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 340mm — 1/500 sec, f/6.3, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kadoma, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 210mm — 1/500 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Score? the goalie is making a valiant effort, though I don't recall whether it worked  --  Namihaya Dome (なみはやドーム)  --  Kodama, Osaka, Japan  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma “Bigma” 50-500mm OS @ 78mm — 1/160 sec, f/5, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Score?
the goalie is making a valiant effort, though I don't recall whether it worked

Comments so far....

Just wanted to say it’s great watching Anthony grow up over the years. I’ve been following your blog for a very long time it seems now. I’m a photographer in Colorado now and I think I found it by searching for something about Lightroom years ago but stayed because it’s just interesting. I also used to live in Japan and my wife is from Kyoto so it’s a nice connection to my other home. Keep up the great work!

— comment by Scott Cejka on February 18th, 2013 at 4:40am JST (1 year, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I’ve enjoyed these shots very much! Yes – your son is now hovering on the edge of the next phase in life. Great photos and I am sure that when he has a son of his own he will smile back at this lot.
Annie

— comment by Annie in London on February 20th, 2013 at 8:27pm JST (1 year, 8 months ago) comment permalink
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