Understanding and keeping in touch with the game is vital. Reading the situation and anticipating what may happen is the key. Serena Williams is always at her best when she is intense and fighting with herself. Add a few poor line calls and mix it with a little 55 degree Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit) center court heat and prepare to watch her simmer. This is not the time to take your eye and your camera too far from the “stove.” Experience tells you that when she boils she doesn't simply erupt - she explodes. A few games on and that's just what she did.
I hit the motor drive for 3 shots as she reacted to a winning return. The first and last frames were okay but the middle pic was the only choice. It was all over as quickly as it happened. If you see it and then react, in most cases you've missed it.
One of the better lessons I took away from working alongside some of the most respected photographers in the game was that great pictures just don't happen by chance. They are the result of some astute preliminary observations. In sport, it's about observation, anticipation, and timing…and of course the parking…but that's for another story!
David Callow is an Australian freelance photographer who has been shooting assignments for both national and international magazine and newspaper groups for over 25 years.