Journal

Wushu

The annual UC Berkeley Chinese Martial Arts Tournament was held on April 13, 2002 at the Haas Pavilion at the Cal campus.

I went to Cal in 1995 to see the Beijing Wushu Team perform (in Zellerbach Auditorium, I believe). One of the members from that performance, Li Jing, is now a coach down in the LA area. She coached at Cal before going down South. I hear that a lot of former competitors go on to teaching after their competitive careers are over. Whatever happened to Zhuang Hui, Di Guangwen, Kong Xiangdong, Tan Hua, or Chen Chen? For that matter, what the heck happened to Russell Wong? He looked so fat and plump in Romeo Must Die! Success and money must have got him complacent.

The Masters Demo was fun to watch and photograph. The crowd seemed to get more into the fast action rather than the slow, deliberate and graceful movements of Tai-Chi. People like the long ball in baseball, and I guess they also like the fast wushu action with lots of butterflies and weapons demonstrations.

Photographic thoughts

I borrowed a 2X Extender for the 70-200IS Saturday evening. Although the extender does provide an effective focal length of 140-400mm, there are some drawbacks. The maximum lens aperture decreases to 5.6, and the image quality is nowhere near the level of a true 400mm lens. I went back and forth between having the extender on and off. My skills at sports photography are still relatively undeveloped, as I have yet to anticipate the apex of action that great sport photographers capture.

I made use of the 1D’s 8fps burst rate to produce some animated gif’s that you can see below:

In all, I took 434 photos during the evening! Not all of them are posted of course, but click on the link below to see a few more from the evening’s events!

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