D70 World Scrabble Championships [pics]

Started Nov 25, 2005 | Discussions thread
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Jo Lovell
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D70 World Scrabble Championships [pics]
Nov 25, 2005

My first post in ages - I've been out and about -

I love photojournalism. And I love word play. So I got in touch with Matel and came along to document thier Scrabble tournaments. You can see my efforts from the UK nationals earlier in the year here:

http://www.absp.org.uk/features/photos/nsc04.html

The D70 was relatively new to me though at the time - and I ended up converting to black and white partly becasue I wasn't happy that I had the colour right.

This time it was the World Championship in London last weekend. I was determined not to take the easy way out so I kept everythin in colour - albeit a bit 'stylised'. Comments/criticisms welcome....

A mascot from the early stages

Adam from Canada picks his letters. The bag must be held above eye level to do this in competitive play.

The defending champion feels the pressure. Although a former scrabble champion, he speaks only broken simple English. Thai is his home language

Judges check words validity against an online database

The board was relayed to the audience via a giant board. However, keeping up with the players was not easy for the assistants - themselves former scrabble masters.

A Plasma screen with a live feed to the games room is watched eagerly by two expert commentators who take suggestions from the audience.

The players franticly scribbled notes remain with the unused tiles next to the spot lit specially made championship board. the players take a break - it's 2-0 Canada and best of five.

It's all over. Adam Logan wins a convincing victory and has only used 6 minutes of his 20 mnute clock limit for an entire game.

Adam is handed the $15,000 award by the head of Matel. He is unsure how he will spend the money.

Adam basks in the light of the media but remains contemplative and rarely smiles. He is a little camera shy he admits. His winning board looms behind him

These were VERY challenging conditions - those downlighters were incredibly dark. I was at ISO1250 or more most of the time and watching for blown highlights on the tiles, and of course you have to stay totally silent around the players and at a distance so as not to ruin thier concentration. Also, no autofucus - my lenses aren't AF-S so were too off-putting - and no autofocus assist light and no flash in the game room allowed. Luckily I had an old 135mm Manual Focus F2.8 handy and got about 1/50th on the players.

In the audience room the cieling was very high, bounce flash wa only just possible but using ISO 800+ and a handheld manual old no-brand flash.

Hope you enjoy these

Jo

Later on a media person I bumped in to gave me this link - you see me on the Canadian prime time news! -

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20051121/scrabble_champion_051121/20051121?hub=Entertainment

Check the 'video' link, that's me in the background when they shake hands getting that shot!

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