EACH January, Queensland Times photographer Franca Tigani mixes two of her great passions, photography and tennis, to bring us the pick of the action from the Brisbane International tennis tournament.

She has been at the Queensland Tennis Centre over the past week and QT readers are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some of Tigani's fantastic sports photography, as well as an insight into what makes it so rewarding for her to cover.


I HAVE always loved to watch and play tennis.

As a little girl, I watched tennis on TV till late at night with my sister and we always watched Wimbledon together.

Before I owned a tennis racket, I always used to hit a tennis ball against the wall with a plastic type mini tennis baton.

Tennis was the only after-school activity I was allowed to do by my parents and I loved it.

As a tennis enthusiast, I love those players who have such a cool, calm approach to their game play such as Roger Federer.

As a photographer, I like players who show emotion such as Venus and Serena Williams and Lleyton Hewitt.

I absolutely love the Pat Rafter Arena.

The stadium is a nice size, it's almost intimate.

The atmosphere is great all round.

The western afternoon sun streams through and you can get dramatic lighting.

I enjoy changing my camera settings and angles and getting artistic shots.

Trying to get images in focus is a challenge I enjoy, as these top players hit the ball fast.

Also last year I was overwhelmed at having access to stand on the main court and photograph the winners among the other press photographers.

That was a real buzz.

Another highlight is watching and learning from the other professional press photographers.

There is a lot to learn as the pace is quick during a finals match.

You want to be in a good position to photograph the winner and capture the moment they win.

I also like the challenge to snap a photograph just before the player hits the ball, so I can capture their eyes looking at the ball.

After the player has hit the ball, I like to photograph their follow through.

You can capture great muscle definition and the force the players create.

I love the professionalism these tennis players present.

They are great role models for young kids to be dedicated and hardworking.

I can see this when I photograph junior tennis in Ipswich. - Franca Tigani

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