wanted to write about this for a while. but today i finally got a few seconds of breathing time. i in total had 10 pretty solidly packed badminton shooting days when i went to China and Hong Kong Open this year. mingling among the other professional press photographers i have made some observation about how these professionals work. here they are in random order... 1) lighting condition is very good. overall lighting is 1.5 to 4 stops brighter than the regular local badminton gyms that i am used to. lighting in China was very consistent in color and intensity while in HK less so but still very very good. 2) there are a few types of shooting. the ones who stand way high up in the audience stands and carry a 400/2.8, 300/2.8, 300/4 long bazooka telephoto lens and shoot from really far away. most of them support their bazooka size lens with a mono-pod. i tried from the same perspective with a 200/2.8+1.4xTC and it was ok. i also had a brief go with a 300/2.8 + 1.4x TC and it was a blast but had to give it back quickly to avoid getting addicted to it. i notice this type of shooting is quite fun and it takes a completely different set of skills and mindset to make good photos. and then there are the ones who sit next to the courtside with shorter lenses, a lot of normal/short-tele zooms, 24-70L, 70-200/2.8L, 70-200/2.8AF-S, etc. there are some prime users too but majority seems to be zoom. the space here tend to get quite cramped esp during finals day and we had to either do two rows or some have to stand on less ideal positions. furthermore, there are usually 2 or 3 TV cameras right behind the service judge makes taking photos on semi/final days must more difficult. earlier rounds are much better with less crowd and more available space. a couple of photographer during the China Open had an interesting way of doing it. instead of sitting next to the court side, they sit one court away, usually they sit on someone else's court when a match is on-going but they shoot through that court to get to their target player, and they used 300/2.8 and just machine guns through the whole match. 3) not everyone come with professional cameras. i have seen a lot of Nikon D70/D80s with very very slow kit lens on the court side. the presence of good lighting certainly helps but i still believe that pro level cameras are better suited for badminton. there was a guy with a P&S during the China Open i truely believe that he was there to watch instead of taking photos. . 4) having said that, the majority are professional cameras with either Canon or Nikon varieties, 1Dmk2 are most popular, there are some mk3's and some D2X. 5) for most professionals disk space are free and unlimited, and they totally machine gun the shots. i hardly do more than 2 frames shots if at all, sometimes i only do one frame. however, i have heard that some just let it go for 5, 6+ frames. 6) shooting all day is very tiring, esp sitting at the court side, there are no chairs and sitting/kneeling all day can really take its toll. a mid-age photographer brought his own little stool to the court side which i thought was very smart. 7) photographers are friendly, people don't hesitate to chat about anything. 8) journalist comes in two varieties, the ones who take photos and the ones who writes. larger media outlet usually have different persons to fill each role. some do have the same person doing both roles and they tend to have to work much harder. the writing journalists have their own sitting area so they can watch and report on the match. that's about all i can think of. maybe other photographers have more to add?