Strong is Beautiful: Dewey Nicks

As the 2011 US Open of Tennis kicks into high-gear this week — we have an editor on-site as we speak, hi Jess! — we are glued to the blogs, tracking the latest and greatest of design driven Tennis-influenced initiatives and concepts. Last year around this time, we blogged about a new project, that Santa Barbara-based photographer, Dewey Nicks, was working on for the Women’s Tennis Association called Strong is Beautiful…and just like magic, a year later, the project is finally complete.

Dewey Nicks: Strong is Beautiful on Nowness.com.

Debuted today on NOWNESS, the short film highlights some of the most powerful women in Tennis, including Serena Williams, Li Na and current world number one Caroline Wozniacki in slow motion, doing what they do best…showcasing their ethereal beauty and top-tier athleticism.

Shot with a 600-frames-per-second Phantom EFX camera, in temperatures over 100ºF, the stars were captured fresh from battle in between rounds at tournaments across the US. Seeking to champion each player’s unique strengths, Nicks highlighted their signature strokes in slow motion. “There are things your eye doesn’t perceive,” he explains. “Once you slow it down you realize how extraordinary the shift of weight or position of the racket is.”

Here are some additional stats from the set…and for some instant gratification, check out our recent Timeless Tennis Trend Tracker in the Active Section. PS. WE LOVE TENNIS – Jeanine Pesce

Indoor court, Cincinnati, Ohio; hospitality tent, Indian Wells, California; GMT Studios, Culver City, California.

Athletes’ ages

Combined grand slam titles
30 (Serena Williams: 13; Venus Williams: 7; Maria Sharapova: 3; Kim Clijsters 4; Francesca Schiavone 1, Li Na: 1; Ana Ivanovic: 1).

Number of balls used

Invisible opponents
Lobster ball machine, athletes’ own hitting partners, and a brazen (ex-UCLA tennis player) producer hand-feeding balls.

Service speed
130 mph.

Tennis kit
Athletes’ own rackets and shoes. Serena did the whole shoot while wearing a boot on her foot as a result of a post-Wimbledon 2010 injury.

Water consumed
360 bottles

“Night Jogger” by Those Darlings; Johnny Thunders; Green Day (requested by Serena Williams).

Dust particulates
One kilo each of various colored pigment; chalk dust and diamond dust.

Six captured in slow motion.

Time for the dust to settle
Three minutes.

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