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Wednesday, 5 July 2017 09:20 AM BST
Iconic images: The Bryan Brothers’ trademark chest bump
A new series looking at some of Wimbledon's iconic photography READ MORE

As The Championships’ photographic manager, Bob Martin appreciates the finer details of the images which every day capture the essence of Wimbledon. In this series celebrating the best of the AELTC’s talent behind the lens, he nominates another iconic image


More than a jump of jubilation, more than a plain old chest bump, the trademark mirror-image pogo chest bump as performed by the Bryan Brothers is the sort of athletic synchronicity only identical twins can achieve on court. Mike, the elder by two minutes, is right handed; Bob, one inch taller at 6ft 4in, is a leftie; their counterpart demeanours are as good for mutual congratulation as they are for advantageous court cover.  “It is their classic celebration, but this image taken on July 6, 2013, by Matthias Hangst is possibly the best version ever,” marvels our very own Bob. “Look at the height he is off the ground!”

“The light is beautiful. The afternoon sun is casting a shadow; it’s at an angle which leaves the background in dusky shade and the subject in full light. The sun is so low it’s catching tiny bits of dust under Mike Bryan’s shoes. And the stands are full – this is Wimbledon where spectators love the doubles matches, more so than at the other Slams. There are no courtside adverts. The look and feel of the picture is totally Wimbledon.”

Before any picture, you have to do your research so you know how the players move and what they tend to do

- Matthias Hangst

It was four years ago, but Matthias Hangst recalls capturing the moment well. “It was the year when the Bryan Brothers were aiming to clinch a ‘Bryan Slam’. If they won at Wimbledon they would hold the doubles championships in all four Grand Slam events. I’d seen their celebration move before, so I knew the potential. I had the choice of going to a position high up on Centre Court or staying down at the side of the court. I made the decision to stay down because I thought the light and perspective was perfect.”

“Before any picture, you have to do your research so you know how the players move and what they tend to do. Sometimes, not always, things come together – and this was one of those moments. You need to be lucky, but you need to have done your preparation so you are ready for the split-second moment. You have one big chance and you have to get it.”  

The challenge in taking pictures of the Bryan Brothers is normally in the captioning. They are identical to all but their nearest and dearest, but, as one’s left-handed and one’s right-handed, you can check which wrist is wearing the sweatband to determine who is who.

The picture won the “Ex Tempore” category of the German Sports Photographers Federation annual awards. “To win a German award with a picture of two American doubles players in a final in Britain was very special!", he said. "Photographers always love their own pictures but it is when other people value your picture that you realise you’ve done a good job. For Wimbledon to choose my work as an iconic image, four years after I took the shot, is very special.”

Technical info: This image was shot on a Nikon D4, at a shutter speed of 1/1600th of a second with an F4 aperture using a 70-200 lens set at 100mm and a sensitivity setting of 400 ASA.

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