Olympic photography can capture a gymnast mid-leap, a swimmer mid-stroke and a diver just before she plunges into the water. But when it comes to Women's Beach Volleyball, photographers seem to focus on certain parts of the players' bodies more than their serves.

When searching through photographs of the latest beach volleyball games, one comes across quite a lot of these:
2012-08-02-beachvolleyballTA.jpg

Nate Jones pointed out the stark contrast between the way female beach volleyball players and most other athletes are snapped in a piece for Metro on August 1st. He also took it upon himself to crop photos of male basketball players, swimmers, divers and gymnasts to see what it would look like if every Olympic sport was photographed like beach volleyball. (See the full post here.) The result? Lots of closeups of men's crotches.

This alleged behind-the-lens double standard doesn't mean sports photographers aren't also taking pictures that capture female beach volleyball players' athleticism, because they are:
2012-08-02-beachvolleyballathletic.jpg

It also doesn't mean that other Olympians aren't being gratuitously ogled (because they are). However, as Jezebel's Doug Barry pointed out, most other athletes don't get such "lecherous" treatment from the camera:

For all the objectification of Ryan Lochte that's gone on recently, all pictures of him include, you know, his face rather than his junk. Ditto for similarly scantily-garbed male Olympians. Female beach volleyball players, however, are some of the only Olympic athletes in the Getty Images Olympics archives whose bottom-halves take up entire frames.

This year marks the first Olympic games where female beach volleyball teams were not required to wear bikinis, and it's true that Team USA and many others still chose to rock them. But does that choice make this photo a fair news photo of an elite athlete?

2012-08-02-original.jpeg

(Photo Credit: AP)

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

LOOK: 23 Beach Volleyball Photos That Focus On Athleticism

Loading Slideshow...
  • China

    Zhang Xi, right, from China spikes a ball past Anastasia Vasina, left, from russia during their Beach Volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • Russia

    Anastasia Vasina from Russia dives for a ball during the Beach Volleyball match against China at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • China

    Zhang Xi, left, from China spikes a ball past Anastasia Vasina, right, from russia during their Beach Volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • Russia

    Anastasia Vasina of Russia dives for the ball as teammate Anna Vozakova pursues in a match against China at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • China

    Xue Chen of China dives for a ball in a match against Russia at the Beach Volleyball Venue at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • Russia

    Anastasia Vasina of Russia taps the ball over Xi Zhang of China in their match at the Beach Volleyball Venue at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • Russia

    Anastasia Vasina of Russia dives for the ball in a match against China at the Beach Volleyball Venue during the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • Russia

    Anastasia Vasina from Russia concentrates during the Beach Volleyball match against China at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • Russia

    Anna Vozakova of Russia dives for a ball in a match against China at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. Russia beat China 3 games to 2.

  • China

    Xue Chen of China dives for a ball in a match against Russia at the Beach Volleyball Venue at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. Russia beat China 3-2.

  • China

    Xue Chen of China spikes the ball over Anastasia Vasina of Russia in a match at the Beach Volleyball Venue at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. Russia beach China 3-2.

  • Russia

    Anastasia Vasina of Russia sets the ball for teammate Anna Vozakova in a match against China at the Beach Volleyball Venue during the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. Russia beat 2nd seeded China 3-2.

  • Czech Republic

    Hana Klapalova, left, from Czech Republic tries to block Illka Semmler, right, from Germany during their Beach Volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • Germany

    Katrin Holtwick, right, and Illka Semmler, left, both from Germany celebrate after defeating Czech Republic in their Beach Volleyball competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • Germany

    Katrin Holtwick, right, and Illka Semmler, left, both from Germany celebrate after defeating Czech Republic in their Beach Volleyball competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • Germany

    Katrin Holtwick of Germany celebrates at the end of a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • Germany

    Katrin Holtwick of Germany battles Lenka Hajeckova of the Czech Republicat in their match at the Beach Volleyball Venue in the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

  • Latvia

    Ruslans Sorokins, left from Latvia leaps to spike a ball during the Beach Volleyball match against Poland at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.