Sunday 09 June, 2013

Full Gallery: VB NSW Cup Rd 12 Wyong Roos v Sea Eagles

Click to enlarge pictureDacked
Dacked
Dacked

CAMERA: Canon EOS-1D X
LENS: EF400mm f/2.8L IS USM
ISO: 500
FOCAL LENGTH: 400.0 mm
EXPOSURE: +0.3
fstop: f/3.2
SHUTTER: 1/4000 s
 

When you’re freezing action at 1/1000 sec and above in sports photography there’s no limit to what you can capture in your frame. There’d be hundreds of images in every sports photographers library of funny shots that tell a different story. I can assure you that this was one of them. It happened so quick that by the time the undies were ripped from his body the moment had passed and no one was the wiser. Except me!

Thursday 06 June, 2013

Full Gallery: 1st Grade Wyong Roos v Ourimbah Magpies

Click to enlarge pictureDrenched
Drenched
Drenched

CAMERA: Canon EOS-1D X
LENS: EF400mm f/2.8L IS USM
ISO: 1000
FOCAL LENGTH: 400.0 mm
EXPOSURE: 0.0
fstop: f/2.8
SHUTTER: 1/2000 s
 

I don’t mind shooting sports photography in the wet, but when you have to shoot six back to back, without a break you want to make sure that you’re gear’s going to be well protected. My Think Tank gear is the absolute best you can get to keep your kit dry when it rains. It saw me through 9 hours of constant shooting in atrocious conditions the other week.

Your hit rate for good shots drops off a little in the rain, although don’t get me wrong – the ability to capture a great shot increases, especially with games such as Rugby League, Rugby Union and Football, because the ground is slipperier in the wet and players slide around a lot more.

Heavy rain can also make for great sports photography if you’re shooting back lit. The way the light reflects off the drops can create interesting textures at times.

The shot above was taken after the paddock had been drenched with rain and water was starting to pool in areas. I noticed that there was a large puddle forming at one of the try lines and made sure I was in a position to capture a try. It didn’t take long to get this shot – thankfully. I love the detail in the water and the tightness of the image, there’s something different about it that really stands out for me.

Wednesday 22 May, 2013

Full Galleries: AFC Central Coast Mariners v Guangzhou Evergrande, AFC Central Coast Mariners v Kashiwa Reysol

Click to enlarge pictureGoa Lin
Goa Lin
Goa Lin

CAMERA: Canon EOS-1D X
LENS: EF400mm f/2.8L IS USM
ISO: 3200
FOCAL LENGTH: 400.0 mm
EXPOSURE: -0.3
fstop: f/2.8
SHUTTER: 1/1600 s
 

Click to enlarge pictureKim Changsoo
Kim Changsoo
Kim Changsoo

CAMERA: Canon EOS-1D X
LENS: EF400mm f/2.8L IS USM
ISO: 2500
FOCAL LENGTH: 400.0 mm
EXPOSURE: -0.3
fstop: f/2.8
SHUTTER: 1/1000 s
 

The AFC (Asian Football Confederation) matches rolled around not long after the 2013 A-League season had finished so it was great to still be in football mode when two powerhouse Asia teams came to Australia. I’m not sure we see all that much aerial displays in the A-League, but for some reason most of the international teams seem to have players that strike out with some acrobatics now and then. They’re not the easiest sports photography images to capture and I do believe that a bit of luck comes into play when making these shots, but I’m one for getting my autofocus in front of the play.

On my Canon 1DX, I have my autofocus set to the centre with 6 points around the centre as active zones as well. I also use the multi-function button on the body to toggle between different areas in the frame that the autofocus can capture. Usually it’s either slightly left or right.
Another function I use a lot is the AF Stop Button on my 400mm and through my custom functions menu I’ve set it so that it toggles between One Stop and AI Servo mode. That way I can keep my focus locked on while panning through the shot.
Friday 26 April, 2013

Full Gallery: A-League Semi Final – Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne Victory

Click to enlarge pictureSky High
Sky High
Sky High

CAMERA: Canon EOS-1D X
LENS: EF400mm f/2.8L IS USM
ISO: 800
FOCAL LENGTH: 400.0 mm
EXPOSURE: +0.3
fstop: f/2.8
SHUTTER: 1/2000 s
 

After covering the Mariners for most of the season, it was great to be able to follow them into the grand final against the Western Sydney Wanderers at Allianz Stadium in Sydney. A much anticipated match, meant that I was ready to come away with a bank of great images from the clash.

Sure – you’re guaranteed to get loads of celebratory sports photography images after the contest, but capturing the action in sports photography can sometimes be hit and miss, depending on the flow of the game and obviously going into a national grand final there’s loads of expectation to get a great set of images.

I actually found this game quite a tough one to cover. Most of the action happened at the other end of the pitch and a lot of it happened while I was either captioning or filing,(you get that)!

I always push myself to come away with at least a couple of frames of the turning point of a game, but sadly I think I missed them on this occasion. Not from my own fault but I just put it down to being at the wrong place at the wrong time!

Here’s a shot I made of Daniel McBreen in full flight. He’s such an athletic  player that you could probably follow him around the field all day and walk away with numerous shots of him in some sky high position or in another players face.

Wednesday 17 April, 2013

Full Gallery: A-League Semi Final – Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne Victory

Click to enlarge pictureGrand Finalists
Grand Finalists
Grand Finalists

CAMERA: Canon EOS-1D X
LENS: EF400mm f/2.8L IS USM
ISO: 3200
FOCAL LENGTH: 400.0 mm
EXPOSURE: -0.3
fstop: f/2.8
SHUTTER: 1/1600 s
 

After following the Central Coast Mariners around most of the season, I’m glad they’ve made it into the 2013 Hyundai A-League Grand Final. Mind you, it’s their fourth appearance in as many years, but unfortunately they’ve never come home with the trophy. Hopefully this year is their year.

There’s so much to shoot at the end of an important game – the coaches reaction, the fans and of course the players, but funnily enough this shot just appeared in my lens. Usually you have to go searching for dejected players either in the foreground or background, while trying to make sure the the focus of the image stays relevant. There’s probably about 5 frames that I could have featured from this sequence, but the embrace of players Daniel McBreen and Michael McGlinchey was probably the best one.

Sports photography gives you so many opportunities to capture a moment in so many different ways.

 

 

Monday 08 April, 2013

Full Gallery: Wyong Roos v Cronulla Sharks – VB NSW Cup Rd 5

Click to enlarge pictureSidelined
Sidelined
Sidelined

CAMERA: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV
LENS: n.a.
ISO: 100
FOCAL LENGTH: 24.0 mm
EXPOSURE: -0.3
fstop: f/2.8
SHUTTER: 1/2000 s
 

I always shoot rugby league with two cameras on hand. My 400mm takes care of all the on-field action, and my 24-70 gets some great wide shots near the try line. It’s a great lens to shoot sports photography with in general, but I love getting in front of the play and trying to get that moment when a try is scored. Admittedly, you do get taken out by players now and then, but that comes with the territory of getting a great shot.  The 24-70 just seems to pull you into the picture a lot more than a telephoto ever would.

One of my favourite photos from last year’s rugby league season would have to be this one taken by Phil Hillyard, undoubtedly he used a 24-70 or similar. It was a finalist in the 2012 Walkley Awards too.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with this type of shot, not just in-goal, but from the sidelines of late. This shot would have to be one of the better ones I’ve managed to make. The trick is to try and get the camera as close to the action as you can, otherwise the players just seem too deep in the image. It’s a tough shot to perfect, but one I’m constantly trying, every game of league and union I shoot.