Friday Night Super League

28 02 2010

I have covered many Super League matches over the years and a good percentage of them have been on a Friday evening.The exposure under the floodlights is always challenging.On average it is 3200 asa 1/650 shutter speed and an aperture of 2.8.

Now the 300 2.8 lens is a bit short for rugby and I end up using a 1.4 converter.This gives more reach and therefore more action can be taken around the halfway line.The downside however is that you loose a stop.The exposure reading with the converter is 5000 asa 1/650 at 2.8.Under lights using a Nikon D3 this increased asa doesn’t make much difference to the finished image.It would be nice though to use a 400 2.8 lens,especially with the FX frame of the D3.On occasions usually in daylight games I use a D300 this gives extra reach with the DX format but at 5000 asa under lights the grain would be too great.The 400 2.8 remains on my wish list and if the price drops a bit I will order one.

Wigan Warriors romped to a 58-0 win over the Catalans Dragons on Friday night with an individual 38 point haul for Pat Richards. Richards scored five tries and hit 9 from 10 goals.

Wigan made if four wins from four and afterwards Head Coach Michael Maguire admitted it had been a good night,
“I was very happy with the boys performance especially first half, we completed 95% which set the tone for the game, it’s something we worked very hard on throughout the week.We went away from a few of the things we were doing well in the second half but we will identify that during the week and work hard at that.”

Conflicting fortunes

Pat Richards of Wigan….a 38 point haul pictured above and David Ferriol of Catalans takes a breather.

Further photos from this match can be viewed at

http://www.photoshelter.com/c/imagelibrary/gallery/Wigan-v-Catalan-Dragons-26-2-10/G0000RzM8s.2Xpgo/P0000i5skqiS.xfQ





International Netball.

21 02 2010

What a fast and furious game top flight netball is.It must be one of the most difficult sports to photograph.In basketball  the players drive forward with the ball giving the photographer time to lock focus on them.In netball however there is no dribbling allowed and the some of the best action is where the ball is thrown to. You have to anticipate this and be ready for the players to jump and catch the ball making for a good action shot.

I  covered the 1st Test match between England and Australia at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Thursday 18.2.10. The hosts made early inroads, going 9-6 in front by the end of the first quarter before the Australians pulled it back to 18-18 by the second break. England built on their early momentum, leading 30-26 at the third quarter and holding on for a 41-40 win.

Shooting from behind the net I used a  Nikon D3 and 70-200 AFS 2.8 VR 11 lens combination. The settings were 2500 asa 1/800s at 2.8. I travelled light to this venue and was sorry I left the 300 2.8 at home. It would have made some nice close ups and would  have been able to capture action from the the far end of court. Next time……you never stop learning in sports photography!

Photos from the event can be viewed and purchased from the following link:

http://www.photoshelter.com/c/imagelibrary/gallery/England-v-Australia-1st-Test-Match-19-2-10/G0000REy5.nzruSs/P0000HzpuJUnyS6c

Alan Edwards      www.f2images.co.uk





Liverpool v Unirea Urziceni

19 02 2010

Another freezing cold wet night at Anfield. Liverpools lacklustre performance did little to lift the crowd.
Liverpool dominated possession but were unable to break down the visitors and created few clear-cut chances.Liverpool scored a late goal finishing 1-0 winners.This should make for an interesting second leg.

I was concentrating tonight on capturing close ups of individual players. I used a 1.4 converter combined with a 300 2.8 lens and a D3. Once again superb low light performance from the D3.Exposure readings were 4000 asa at f2.8 and a shutter speed of 1/800.

Photos from the match can be viewed and purchased for Editorial use at the following link:

http://www.photoshelter.com/c/imagelibrary/gallery/Liverpool-v-Unirea-Urziceni-EUROPA-CUP-18-2-2010/G0000JwOSP6eCJMQ/

Alan Edwards   http://www.f2images.co.uk





Everton v Sporting 16.2.10

17 02 2010

Covered Everton’s home game against Sporting Lisbon last night in the Europa Cup.Shooting under floodlights is not the same problem as it used tobe since the introduction of the D3.My brief last night was to capture some individual player images for use as stock,as well as action photos for news.

I used a Nikon D3 and a 3002.8 lens.The 300 2.8 is a sharp lens and autofocuses fast,however it can be a bit short for football especially if you are shooting from behind the goal.I brought along a 1.4 converter and used this to shoot with in the second half. Although loosing a stop it made for tighter framing and more suitable for capturing individual players.I used the following camera settings for the match 3200 asa,shutter speed of 800s and an aperture of f2.8.Using the 1.4 converter I set the film speed to 5000 asa.

The match itself was decent,with Everton comfortably winning 2-0 with four minutes to go.  Distin was sent off for upending Liedson inside the box and Veloso calmly slotted home an away goal. This makes for an interesting second leg.

Photos from the game can be viewed at and purchased for Editorial use at the following link:

http://www.photoshelter.com/c/imagelibrary/gallery/Everton-v-Sporting-Lisbon-Europa-Cup-16-2-10/G0000rfCRzgupFpA/

Alan Edwards  www.f2images.co.uk





Nikon 200 2.8 AFS VR11

16 02 2010

I purchased this lens when it was released by Nikon. This lens is super sharp across the frame on all apertures. The contrast is better than the older version of this lens as well. The basketball photo was taken with this lens and a Nikon D3 body. Settings as follows: 3200 asa,shutter speed 800s at 2.8.

This proved to be a great combination for basketball,focus speed seems a little faster too.I shot a few frames using the 200 f2 and found it hard to see a difference between the two lenses. All in all very pleased with this purchase.

Basketball photos can be viewed and purchased from the following link:

http://www.photoshelter.com/c/imagelibrary/gallery-collection/Everton-Tigers-Basketball-Photos-by-Alan-Edwards/P0000NUDVu5ZSRcc

Alan Edwards   http://www.f2images.co.uk





World Championships London

15 02 2010

Some observations from the  World Championships for Artistic Gymnastics held in London during October last year. I have been covering gymnastics now for over twenty years and this was one of the best major championships that I have attended. Both the written press and photographers were well looked after.

I was lucky enough to be allocated a position inside the podium. Being close to the action meant  I could use a Nikon D3 and a 200 f2 AFS Nikon lens.This proved to be a great combination.The light was good.I was getting 1/1000s at f2 1600.Using a Nikon D3 at this film speed produced virtually grainless photos.

I was primarily shooting for British Gymnastics,so during the early part of the Championships I was concentrating on Team GB.What progress our gymnasts have made in the past 10 years.Competing with the worlds best,winning Gold and Silver medals,both on individual  apparatus and in all round competition.Beth Tweddle pictured at the top of this page is truly a world class gymnast and an inspiration to anyone wanting to take up the sport. Pictured above is Daniel Keatings another GB World Class gymnast.Daniel took all round silver at these Championships.

The Championships last for seven days,second to the Olympics in Athens,this was hard work.Twelve hour days are common.Photos have to be filed quickly after the event if they are to make the daily papers.I use the following equipment to file the photos to various picture desks.

Mac Book Pro with a 15 inch matt screen

Firewire card reader(quicker than a USB)

Photo Mechanic to browse,caption and select the photos

Lightroom to make any adjustments

Mobile Broadband to send the photos

Camera equipment for gymnastics includes the following:

Two Nikon D3 camera bodies

Nikon 200 f2 AFS Lens

Nikon 300 f2.8 AFS Lens

Nikon 70-200 f2.8 AFS Lens

Nikon 28-70 F2.8 AFS Lens

Shooting these championships from inside the podium can be an advantage.No scrummaging with other photographers to get the best positions and free access to almost anywhere on the floor area.No excuses then to get good images.

One of the things that never fails to amaze me is the sheer athleticism of top class sportsmen and women. Just look at the height of this gymnast as she performs a split leap on beam. Taken with a Nikon D3 with a 200mm Lens at 1/000 second at f2.I bought this lens Nikkor 200 f2 AFS after the Athens Olympics.It is a super sharp lens and one of the best I have used. It is ideal for indoor sport.The image above represents a ‘peak of the action’ photo.

This following photo shows a different moments from the Worlds.The photo shows American gymnast Rebecca Bross who was beaten into second place in the all round finals by fellow American Bridget Sloane. Rebecca was leading the competition with one piece of apparatus to go.Here she waits to go on floor knowing that she only needs to perform without any major errors to take the title of all round champion.

All in all a great championships and a good test for the 2012 Olympics which will be held at the same venue. Images from the event can be viewed and purchased at the following link:

http://www.photoshelter.com/c/u0000fpbizfqgfes/gallery-collection/World-Championships-London-2009/P0000ZgBJtb98zEA

Alan Edwards  www.f2images.co.uk






Introduction

15 02 2010

I have decide it is time to blog about some of the great assignments I undertake as part of my job as a professional sports photographer.
I will also discuss technique and camera equipment.
I get many emails from people starting out in photography and would like to offer advice to them through this blog.
So watch this space………………

Alan Edwards    www.f2images.co.uk    www.sports-photo.co.uk