This is a quick shot i took from a shoot for the Perth Demons WAFL Club at their end of season corporate sponsors golf day. It certainly looked to be a fun day with food, beer and a social competition that no-doubt turned more serious as the day went on.
This photograph was taken on the T behind the lake at the entrance of the course. I'd never been to Collier Park Golf Course and it certainly appeared to have some challenging holes for amateur hacks like myself through to seasoned pros. Most shots i took on the day focused on getting in front of the player and capturing their face and expression but i like the composition of this photograph and if you look carefully you can see the golf ball in mid flight directly above the golfer.
Sunday 21st August - Judgement Day. The East Fremantle Sharks fighting tooth and nail for the right to compete in the 2011 WAFL finals campaign faced the classy Claremont Tigers who look comfortable perched at the top of the ladder.
Conditions were terrible, strong breeze, intermittent showers were hardly the ideal conditions for a game of critical importance for both sides and perhaps season defining for the Sharks. Lose and it could be curtains for season 2011 given the Subiaco Lions and South Fremantle Bulldogs, teams they will play away games to complete the home and away season sat above them prior to this game.
After the completion of the first term, it was clear the league leading Tigers were in for a fight. Kicking with the aid of a 4-5 goal breeze the tigers felt themselves ambushed by an aggressive and determined Sharks team had clearly heeded the words of the coaching department and came out and not only neutralised the breeze but seemed to be the more switched on team. The second quarter saw the sharks arrest the narrow deficit and take a handy two goal lead into the half.
The third quarter was another tight tussle between two desperate teams in trying conditions with the rain and wind making a case for back to basic football. Strong tackles, clean footwork and backing your teammates. At three quarter time there was signs of an upset brewing with the East Fremantle Sharks heading into the 4th quarter with the aid of the breeze and a narrow lead.
This was when the game turned. A 7 goal to 1 onslaught saw the Sharks storm home to win by 45 points in a stunning upset that would be sure to boost confidence given the tough schedule remaining. Not only did they get the four points but with the upset loss by the Bulldogs the Sharks jumped from 5th to 3rd position, a spot that seemed almost unachievable prior to this round commencing.
Luke Blackwell and Thomas Lee impressed again for the Tigers with 27 possessions, while for the home team Rory O'Brien was outstanding with 36 touches and two goals and club stalwart Jamie McNamara had 32 touches of the Burley.
Next weekend gets no easier for the East Fremantle Sharks as they face another "Finals" type game against fellow top 4 aspirants Subiaco, while Claremont face the unpredictable Peel Thunder who will be looking to spoil their opponents quest for top spot.
Rob Young - Impressed in the absence of Johnathon Griffin
Two players compete in the air for the mark
Just out of arms reach
Round 13 of the WAFL saw the East Fremantle Sharks take on the Perth demons who after a stretch of great form came into the game with considerable confidence. The game was an arm wrestle throughout the match with neither side being able to gain ascendancy until the fourth quarter when the East Fremantle Sharks turned a 3 point defecit into a 6 goal to 2 final quarter to run away with the game finishing 85-68.
Reece Palmer did his chances of being recalled to the Fremantle Doclers no harm with a tireless display through four quarters gathering 34 touches while former West Coast Eagle & Western Bulldog Andew McDougall impressed for the visitors.
Sports photography in varying lighting conditions can be difficult. At East Fremantle Oval the best place to photograph from is near the large Grand-Stand as the sun is always behind you ensuring you don't get any lens flare and players faces are in sun not shadow when running towards the camera. However this same grandstand starts to cause a large shadow over the field in the third and fourth quarters. This means that my daylight light balance needs to change to cloudy white balance to account for the change in light temperature. I prefer to do this manually rather than set to AUTO as i keep more control over the colour tones of the final image.
In a perfect world lighting conditions for sports photography would be for a "bright" overcast day. A thin layer of evenly dispersed cloud ensures that you won't have to worry about harsh shadows in faces or bodies and enable consistent shutterspeed and exposure values. My preference is for over exposing by 1/3 of a stop to get detail in the shadow parts of the image then bring back the highlights from my RAW (.CR2) file in Photoshop CS5. If lighting conditions are consistant through the game i can then batch process the images to quickly apply pre-set RAW profiles and watermark's to all images.
Round three of the WAFL saw the East Fremantle Sharks looking to build on the success of the previous week with another win over the Subiaco Lions on their home ground. The Lions however had other ideas and turned a tight contest at 3/4 time into a comfortable win over running the Sharks in the last quarter 16.12 (108) / 12.12 (84).
After a strong finish to the third quarter the sharks looked like they were going to march on for their second consecutive win but inaccurate kicking by the port team and the impressive midfield engine for the Lions stemmed any hope of victory.
Over the coming days there will be a full match day photography gallery in the WAFL section of the folio. I've been trying to capture some interesting photos during the team huddles at 1/4 and 3/4 time as its a great opportunity for portrait, or natural sports portraiture. The emotion in team huddles can be electrifying with coaches and the leadership group revving up their fellow players to chase victory over their opponents.
I particularly like this abstract photograph of Subiaco coach Chris Waterman. Staring straight at Fremantle Docker recruit Jack Anthony, his stare was intense. With a selection to choose from i thought the one with just one eye visible and the blurred foreground of the Subiaco player made for a striking composition.