The ANZAC day derby between port rivals East Fremantle and South Fremantle is on of the key fixtures in the WAFL calendar. The two teams are at opposite ends of the ladder with Fremantle hoping to go one game better than last years grand final loss while the Bulldogs are under seige and yet to register their first win of the 2013 WAFL Season six games into the season in what is their worst start in over 40 years.
Wearing special guernseys to commemorate Australia's armed forces the Sharks seemed to control the game after a tight first quarter which saw the home team lead by three points at the first break. James Bayliss and Mark McGough led from the front for the Sharks with 31 & 28 possessions respectively, while Sean Henson kicked 4 majors in a solid performance. For the South Fremantle Bulldogs Mitch Banner and Ryan Cook seemed to have the ball on a string with 34 and 29 possessions while the evergreen and former East Freo Shark Kris Miller totalled 26 possessions in his milestone match.
The second half saw the visitors over run the less experienced Bulldogs running out 12.11 (83) to 7.12 (54) 39 point winners.
View the full match day gallery here.
South Fremantle stormed home to win the Round 21 WAFL Derby on the back of a 6 goal to 3 goal final quarter for the unlikeliest of stunning upsets. East Fremantle will be ruing missed opportunities in front of goal and the opportunity to hold onto second spot on the WAFL ladder.
In a game of contrasts East Fremantle seemed in control at 3/4 time and looked like continuing their recent good form in WAFL derbies. However the never say die attitude of the Bulldogs came through in a nail biting last quater that saw the Bulldogs come home strong to win: 16.13 - 109 to 15.15 - 105.
For the home side Rory O'Brien led the way with 29 touches and 2 goals while Mark McGough and Bradd Dalziell toiled hard for 28 and 26 disposals respectively. For the victors inspired performances by Jayden Woods (27 disposals, 1 goal) and Ryan Cook (25 disposals) were instrumental in the win.
One of the most enjoyable contests was that of the two ruckmen Rob Young and Sean Tighe. Sean edged Rob on the hit-out count 28-25 but the East Fremantle ruckman worked hard all over the ground to earn 24 possessions and 5 tackles in the losing effort.
The Bulldogs now have a six day break to prepare for the second place Swans on Friday night, while East Fremantle have eight days to regroup ahead of a game critical to their top two aspirations against West Perth who sit just outside the top four.
August 11th 2012
East Fremantle V South Fremantle Derbies are typically closely fought, titanic arm wrestles that resemble the "Good old days" of WAFL football. Round 7, 2012 saw the Bulldogs visit their port neighbours for the first Fremantle derby of 2012.
With impending rain that started in the first term and didn't ease throughout the crowd was the smallest for a derby that i'd witnessed in a number of years. For the 2,400 that did show up, they witnessed a modern day hiding. A 5 goal to 2 opening term with the breeze saw the Sharks jump out the gate and they didn't look back. By half time the scoreline was 9.10 to 4.3 and by full time the Sharks were victorious with a 126 - 41 dominant performance.
Rory O'Brien suffered leather poisoning after an impressive 43 possession 2 goal performance while Mark McGough also starred with 34 touches. For the visitors Hayden North & Ryan Cook battled manfully in a losing effort, both registering 21 possessions for the South Fremantle Bulldogs.
Well it's here at last...The WAFL season has started, every club with a sense of optimism and purpose determined to stay at the right end of the ladder. A 2 game first week (If someone could explain that to me i'd be grateful) saw Subiaco show they're keen win one more game than last year with the 2011 Grand Finalists beating West Perth Falcons and the Perth Demons taking it right up to Claremont Tigers until three quarter time.
The final quarter at Brownes stadium saw the Tigers over run the Demons with the classy midfield dominating the stoppages and running away to win: 101 - 59. But the signs were very positive for the Demons who showed great pressure and composure in stifling heat. It was also the first game with the Demons new major sponsor "Provident" who have joined the football club.
Ross Young was typically dominant for the Perth Demons with a 29 possession display while for the Claremont Tigers Kane Mitchell was outstanding with 28 touches and 3 tackles.
To see the full gallery click here
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.
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.
Another Monday, Foundation day public holiday another classic Fremantle WAFL Derby. After taking the honours on their home ground, the South Fremantle Bulldogs came in wanting to make it two in a row over their arch rivals.
Meanwhile the East Fremantle Sharks, winners of 5 straight games including upset wins over the undefeated West Perth Falcons were confident of continuing their strong vein of form.
The game ended up being a classic arm wrestle with the visitors over running the Sharks in the last quarter to win: 88 - 71. Theo Adams was dominant throughout the game to finish with 32 touches while Ryan Cook worked tirelessly for his 30 touches.
For the East Fremantle Sharks, Rory O'Brien and Koby Stevens were impressive in the middle with 32 and 31 touches respectively. In the end the Sharks needed more help on the scoreboard with Brock O'Brien kicking 7 of the Sharks 11 goals.
Next week sees the Sharks given a solid opportunity to rebound with another home match against the much improved Perth Demons while the Bulldogs also have a home fixture over the struggling Swan Districts.
You can view the full gallery of the Foundation Day Derby here.
Last weekend saw the East Fremantle Sharks overcome a 5 goal deficit at quarter time to eventually overrun the East Perth Royals in the final quarter.
Sports photography offers a wide gamut of photographic opportunites if look at the game from a different angle. Normally sports photographers are concerned with whats going on between the start and the end whistle on the pitch, court of field of play. Its true that this offer great opportunities to capture athletes at the peak of physical activity, tackling, shooting, running in what ever the sport may be. However if you confine youself to this your missing out on some great opportunities in other facets of the game.
One of my favourite places for excellent sports portrait photography is in the team huddles between quarters. It's here where a lot of emotion can be picked up on the faces of players and in particular coaches. In the photos above i have included a picture of both the East Perth Royals coach Tony Micale and the East Fremantle Sharks Coach Steve Malaxos. The photograph of the East Perth Royals huddle is taken by putting a fish eye lens on the top of my monopod and raising over the huddle on the timer setting. I particularly like this shot with Tony looking towards the playing group and his players circled around him.
The photo if Steve Malaxos was taken with him addressing his troops at three quarter time just before the fightback to overrun the Royals in the last quarter. In this shot Steve was adjusting the matchups on the whiteboard. The intensity in his eyes makes for a strong "action" portrait.
Finally I also like to photograph the crowd if i get the opportunity in a match. The shot of this passionate sharks fan is one of my favourites and i love his expression jumping out of his chair after another goal.
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.
Click Here to visit full game gallery
East Fremantle Sharks got their first points of the season on Saturday over the Perth Demons, at Brownes Stadium. The match was played at a frantic pace in stifling heat. With the game in the balance at 3/4 time the East Fremantle Sharks tore the game open in the final quarter slamming on 9 goals to 1.
Brad Dalziell were impressive and Fremantle Docker recruit Jonathon Griffin dominated in the ruck for the blue and white with 31 hit-outs. Perth were led well by ex-West Coast Eagle Andrew McDougall and Casey Sibosado in the back line.
The Perth Demons showed a lot of good signs with a young list and certainly look poised to make a march up the ladder in the wake of former coach Andrew Jarman leaving the post at the end of last season.
After two solid performances, East Fremantle may lose the services of Daniel Kerr due to injury problems with the West Coast Eagles midfield with Marc LeCras and fellow Shark Chris Masten both getting injured in the Eagles round 1 victory over the North Melbourne Kangaroos.
The East Fremantle Sharks are to play Subiaco at East Fremantle Oval on Saturday 2nd April at the earlier start time of 1.30pm to accomodate the 5.40 bouncedown of the AFL game between the Fremantle Dockers and Geelong Cats. Meanwhile the Perth Demons head to Fremantle Oval to take on the Bulldogs in what should be a tight game on Friday night.
Chris Bishop professional commercial, landscape & travel photographer based in Perth, Western Australia.