This is a new feature for my website that I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. The idea of the posts in this part of the site is to disseminate a little bit of information about a particular image. It will predominantly be wedding photography images of course, but I will also be including the breakdown of some of my personal work, and also studio work as that moves forward.
Whilst I want everybody who visits the site to enjoy these posts, I am going to detail the technical details as well as some processing notes along the way so I hope it will be genuinely useful to the photographers who visit the site too. I intend to show a before (straight out of camera) and after image to give a bit of substance.
Please feel free to leave comments or ask questions.
So, onto Image #1 London Welsh v Bristol Rugby:
Back Story: I am a huge rugby fan, and as a past player myself (in fact, at London Welsh), the opportunity to get press accreditation and go pitch side to photograph some matches is one I relish. This particular match was the second leg of the Championship Playoff match between the two teams. London Welsh went on to win. The match was played on a Friday evening in early April at The Memorial Ground in Bristol. This meant that the pitch was lit with bright tungsten floodlights, which, although the average person in the crowd will light the scene well, for us sports photographers it’s not ideal.
I had positioned myself at the South end of the pitch, alongside the family enclosure. I wanted to make sure I was at the attacking end for London Welsh as they were the favourites for the game.
I really try to apply my documentary photography approach to my rugby photography, and as such, the types of images I am trying to capture are not perhaps the typical ones that you may see in a Newspaper for example. As play broke at the opposite end of the ground, I had tracked the attack as it moved towards me. The ball was free several times, and in truth, it was a scrappy match.
This image was captured as London Welsh approached the 22 meter line and to me, kind of sums up the entire match: a lot of effort from both teams, but the boys in red eventually winning the battle.
I really like this image as it has a good sense of depth to it, there is a lot of action going on and quite crucially you can see the ball, as well as the faces of the main players in the scene. Whilst it is a static moment in time, I think it emphases the movement and ferocity in the attack and I hope that comes through in the final image.
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
Shutter: 1/1000th Second
Lens: Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS L
Flash: Did not fire
Focal Length: 200mm
Extender: Canon EF 1.4x Mark II
Believe it or not this shot was exposed at 12,800 ISO on the 1D Mark IV. The camera is phenomenal in low light situations. When shooting sports, I tend to lock the camera settings down as much as possible with the exception of the ISO. I put the ISO setting in Auto mode. I set the minimum shutter speed in the function settings to be 1/1000th of a second so I know that I can freeze the action (assuming focus is achieved). I will always shoot in the fastest aperture and as I had the 1.4x Extender attached (this gives me a further reach with the lens), the aperture was maxed out at f/4.
I am using a Mafrotto mono pod and ball head to stabilise the shot with the image stabilisation in the lens itself switched off.
The image went through the same processing sequence effectively as 99% of all my images. I really try to get a film look to not only my wedding photography, but also my personal and sports photography images.
Firstly, the image is selected in CameraBits Photo Mechanic. The image is then corrected in Lightroom. Because of the way I set my cameras, the images (intentionally) come out in RAW format as slightly under exposed. This is taken into account in Lightroom and the image is corrected with fill light, tonal adjustments and camera lens calibration.
Thereafter, the photo is processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5 where I run an automated set of actions that process it to the colour density I like (with a touch of warmth added).
Finally, for this image, I noticed that the overall density of the image was a bit bland once it had been finished. I increased the sharpening slightly and the contrast as I really wanted the action in the image to pop out of the frame. A touch of dodging and burning in the relevant places finished it off.
Composition is important to me, and I like to get full bodies into the frame when shooting. Of course, this isn’t always necessary and
The Finished Photo: