Rugby: Jacksonville Axemen vs Rhode Island

Rugby is a fun sport to shoot. The Jacksonville Axemen took on the Rhode Island Rebellion for a spot in the finals competition.  I set out to shoot tight shots of the action to see the dirt, grimaces, and pain on the faces of the players.

GQ20130810-0046I shot the game with a Canon Mark 5D Mark 3 body and a Canon 400mm, f2.8 IS lens.  The sun was setting on the home side so I positioned myself facing the sinking sun.  This gave a nice rim light on the players for separation.

GQ20130810-0019The trick here is to expose for the player and let the background exposure fall where it may.  That’s why you will see most of the backgrounds a lighter exposure than the exposure on the player.

GQ20130810-0111 GQ20130810-0050A tackle “football” game with no pads or helmets is brutal and you can see it in the faces of the players.

GQ20130810-0057GQ20130810-0117 GQ20130810-0068Jacksonville completely out maned Rhode Island with superior size and speed.  The Axemen were able to break a few long runs in the process.

GQ20130810-0090 GQ20130810-0130 GQ20130810-0145Notice how large the ball is. Kicking can be erratic as best.

GQ20130810-0134 GQ20130810-0119 GQ20130810-0032 GQ20130810-0102I’m far from understanding all the nuances of this game but it is fun for a sports photographer to shoot.  I think I accomplished my goal of shooting tight shots of the up close action.  Hope you enjoy.  Gray

Historic Springfield Main Street Car Cruise

I haven’t been a car enthusiast since my high school days.  I happened on this event last summer when my good friend and photographer Woody Huband told me about a car cruise on Main Street in the historic Springfield community.  The Cruise is held the 4th Saturday of each month and depending on weather there’s no telling the variety of vintage cars you might see.

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Last summer when I photographed the Cruise I didn’t know what to expect but gained some knowledge so I could hopefully capture some different images this year. The Main Street strip is probably a 1/2 mile four lane street with a median.  Cars cruise up one side and down the other.  The cars also park in the empty lots so the spectators can view them up close.  This year when I went on a Saturday, June 22, it was the first year anniversary of the cruise.  Spectators tailgate along the strip, there is usually a live band playing, and the restaurants are open.

GQ20130622-0099All of the cars are not vintage as seen above.  But, you will see everything from Model T’s to Jeeps, Vans, hot rods, etc.  Some cars even display elaborate sound systems.

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GQ20130622-0183 GQ20130622-0096 GQ20130622-0094This year I wanted to do something different with the night time photos. Woody and I figured that if we could set up multiple flashes we might be able to make the cars stand out a little better in the dark.

GQ20130622-0161 GQ20130622-0155 GQ20130622-0173After the sun set ( not much of a sun since it rained all day) I set up a flash on the ground across the street so it would backlight the cars.  To help fill in the front of the car I set up another flash on the curb slightly in front.  I used a Pocket Wizard TT1 transmitter with a AC3 Controller to trigger both flashes that had Pocket Wizard TT5 receivers.  I set both flashes on manual at about 1/2 power which helped save battery power.  I was able to control the output of each flash from the AC3 Controller on my camera.  My camera was a Canon 5D Mark 3 which was a perfect fit as it got completely dark and I had to ramp up the ISO to 3200.  At 3200 iso there was very little noise.

GQ20130622-0180 GQ20130622-0127 GQ20130622-0122If you’re in the area on the 4th Saturday of the month you might want to travel over to the Springfield district on Main Street around 6pm.  Bring a lounge chair, cooler and walking shoes because you will want to walk around and get a close up look.  The owners are very gracious in letting you look at their pride and joys up close.

GQ20130622-0200I never was a car enthusiast, but a night out at the Springfield Cruise will leave you drooling for more.

Hope you enjoyed the photos.

Gray

5D Mark III and Rugby

Rugby is a brutal sport.  I decided to go out and shoot our local Rugby League, the Jacksonville Axemen.  This was a self project as I wanted to experiment a little with my Canon 5D Mark 3 camera.  The 5D3 was linked up to a Canon 400mm L, IS, 2.8 lens.  The combination proved to be very effective.  I think what I was really looking for was to see if I wanted to add the Canon 1DX to my equipment for my sports work.  The 1DX is a 5D3 on steroids but with a cost of near $7k and that is money on steroids.  This is not my first outing with this combination as I shot the Jaguars and FSU last year with it.  The Rugby photos have some huge crops, more than I might normally do, but I needed to see how the files would hold up.  Here are some images from the match:

GQ20130615-0052I haven’t shot Rugby since the mid 80’s but I figured if I can shoot American football and soccer this shouldn’t be too difficult.  This comes under the category of ice hockey for me, I just don’t understand all the rules.

GQ20130615-0221What I did figure out was that when a player is tackled the defensive player tries to hold the runner down on the ground as long as he can and by any means he can until his defensive players get back in position.  A finger to the eyes/face seems routine as seen in above photo.

GQ20130615-0338These guys aren’t small either.  That’s a big dude in the above photo and there are three defensive players trying to take him down.

GQ20130615-0539 GQ20130615-0108I had a lot of photos with the runners and closed eyes.  I guess that is to protect the eyes since there are no helmets or facemasks.

GQ20130615-0427Most every play is a running play except when they punt.  They get 6 downs but a punt before the 6th down is like a pass.  If the punt goes forward and out-of-bounds the offensive team get to move up to where it went out, but if it gets intercepted before the punt goes out-of-bounds then that is a turnover.  I could be wrong but that is the way I figured it.  Every running play starts usually with a lateral or series of laterals to running backs.  No whistles stop the play when a player goes down so the action is constant.

Like I mentioned earlier these photos have some pretty heavy crops and from what I can tell the file holds up pretty well.  I just need to get a 1DX in my hands for comparison.

I plan to study the rules a little more before the next outing so I do a better job of anticipating the action. Hope you enjoy the photos of a sport I really know nothing about.

You can view the full gallery at www.grayquettiphotography.com.

Gray Quetti