Rugby: the sport of gentlemenRugby: the sport of gentlemen

Dutch rugby was on show in The Hague recently and I was lucky enough to be able to shoot a couple of the games.
For most of the day the weather was bright and dry. This allowed me to shoot away with my Tamron 70-300 set at an aperture of f6.3 for better sharpness, with shutter speeds ranging from 1000-1600 and a reasonable 200-500 ISO.

The first game I shot was of a group of more ‘mature’ gentlemen from Amsterdam and The Hague. They took some surprisingly hard knocks. I remember one bruiser of a fellow slammed into the ground. He then just shook his head a couple of times and got back into the action.

I also managed to snap some of the youth sides battling it out. These competitions were played even more ferociously than the older lads. One of the clashes ended up with a player being carried off on a stretcher.

I swapped lenses to my Sigma 17-50 for some close up stuff and was rewarded with action on the side line. The facial expressions and movement really tell a story in some of the pics.

As the day went on, the occasional spit of rain turned into a gentle summer sprinkle. My Canon 60D isn’t weather sealed, so I had to be a little cautious. Every so often I had to wipe the camera off with a cloth. A secondary benefit of having my Yongnuo 560 flash attached was that it acted as a kind of rain barrier to the section of the camera where the lens screws into the camera body. While another photographer equipped with the weather sealed Nikon D800 had to retreat to the shelter of a dugout. My 60D was dry enough to continue the fight! Don’t worry, I know when too much rain is too much rain. Luckily the spitting only became too much just when I was leaving.

Regarding the flash, I started off in manual mode but as the play moved closer or further away it was too hard to control the light’s strength and zoom. Luckily, the TTL function on the Yongnuo worked well. I had very few incidences of pics overexposed or under exposed.

Another side affect of the rain was gloomy light which forced me to go to wider apertures and higher ISOs When using the long end of the Tamron lens without the flash.

I’ve included some of the day’s events in photos on this blog. I hope you like them.

Enjoy! and until next time.

Andrew

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