It is some time since I went to Harpenden to cover a Cricket Match, and the weather looked set fair, so I travelled down to see Peter Carr who this day was scoring as is is his wont. I left in what I took was good time and chose to take a part of the journey along the country lanes, which was a reasonably good choice as far as it went, but it would have been even better, had I decided to avoid the M1 entirely as an accident on the other carriageway had attracted the attention of the southbound carriageway users, thereby slowing our journey as well!
I arrived just in time to miss only the first over. The home team, Bamville had chosen to bat. I was determined to avoid the sun where possible, so had a scruffy, but wide-brimmed floppy hat and a light scarf to protect my neck, and set up close to the pavilion in the leafy shade of some nearby trees. The pitch is part of the Golf Course for weekdays and Saturdays, and is undulating and irregular, making it very irregular and being close to dense, bramble-heavy undergrowth and tall grasses, prone to numerous stoppages due to locating errant balls despatched by enthusiastic batsmen, which has the effect of forcing fielders to do the searching aided on occasion by the occasional spectators.
Photographing level with the pitch can sometimes be difficult when using a tripod, because fielders can often obscure your direct line of sight to the batsmen or bowler alternately, but shooting handheld with a long lens can be wearing, so full-coverage is never guaranteed and capturing fielders catching balls is seriously difficult, so with the home team batting, I concentrate on them for the first half and do my best to at least cover some fielding in the second half. As a spectacle-wearer I find it hard to get a complete view of the screen with a dSLR, which is an issue when trying to follow a cricket ball!
As with the windsurfing shots I have tried to capture sequences, which means an extra burden in post processing due to the large number of shots, but it does improve the success rate of the peak of actions, but it gives me even greater respect for the sports photographers in the days of film.
I did manage to capture a few of those moments when the bails flew, but sadly lifted my finger from the shutter release when a catch was about to be made, but the waiting hands of the fielder are in view. I had an enjoyable afternoon, but have spent longer, doing cropping and occasional colour tweaks due to the light changing, and throwing out shots either leading up to or following on from an action I was trying to capture, but altogether fun.