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Photographing a rugby match
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Jan 12, 2019 12:19:35   #
Photocraig (a regular here)
 
Alex A wrote:
Hi, I spend a lot of my time photographing this sport in the UK.

General points:
* Shutter priority generally the easiest (but do check the exposures you're getting are ok).
* I use a Sigma 50-500 (brilliant lens) to capture the action - generally around the 350 end ...
* Mount it on a mono pod and undo the lens collar screw, so it can rotate to give you both the support and keep the camera horizontal - not a full gimbal but a good compromise.
* Don't often need much faster than 500th to 750th
* Set the camera to continuous focus and your highest motorwind setting.
* If you can shoot from the end that your friends team are trying to score at, I find you get the best opportunity to capture the physicality of the game. The players expressions are most important in this (and you'll need to change ends at half time).
* Shoot in RAW to give yourself scope for pulling more detail out if you under expose.
* Shooting from the side of the pitch limits the photo opportunities and you'll often need to physically follow the game up and down the pitch to keep up with the good views of the action. (unless you can get up higher).

Hope that helps a bit.
Hi, I spend a lot of my time photographing this sp... (show quote)


I find that "flow" sports like Rugby, Futbol (Soccer), Lacrosse, Hockey (field and ice) are best viewed and photographed from the corners of the Pitch (field) or court/rink. It is best to be positioned, as has been stated, at the offensive end, so you can be shooting from "your" team's front sides and faces as they are attempting to score. Shooting into the faces of the Defensive team requires positioning up-field and shooting toward the goal. It is difficult to get permission to be where you have an unobstructed view from there, and players frequently are standing by the sidelines.

See of you can watch a few games to get the flow of the action and perhaps learn to anticipate some action to be ready, focused and in the moment. A good excuse for some English Pub time.

A little motion blur in the hands and feet won't detract from the quality of your shots. I think a moderate shutter speed under 1/1000th toward 1/350-500ths should do ya on a sunny day. Keep that ISO as low as you can. Don't neglect the player interaction on the sidelines and the spectators. The "supporters" aka fans and spectators, at Rugby, in particular, are made up of some quite attractive ladies. Must be something about those "rugged lads."

Have fun and wear pants that are easy to kneel in, the lower angles emphasize the players and the sky is a non-distracting background.
Have fun and stay out of their way!
C

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Jan 12, 2019 15:28:35   #
ronpier
 
foggypreacher wrote:
Thank you all so much. I appreciate all your suggestions. I will take a cheat sheet with me and try them all and find what works for me. I will post of them after the match on the 19th.

Oh, dsmeltz, the answer to your question is I have a APS_C Nikon D3400. Looking forward to the days when I have learned enough on this camera to need an upgrade.

All of the suggestions, settings and photographs will be very helpful. Thanks again.


I’ve shot auto races with my D3400 and 70-300 kit lens. You will be pleased.

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Jan 12, 2019 15:29:00   #
amfoto1 (a regular here)
 
foggypreacher wrote:
A friend is playing in a rugby match (scrum?) and I want to take photos of him and the scrum. i have a 35mm, 18-55mm, 18-140mm and a 70-300mm. The 18-55 and 70-300 are Nikon kit lenses. Which would be best and am I right that I should use Shutter priority for best at speedy subjects?

I tried to find "photographing rugby" "rugby photos" but found nothing. Any help is much appreciated.


Daytime game? I hope so! Otherwise it get difficult and the gear needed can be pricey!

If it's a day game, the 18-140mm and 70-300mm should cover 99.9% of your needs.

It's really like shooting any sort of field/team sport. I use two identical APS-C cameras, personally... one with the shorter focal length lens, the other with the longer. I switch back and forth between them very quickly as the action moves closer and farther away.

But shooting a match with a single camera - which is what I assume you'll be doing - you probably can simply shoot for a while with one lens, then switch to the other for a while... getting some wider shots of the action with the shorter zoom, then switching to the longer telephoto for some tighter shots. Also move around, from one end of the field to the other, as best you can without blocking spectators or interfering with the play.

Be sure to set your camera to continuous focusing mode (I think Nikon calls it "AF-C"). I would usually only use a single AF point, often the center one. This is more work for the photographer, but assures you get the highest percentage of in-focus shots. I also make a point of using cameras and lenses with very fast AF.... with near instant focus acquisition and very good tracking of moving subjects. In the Nikon line, I think AF-S lenses are their fastest, but it's not the system I use so I can't be sure. Fast AF also depends upon the camera, but most DSLRs have a higher performance AF point right at the center of their array.

Many sports shooters use Back Button Focusing. I don't know how that's set up on Nikon.... but if you decide to use it, go do some practice in advance. It takes a little while to became accustomed to it. After shooting an event or two with BBF, it becomes second nature. But it can seem strange at first.

Take extra batteries and plenty of memory cards. Set your camera to it's highest frame rate and shoot short bursts of 2, 3 or 4 images. Try to time peak action moments, though to do so requires some familiarity with a sport. You'll probably find it easier to do later in the game, after seeing how it's played. I'd e sure to study an unfamiliar game beforehand too... so you have some idea what's going on and what to expect. Take lots and lots of photos! At a two hour game, I'd probably shoot 1500 images or more.

"Scrum" is a great word. Congratulations on managing to use it twice in your initial post!

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Jan 12, 2019 17:09:44   #
foggypreacher
 
Thank you Alex A. I will try out your suggestions and those of others and work out what is best for me. I walk with a cane, so my mobility is limited. However, the idea of taking up post at the ends of the field will probably work very well for m.
FoggyPreacher

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Jan 12, 2019 17:11:39   #
dsmeltz (a regular here)
 
foggypreacher wrote:
Thank you all so much. I appreciate all your suggestions. I will take a cheat sheet with me and try them all and find what works for me. I will post of them after the match on the 19th.

Oh, dsmeltz, the answer to your question is I have a APS_C Nikon D3400. Looking forward to the days when I have learned enough on this camera to need an upgrade.

All of the suggestions, settings and photographs will be very helpful. Thanks again.


OK. An APS-C. Given that and assuming you have not shot a lot of rugby, you will be fine with the 18-140 for now since you should start by shooting wide and cropping when you need to. After a few games and you start to feel comfortable give the 70-300 a try.

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Jan 12, 2019 17:13:49   #
foggypreacher
 
Thank you, amfoto1. Great suggestions. As written in other replies, I will use all the suggestions I can and then see what shakes out as my way of doing this type of photography.
FoggyPreacher

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Jan 12, 2019 17:17:52   #
foggypreacher
 
Thanks, Photocraig. So many great suggestions! I will be attending several times so I'll better as I find what is the way to go for me. Y'all have been wonderful.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. One day I hope to be able to offer support as has been offered to me.

FoggyPreacher

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Jan 12, 2019 19:03:12   #
Stevewayne23
 
Only time I shot rugby was a couple of years ago when Sacramento had a pro team. Shot at the time with a Canon 7D Mark II and mainly a Tamron 150-600 and Canon 70-200 2.8. You can get some great grimaces with a long lens .. .







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Jan 12, 2019 22:34:49   #
Valenta
 
Why would you want to photograph a rugby match?

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Jan 13, 2019 12:37:24   #
Peterff
 
Valenta wrote:
Why would you want to photograph a rugby match?


Perhaps because there are some great action opportunities, and rugby is a dynamic bone crunching game. Don't you support the All Blacks?

To get good photographs, it helps if you understand the game.

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Jan 13, 2019 13:41:31   #
donald4u
 
All the comments are great. Shutter speed no less then 1/1000. The 70-300 would be your best bet. Do a practice shot for the right exposure. The most important part is trying to guess where they would be. The difference between a snap shot and a great shot. A great shot has caught the action.. My photography teacher from years ago would say. The climatic instant. And as the person before hand said. Practice. One more thing the action is not the only thing to shoot. Sometimes the people watching the game. The coaches and kids sometimes too. Good luck.

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Jan 14, 2019 20:27:57   #
Vector
 
I haven't shot rugby, or even American football but am guessing there are (should) be similarities in their photography.

Might be a place to start some research.

JMHO

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Jan 15, 2019 04:14:01   #
foggypreacher
 
Thank you very much for your help.

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Jan 15, 2019 15:30:03   #
pacman
 
craggycrossers wrote:
Nice question, and very different from someone in Texas !

Taking good pics of action-related events mean "fast-enough" shutter speeds to stop the action and the right aperture to ensure your subject is within the depth of field of the shot. Filling the frame is important too, so make sure you use one of your lenses that'll get you close.

The other important thing is "timing" ….. and that usually comes best with some knowledge of the game so that you can anticipate possible events. So, just watch the game for a while and get to know how things happen.


I'm just an enthusiast photographer, but did play rugby in the UK to a very high level. I've managed to find a few shots from 2012 that I've found. You'll be able to see my settings to give you an idea, and you can see what the weather was like. Only use as high an ISO as you need. I shot in full manual rather than shutter priority.

Start here to find good pro shots of international rugby .....

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=international+rugby&FORM=HDRSC2
Nice question, and very different from someone in ... (show quote)


Nice shots craggy. Being an Aussie, I was going to suggest that there are usually many shots more dramatic than scrums, but your pics make the point far more efficiently than any words.

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Jan 15, 2019 17:33:32   #
craggycrossers
 
pacman wrote:
Nice shots craggy. Being an Aussie, I was going to suggest that there are usually many shots more dramatic than scrums, but your pics make the point far more efficiently than any words.


Thanks, man ! And the first in this thread to even bother responding to my post.

I was beginning to think that Americans think the game is all about the scrummage !

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