Although earlier this year I blogged about being something of a duffer when it comes to cricket photography, I bit the bullet and decided to submit some work for the 2013 Wisden – MCC Cricket Photograph of the Year competition. Partly because I feel a little emboldened after Deep Extra Cover started using some of my work and partly because I've been half looking for some shots I could use.
The first shot I submitted this year is from my local club, Maidenhead and Bray. I can't remember why I wasn't umpiring that weekend, but I turned up mid afternoon with my cameras to see what was there to be seen. After popping away at the bowlers for a while, I decided that the biggish lad standing at the river end may look good in profile view and from there it wasn't too much of a leap of imagination to try a slow shutter speed.
It took a few overs to get the shot I liked, but this was about it.
Although I took my camera to a fair number of other games, my other two submissions came from the last game of the season at Lord's, the YB 40 final.
Having gone through the Nottinghamshire innings, I'd taken a few shots, some looked good, others not so good and by the time Glamorgan were batting the light was actually quite poor.
Harry Gurney opened the bowling (I think) from the Nursery End and I picked up a couple of good shots of his follow through. He'd picked up a wicket in his first over, so he was really coming in well and the follow through was dynamic.
Later, Samit Patel came on to bowl at that end and picked up a couple of quick wickets. Then he picked up his third, an LBW and I was in exactly the right position to get a shot of his celebration whilst the umpire kept his finger in the air. I was really pleased with that shot.
Given the quality of the shots that have won, I'm not expecting to pick up a prize, but I'm feeling happier about my cricket photography in general and I think it has improved, a bit.
The disparity between my earnings as a freelance science writer and my earnings as a photographer means that I'm still classified as an amateur, but I'm beginning to see signs that perhaps one day...