The Warwick Malaysian Games – Football

Again, backlogging, but here we go: The Warwick Malaysian Games.

Epic crunch time ensues.

I did request to do pictures of football, since I don’t really have the lenses to do indoor well, (evident from the Sheffield Games). The action took place on two fields, one of which I covered until 10:30 before I moved to the other.

Asplosive kick imminent.

Overall, it was a pretty good day for taking photos. Only problem was that the sun was a bit too strong at times, but this was quite easily avoided by simply moving myself so the sun would hit surfaces facing me. As a bonus, the LSE team turned up composed almost entirely of old school mates.

An early reunion. :V

So overall, a pretty good day with some pretty good games. Managed to get some interesting moments. There was this one guy from Newcastle(?) who ended up getting smashed in the face. Turned out it wasn’t anything too bad though, so that was alright.

Aforementioned smashed dude.

I ended the day with around 700 photos, and not all of them are great, but there were a few at least that I was somewhat proud of. But yeah, I’ve only uploaded five.

What goes up...

Next time? I have no idea. But I’m back in Malaysia now for Easter hols, so expect some photos from me soon.  :U

Oxford Phototrip

This was last Sunday, so I’m seriously backlogging here. Anyway… Oxford!

The big Oxford... dome. Thing.

The trip was organised by the Warwick Photography Society, and there were about twelve of us in total. As usual, I brought along my three lenses, but I only really needed to use the 16-85.

A selfless plug for you, PhotoSoc.

So really, there were only three places where I was really getting good photos. The street had some nice ones, courtesy of some very vintage looking architecture.

Not a very interesting photo. So why am I putting it up? Because I managed to get it almost perfectly symmetrical. 😀

The weather was excellent, thankfully, so most of my shots turned out pretty well. But the problem with great weather is epicfail blowouts when taking sky and scenery.

I'm annoyed at the cloud blowout on the right, but oh well.

The lighting became a little less strong later in the day though, so I was able to get some photos where the sky didn’t blow out completely.

Shooped a bit to bring out the sky, because I can't afford an ND grad filter right now. :U

Second place was in the park. Well, at least I assumed it was a park. Provided some pretty good opportunities for candid shots.

If you go to Oxford University, this is probably what you spend most of your time doing.

The (neon) green grass of home.

There was also a river running down it that provided some pretty decent photos. It’s a pity we didn’t take it slower, otherwise I would have had more time to make the most of it.

This had so much more potential for awesomeness. Sigh.

The rest of the trip? Well, there was a somewhat-bigass tower that we climbed:

Awesome weather is awesome.

A random hill next to a castle (Candid again, aww yeah):

Because roofs are romantic.

And an awesome panning shot just before we went home:

Bicycle pan FTW.

So that’s pretty much the Oxford trip. I’d say more, but there really isn’t much more to say. I do have  a bunch more photos, but I’m not putting them up here because I can’t think of the text to separate them. Besides, 10 photos in one post is pretty good, isn’t it?

Next post – the Warwick Games.

Sheffield Malaysian Games – Basketball

So I got asked to go do some photography for the basketball team at Sheffield’s Malaysian games last Saturday. I’ll be honest – this is not one of my better sports photography ventures.

Grabbity grab grab.

Well, the first (and main) problem I ran into was that it was indoors. With my only wide aperture lens being my 50mm, I was forced to resort to using my 70-300mm at ISo 1600. Much cringing from me ensued, although the high ISO noise reduction did help that somewhat.

The starting jumps are epic.

Despite that, I still wasn’t getting high enough shutter speeds to properly freeze some of the action, and to make matters worse, the lights in the hall… were green.

One of the few times I managed to get a stationary shot before everyone went running off every which way.

I had to mess with the white balance considerably to get the photos to not look like they were taken through a 7UP bottle.

Wrestlemania. :U

In the end, my shooting tactics pretty much came to standing in a spot that looked like it might provide some oppotunities for goal photos, waiting for the players to stop moving and stick to their defensive positions for a few seconds or trying to pan them out when they moved.

Panning people is always a problem on account of flailing limbs.

Every now and again though, I would be able to grab a photo of people running without having to pan too much.

This is one of those photos you get when you just happen to hit the shutter at the right time.

So all in all, it wasn’t one of my best photo outings, but at least there are a few photos that I quite like. Then again, it’s just a few out of, say, 300, so it’s not a very good keep rate. ><

Just a few adjustments, and this thing would symmetrical.

I’ve got another assignment covering sports tomorrow at the Warwick Games. The game this time? Football. The place? Outdoors, so hopefully it goes better. I’ll probably post the results after the Oxford trip photos, so check back on Monday.

PS: We won.

We apologise for this slight delay…

I have actually gone and taken photos of the Sheffield Games and Oxford, but I won’t have time to cobble together a post until this weekend at least, so wait ’til then. I’ll post them up as two separate posts.

No Leamington for me either, it seems…

But I did get some photos regardless.

Woodpecker? Random hole? The game? I have no idea.

Honestly, Coventry needs some note-to-coin machines by their bus stops. This must be the third time I’ve not been able to get on a bus because I didn’t have exact change and the store was closed. Anyway, I had some free time today (Wednesday) to cycle around the University a bit more and explore, all the while heaving around a caseful of gear for those “just in case” moments.

Aforementioned caseful of gear.

So, Arthur Vick was my first stop. It was a lot nicer than I thought – I’d heard it was nice, but I had no idea it was that nice. Anyway, I went around and grabbed a few pictures, mostly of the trees and vines in the back.

Spindly.

I seriously need to find a more portable method of stabilising my Sigma at 300mm. After all, a tripod is great, but difficult to bring around. Right now, I can’t use this thing hand-held reliably unless I’ve got a fairly bright day. Gotta think of something – I’m thinking maybe a rifle-esque rig, but I’ve gotta try get a solid idea before I make it.

The thing about creeper vines...

Is that they can be friggin' creepy. Like a wood caterpillar.

Finally, just headed over to the M&S building and took some photos. This one below was actually partly an accident, since the focus was off, but somehow, I really like how it turned out. One of those happy accidents, I guess. Very nostalgic.

Soft focus, but somehow... I like it.

I’ve got one potential request this weekend and a photo trip on Sunday, but I’m not sure if I’ll go to either yet. So, either Sheffield covering basketball, or Oxford taking the town. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

So… No Birmingham for me.

Didn’t have the time to go to Birmingham, unfortunately. So I just spent my time sitting around, taking photos from my window.

Just a random photo that I got that looked alright, so up it goes.

I was also trying out a stabilising experiment by suspending a weight from my 300mm. To be honest, I’m really not sure if this worked or not. I didn’t notice a massive difference, but I’m gonna keep experimenting with it.

The view from the Varsity window.

Leamington tomorrow, maybe. I’ll see how it goes.

 

Light reflections. Annoying.

Post MNight Social

For those of you who don’t quite know what it is, MNight stands for Malaysia Night. These are annual performances by Malaysian Societies in universities all over the UK, and while I wasn’t actually there to do any recording or photography on the actual night, I was around for the social afterwards. If I had to come up with two words to describe Malaysian socials in Warwick University… I’d probably go with “food” and “eating”. No Malaysian social is complete without those two.

Awesomegrin is awesome.

Anyway, by the end of it, I didn’t really take that many photos. The final count came to about 80-something pictures. Some I thought were good, some not so much.

DSLRs. They're everywhere these days. :U

You see, I figured that the only problem I’d face was the lack of light which would mean that my photos would come out blurred by long shutter speeds I’d have to use. So I’d had my 50mm F1.4 on for most of the night, thinking it would be sufficient. What I completely forgot about though was that autofocus needs clearly defined edges to work, which aren’t very visible under bad lighting conditions. Long story short, the focus was off in some of the photos. This wouldn’t have been too much of a problem, except the depth of field was tiny, given the lens I was using. As a result, out of focus looked, well, -really- out of focus. It really didn’t help later when they dimmed the lights even more to watch the MNight performance recordings.

At least the focus fail doesn't look too bad... if you're not viewing at it at 100% size.

So I was just happily walking around taking photos, and it was only about 3/4 way through the event that I realised this. Gah. After that, I switched to using my flash, turned on the AF-Assist lamp and things turned out a lot better. Unfortunately, by this time there weren’t as many photos to grab, but I did what I could.

Multiply the number of people by about seven or eight, and you'll have a rough idea of what the whole food queue was like.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable night. Since I’m probably going to pass most of the photos to the society exec, Paul…

The Paul. (Also, ouch @ image blurriness.)

… I won’t upload them all up here straight away. Once those are up, I’ll probably stick a link to them at the Warwick MSA photo gallery in this post. So yeah, keep an eye open for that.

Marcus, Irina and friend. (No, I admit I don't know his name.)

Meanwhile… Maybe I’ll hit Birmingham this weekend.