Norwich Devils Vs London Blitz

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Norwich Devils Vs London Blitz

A month ago, the Devils were back on the pitch, this time lining up against the London Blitz.  The Devils faced London Blitz in their first game and it was a good opportunity to see how far they had come during their first season back in the National League.  The Devils have had a great first season but the London Blitz were unbeaten as they walked on to the field.

The weather was the complete opposite to the week before.  The strong wind and driving rain was gone and replaced with high temperatures and dust.  For me, this weather was much better for taking for photographs and the dust made for some dramatic shots but I suspect both teams were feeling the heat.

It was great to see the London Blitz play; they were fast,accurate and set the bar high.  Seeing the Devils rise to this was amazing.  They had their fair share of great plays, catches and intercepts as well as two touch downs.  Despite best efforts from the Devils, the London Blitz won the game and ended their season unbeaten.   

This game was the end to my second season shooting with the Norwich Devil. I have learnt a lot about shooting American Football and tried to develop my own style.  I particularly like filling the frame with an action shot of a player mid tackle or at full sprint.  I think these shots transports the viewer right into the middle of the action.  I'm also getting to know the game so I am able to preempt where the ball may be heading so I can get my lens pointing in the right direction.

My Canon 7D MII has held up well despite the variable weather conditions and having its shutter count rapidly increased with frequent 11 fps bursts.  The camera is now sporting 4 year old technology which is still producing great shots and I don't plan to jump to a different camera for sports any time soon.  However, I'm looking forward to seeing what the new Canon mirrorless camera can do.

With the season at an end, the Devils now face the playoffs.  To be in the playoffs in their first season back in the National League is a testament to all of the hard work the team has put in to get the team to where it is today.


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Norwich Devils V Ipswich Cardinals

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Norwich Devils V Ipswich Cardinals

After 50+ days of sun and temperatures reaching over 30 degrees, the weather broke on game day and it felt more like late autumn than summer.  Strong winds and driving rain was going to be the theme of this game and have a big impact on it and my photography. This was and away game for the Devils and the weather was not going to make things any easier.

This was the first away game I had shot for the devils and it was a nice change of scenery.  It was good to see how another team hosted a game and made for a different setting for the match.  

The weather made its mark on this game.  Both teams struggled against the wind with kicks falling short or passes going long.  Despite the weather there were some good plays from each side.  The weather was a challenge for me too.  For a while the rain seemed to be intent on finding my lens and made for some soft images.  

The game was close and hard fought by both team but ultimately the Cardinals pulled away and won the game.   A disappointing end to the game for the Devils but, like always, they fought to the end and gave a great account of themselves.  Unlike the Devils I had to give up part way through the last quarter as my lens was so wet it was struggling to focus and was soaked seconds after trying to dry it.  

Although I didn't manage to shoot up until the final whistle, I still managed to get some great shot of the game.  Once again it was great to be out shooting with the Norwich Devils.

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Norwich Devils Vs Essex Spartans

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Norwich Devils Vs Essex Spartans

Another win for the Norwich Devils.  4 wins and 1 defeat in their first season back in the nation league.  Need I say any more?.....

Unfortunately, google has a preference for blogs with over 300 words so I will just have to write some more.  

This game was tense.  This game was close.  It was so close it would only take one mistake for either team to pull away on the scoreboard and win the game.  The hot weather was not helping and it was clearly a constant battle against fatigue. Each team lost yards to mistakes; emotion was running high on both teams and they were both hungry for this win.

In the last quarter the devils saw some brilliant action from their defence leading to the game turning their way.  Even so, there was only 3 points in it when the final whistle was blown.

I'm always amazed at how the teams keep up the pressure until the whistle is blown. A game you thought was won can suddenly turn.  A fumble, an intercept, a running back breaking free and leaving the defence behind can all turn a game around when things are this close.  Every second counts. Both offence and defensive teams keep pushing to get that final touchdown or give their offensive team a last touch of the ball.  With seconds left on the clock you can hear team members calling "It's not over, keep going, keep going" and the offensive team calling for the defence to get them the ball for one last play. This level of commitment and dedication is so motivational and worth aspiring to in everything we do.

Its not over until its over.

For me this game posed a couple of challenges.  Firstly, the strong and harsh light made for a difficult high contrast situation.  Balancing the image exposure was difficult with one side of a player in the dark and the other blown out and over exposed.  I did my best to manage this in camera and shot RAW to give me the best chance to find a better balance in post processing.  The second challenge was trying to find the ball.  I've shot the Norwich Devils enough now to know their team well and I have a good idea of who will have the ball.  The Essex Spartans, on the other hand, wore all black and I have never seen this team play.  The ball was not always obvious it and I found myself searching the field for it.

Once again, it was a great game, full of drama and edge of the seat swings in fortune.  I can't wait to see their next games and hope others will come along and support a local team showing amazing character on their return to the national stage.


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Marc & Lou's Wedding

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Marc & Lou's Wedding

There are a few moments which have a dramatic impact on our lives and, as a photographer, I always see it as an honour to be part of these moments.  Wedding days are one of these moments and I am so pleased to be trusted by Marc and Lou to document theirs.

Marc & Lou are a great couple.  We had a brilliant time on their wedding pre-shoot so it was wonderful to see them get married.  As with all weddings, the bridal party, grooms men and guests helped make the day memorable and it was great to be welcomed by Marc & Lou's family and friends.

The ceremony took place at the beautiful  St Mary's and St Margret's church.  When I arrived I was greeted by brilliantly played organ music and a church full of wonderful stained glass windows.  Despite the rain, there was no dampening down how happy everyone was to be there.


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Wedding ceremonies are always beautiful and full of emotion; wedding receptions are full of character and this reception was no different.  It was wonderful to see the guest relax and see how happy they were for Marc and Lou.

The reception took place at the gorgeous Norfolk Mead Hotel in Coltishall.  The team at the hotel put on another great reception and delicious wedding breakfast.  It was a shame the grounds were waterlogged but the inside of the venue made for some great photos and we made it out into the gardens for a few shots.

Time flew by quickly and, before I knew it, it was time for the final dance.  The day had been all about love.  Watching Marc and Lou have their first dance as a married couple you could truly see how much Marc and Lou loved each other.

I truly wish Lou and Marc all the best for the future.

I would like to also thank Steve Palmer, from A Memory Captured, for helping me throughout the day.  

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Devils Vs East Essex Sabres

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Devils Vs East Essex Sabres

I spend a lot of my time looking through a camera view finder.  It gives me a very constricted view, depending on the lens I am using.  When I shoot the devils I usually shoot using a long focal length with a very small field of view.  What you see in my photos is how I watch a devils game and finding the ball is like a "Where's Wally" book with all of the characters running around.  It isn't very often I want to put the camera down and just watch but this game was different.  The majority of the games I have watched had the devils winning with comfortable lead.  This game was different, the devils had to fight for every yard and the focus and desire to win, from both of the teams, was palpable.

Luckily, I didn't put the camera down.

For me, there is always a bigger story than just the game.  Every single game I attend leaves me impressed with the level of sportsmanship on display.  The teams spend hours battering each other on the field only to shake hands and then grab a photo of both teams together.  This game had another level of sportsmanship on show.  At the start of the game both teams, officials and support staff took a knee in the middle of the field for a minutes silence to remember a player from another team who recently passed away.  The Devils also took the time to add decal to their helmets as a sign of respect. The game was intense and a number of players were injured.  In another show of amazing sportsmanship the head coaches from each team went to their aid, irrespective of which team the injured player belonged to.  So many sports could learn from these American Football teams. 

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