Friday, November 28, 2008

Dubai Rugby Seven's - Day 1

Well its that time of year again and Dubai attention, or at least the expat beer drinking rugby watching attention, is focused on the Dubai Exiles......home of the Dubai Rugby Seven's. And in keeping with tradition I headed down there ful intending to shun the comfort of the seats in the stands and stand down on the pitch edge and enjoy a few days of a sport I know next to nothing about.

This year is the first year the even is being held at its new home out on the edge of Dubai. To start with I thought this move out of town was a daft idea as its not just moved to the edge of town, its now 40km out into the desert. However I have to say the event was much better organised than usual....actually thats not fair, it is always well organized once you are there, its the traffic chaos of getting in and out not to mention the bus/taxi fiasco last year....oops already mentioned.

Well I have to admit that from what I have seen of my first day there, it is much improved. There was lots of parking, the road junctions were sign posted and weren't clogged up and there appeared to be loads of buses and taxis. That said, the co-pilot and I did leave at around 6 O'clock so it might have been worse at 8 when all the action finally finished.

But anyway, enough about the venue, what about the Rugby....well......I am sure it was good rugby, after all these are all international players. However I'm afaid I know little about the game other than the teh following four things:

1. It is a sport when Gentlement act like thugs
2. You can't pass forward, and you score by crossing the line and putting the ball on the floor
3. not as much thuggery is as legal as it used to be "back in the good old days"
4. It is played by men with odd shaped balls.

(speaking of which, you just wouldn't want to be the fella in the middle would you)

No, I apologies to all those who didn't manage to get tickets (as it was apparently a sell out) but I went along and enjoyed myself without knowing anything about the sport. Instead I went along for the atmosphere, the spectacle and to take photos.

The aim this year was to try and put some of the things I'd learn't from David to good use. The aim was to try and capture the speed, the action, the energy and the motion of the game. See what you think, and hopefully you like. Please feel free to leave comments, especially if its constructive criticism.

All in the footwork
This is in fact uncropped and as it came
off the camera. I was try to catch the energy/action of the running
and thought "you don't need to see their faces to see that" and by
filling the frame I think it makes the action more in yoru face

In the Scrum
I have cropped this to my favourate proportions as I think it makes the frame look fuller and capturing the scrum of the scrum.

'Run into the Space'
Trying to keep the
players in focus but panning to blur the background and give a feel of
motion. The wider crop makes it feels to me like the palyers have
the space to run into the frame although sadly they are not as in focus as I'd like.

A Good Try

Although this is largely blurred and out of focus I liked it for that very reason

Zoom Shoot
In this I used Colin's favourate technique and
zoomed out as I shot to give the shot action, although it would have
been a better shot had Number 10 not just turned and obscured the ball
from view. I think in sports shots it is as inportant to have the ball
in shot/focus as it is to have the eye in focus in a portrait. Still,
I wasn't going to tell them to do it again.

{Please note, no photo's were harmed in the making of these shots, Photoshop was not used and}

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Movember Update

No long paragraphs of explanation or whittisisms necessary. Just look at this Mo-majesty!!

And am I proud and ready to join the family Mo-tree?


Am I pleased with my far work


Am I tempted to keep it forever

Not on your nelly!!

I really can't wait to get rid of this itchy, tickly, scratchy cack-a-pilar.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Movember Week 2

Ok its now 15 Movember so I am now officially 2 weeks into the Mo-challenge and I am sure you will agree that the improvement is vast and I am not a veritable badger muncher:

Well, of sorts.

Ok, so maybe I'm not a goatboy just yet, but you have to agree, in the right light, and with a prevailing wind, down hill, it does like kind of masculine and manly......Oh sod you then!!

On a visit to see the goat this weekend I was proudly showing off my beard and was greeted with something similar to the following discussion:

"Presumably you haven't kept precisely to the rules because you have shaved your cheeks and neck to keep it in a neat goaty".
"No I haven't, this is just the only places it grows"
"oh, how unfortunate, you really are a freak doomed for ever to look like a member of the philosophy fraturnity"
"And so do you use boot polish to colour some bits balck will leaving the rest blonde?"
"Nooo, that is the way it grows"
"Oh dear, how unfortunate"
"But at least you have had the sense to keep it trimmed and looking tidy"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you haven't let it get all long and become a wispy mess"
"No i haven't trimmed anything, this is all that grows on my chin in two weeks"
"Oh Jeeezzz, you really havn't been through puberty have you!!"
"Go and make a cup of tea Goatboay, and take to bushy chin badger with you!!"

Friday, November 7, 2008

Remember Remember the Fifth of Movember

For a long time now, well since puberty really, I have dreamed of one day being able to grow a mustache or beard......or any form of facial hair really. My dad for many years had a full on bushy top lip catapllar, as did my grandad:

So I used to sit in a darkened room rocking back and too troubled by the demons that were my shame at not being able to carry on the family blood hair line.

Even friends and work colleagues have taunted me with their facial badgerness.

Well no more!!!

At the ripe old age of 32 I've decided to try and dispell some of the shame and live up to the family expectations and become a man. To grow a face badger!!

Apparently this month is Movember where one is encouraged not to shave and to be proud of ones facial hair. so in the spirit of such things I've decided to "see what grows"

and so starting from the usual and familiar clean shaven baby soft chin:

I've now spent a whole 7 days of concerted effort and dedicated concentrations and am pleased to unveil the new improved and generally more manly chin:

What do you mean you can't see any difference!!??

The Co-pilot did kind of suggest that perhaps my months growth wasn't as much as it might be, but assured me that she was sure that once I had been through puberty I would start to grow something...... this space for regular hair monster updates.