Inside The Scrum

A departure from the Aldershot Rugby Stadium with a trip to Pirbright and the opportunity to continue with our project of trying to capture some different images of rugby union through creative use of light on the rugby pitch.  The Army U23 XV were in camp to prepare for their opening match of the 2017 Inter Service Championship and were undertaking a full on training session.  We were very lucky that both the players and coaching staff were very accommodating and we were able to experiment with some emerging ideas.

The first of these was to try and get a different aspect on the scrum.  The U23XV pack were doing some work on the scrum machine so we decided to work around this.  First so as not to waste too much time we used a couple of injured players to allow us to get some basic composition sorted, along with likely exposure levels.  Then we tried to dovetail into their session without being too much of a burden.  A couple of shots from under the scrum machine and then we took ourselves away to review the images and plan the next couple of shots.

We were using both white strobe lights (Profoto B1X) and also LED AEOS Rotalights which had red gels fitted.  Naturally it took a couple of attempts to get the angles of the light right ensuring that it penetrated the dark recesses of the scrum.  The only other issue we had was to make slight adjustments to players positions so that they were opened up to the camera.

Before too long and (I think) without too much disruption we were bale to get two shots.  The first just before the front row engage in to the scrum and the second when the power begins to drive the scrum and the two locks, so often the unsung heroes of an effective scrummage, get themselves in to the camera frame.

Finally at the players and coaches request we grabbed a couple of images of their lineout.  Rather than waste time and change lenses we decided on a higher vantage point by moving the lineout close to the scrum machine with the photographer stood on the top of the scrum machine.  This time we only used the white light from the two Profoto strobes to provide a stark light onto the players.

Finally as can be seen from the selection of images we added a background colour to the two scrum images and a red filter over the lineout image, just to experiment with a different feel to the final image.

All the images with shot using a Canon 5DSL and EF11-24mm lens with lighting as described above.  The project is a partnership between Alligin Photography and the Army Rugby Union and the team from Alligin Photography also includes Lee Crabb (Scrumpix Images) and Charley Rose Young (Charley Rose Photography)

Click on any image to view a larger version.