We are now well past the halfway mark in the group stages and I have covered a total of 7 matches so far. I have been to 6 different stadiums all over the country and each with incredible atmospheres. It has been amazing to be part of this Rugby World Cup. It is also good to see South Africa back on form and performing well ahead of the quarter final stages.
I will have to re apply for accreditation to go to the quarter, semi and final stages so I am hoping I will be able to go and take photographs at any of the final stages of the tournament.
For this blog post I wanted to just do a brief overview of my workflow, I will do a detailed how to for certain things at another stage.
Once I have arrived and picked up all of the relevant accreditation I head to the photo workroom. Here I check in get my meal vouchers and a programme for the match. I find a desk to sit down and set up my laptop to begin working. The first thing I do is set up my match metadata and keywords. This changes from match to match, and things like venue date, and teams all have to be updated; I do all of this through Photo Mechanic. Once I have done that I find out what the starting lineups are for the match, this can be found through the programme, or I normally login to the media side of the World Cup website where you can find all the information about teams and what is going on. The next stage is to type up the team sheet in a text file giving each player a unique code and number so for example sa1 will be South Africa number 1. And then I type the name of the player who is in each position after that. This is all done so that I can load it as a code replacement in Photo Mechanic, allowing me to only type in the code and number to get the payers name to come up in the metadata. This ensures I always have the correct spelling and the correct player in the correct position. I would normally do all of this before arriving at a match however at the Rugby World Cup games you have to have arrived by at least 3 hours before kick off in order to get your seat allocation, so I normally arrive around 3-4 hours before kick off, this gives me plenty of time to sort myself out. I always double check my team write up when team sheets are handed out about 30 minutes before kick off.
I then proceed to the pitch where I format all cards that I am going to use and get all of my camera kit sorted. I also have to set up my laptop so that I am ready to send images as quick as possible. I tape my card reader onto the back of my laptop screen so it is always to hand and I can then easily and quickly take the card from the camera and transfer images to my laptop. Often there is not enough space to have the laptop where you would like so you have to get creative, often balancing my Macbook Pro on top of my wheelie camera bag.
I shoot everything in RAW and I only copy over images that I want to send. The way I do this is by making selection in camera. You can set Photo Mechanic to only import locked photos, so I lock the photos I want to send on camera and then only those photos are copied over to my computer to process. Once copied over I quickly caption the image explaining briefly what has happened and what the score is, I then edit in Photoshop and save the images out to a set size ready to be uploaded. Back in Photo Mechanic I hit the upload button which will fire off the images to my agencies server and I am done. All of this is done as fast as possible and whilst the match is still going on, so I do sometimes have to stop to take photos of more action.
I was contacted by Tom Searles last week to ask if he could use some of my images to do some illustrations. It was a pretty cool request and one that I have not had before. I have let Tom use the images for reference and this is what he has created so far, a very impressive illustration!
Below are a few of my favourite shots from the games that I have shot.