Last night, I, together with mum and Mr. K, went to the Waikato Stadium to watch the much awaited rugby match between the Wellington Hurricanes and the Waikato Chiefs. Now, this whole “watching-the-game-at-the-stadium” is a big deal because well … honestly, I’m really not THAT into rugby. I do watch a game every once in a while – usually All Blacks test matches – but I watch that only because I want to see the Men in Black perform the Haka.
Because last night’s game saw Super 14’s (then) No. 1 and No. 2 play against each other, the turnout was (as expected) awesome! Fans came in droves and some even wore outrageous hats and costumes just to show their support. The atmosphere was electric and the excitement was contagious. Even I couldn’t believe that I, “Ms. I don’t watch rugby”, felt a wee bit excited about the match.
So anyway, the queue just to get in the Stadium grounds was immensely long and, after squeezing past the security personnel, I found out that in order to get to my $10.00 cheap-seat, I had to enter through a different gate – and mind you, the gate was at the far end of the stadium – the exact polar opposite from where I was standing, so I had to squeeze myself past everyone and then run frantically towards Gate 4A. Thankfully, there wasn’t a huge queue there so I managed to get to my seat (Row B Seat 91) with lots of time to spare.
Although my seat was uncovered and almost behind the goal post, it wasn’t at all that bad. I was really really quite close to the field and had an unobstructed view of … well … the players. It was purrfect! I needed to be as close to the action as possible because I had to take photos of a “sporting / cultural” event for a correspondence course I’m currently enrolled in and I thought this match would my perfect chance. That’s actually my main reason for watching the rugby match, I was hoping that, amongst the who-knows-how-many images I’d take, I’d be able to select 6 semi-decent ones that I can turn in. So I started taking pictures of the athletes while they were warming up. Then of course, when the game started, I tried (take note, the operative word here is TRIED) to take more ‘action shots’. Can I just say that it’s not easy? Funny photos below.
Apparently, despite being 10 feet away from the goal line my 200mm lens is so not sufficient. Even with my ISO boosted up to 1600 (grainy pictures alert!) and the lens set at the widest aperture, most of my images came out blurry and fuzzy. Darn it! Looks like I will omit “sports photography” in my list of so-called strengths – at least until I can buy those massive bazooka-sized lenses pro sports photographers use.
Though I felt quite frustrated I think the whole experience was still a lot of fun. The home team won by 8 points and for about an hour and a half, they ranked 1st in the Super14 standing. Then the Blues got clobbered by the Bulls so the Bulls rose up to No. 1 and the Chiefs had to settle for No. 2 again. The Hurricanes moved 2 steps down to No. 3. It’s fine. All is not lost – there are still a few games left to play anyway.
Photos to be uploaded to my album by next week. Need to sort them all out first.