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  • Writer's pictureFaruk Kara

A Day Out at the Cricket. Close-up Cricket Actions Photos: Southill Park CC vs Old Leysians CC

I've played cricket for most of my life, I still enjoy playing. On a nice day, it is wonderful to have the sun on your back standing in the outfield concentrating on what is going on in the middle. It is that enjoying the moment while having purpose. It is also about being of a team. You have to do it to understand. Again, as mentioned with the surfing, it helps to have played to know what you are trying to capture. An absolute essential is having a large enough telephoto to get close-up cricket action photos.


A friend who I have played cricket with for over 25 years, plays for the Old Leysians Cricket Club here in Cambridge. Once term has finished, they play their home games at the main ground in the Leys School. The Leys, is a 150 year old public school in the centre of Cambridge with a wonderfully positioned cricket ground at it's heart. What an opportunity for some cricket photography.


The Leys is a gorgeous setting, absolutely beautiful, but one better to play at than photograph at, sadly. The ground is at the centre of the school with buildings surrounding it which make it difficult for action photography. In any photography, the subject needs to be clear without distraction. It is about separating the subject from the background. A more expensive lens with a bigger aperture could possibly do it, but now you are into professional sports photographer terrority. . . You be the judge, the first image is taken at the Leys, all the others are from Southill Park in Bedfordshire. It is delibrately processed in monochrone to achieve maximum separation and even then the background is distracting.


What I hadn't realised was that Whitings League Division 1 is at the top of the Cambridgeshire pyramid before teams are promoted to the East Anglian Premier League. Why does that matter? Firstly, the cricketing actions, whether batting, bowling or fielding are mostly correct which makes for good photography. Secondly, the teams are sponsored, sometimes even having a professional. This means the whole team is kitted out in the same consistent clothing, In this case, what are known as pyjamas (coloured clothing) as opposed to whites. This consistency makes for aesthetic photography. It is the small details that help make acceptable photographs into good ones.


The photo is a close-up taken with a telephoto. Monochrome cricket scene. The batsman is at the crease hitting the ball away square of the wicket. The wicketkeeper is crouching down behind the stumps, the slip fielder is a little further behind the wicketkeeper counching a little lower. A fourth player, another fielder can be seen beyond the tri o at the crease mouth open. Behind them all is brick building with many windows.
Synchronised Fielding at the Leys School
The batsman has hit the pink ball square of the wicket on the leg side. He is wearing a pink batting helmet and coloured clothing (pyjamas). The wicketkeeper is crouching down wearing a blue helmet and blue and pink clothing (pyjamas). The pink ball is headed toward the photographer on the boundary. Both batsman and wicketkeeper are looking at the photographer. Colour photo.
Watch Out the Photographer!
The photo is a close-up taken with a telephoto. Colour photo of batsman in helmet wearing green and yellow clothing (pyjamas) reverse sweeping the pink ball.  The wicketkeeper is crouching down behind the stumps wearing a blue helmet and blue and pink clothing (pyjamas).
The Reverse Sweep
The photo is a close-up taken with a telephoto. Colour photo of batsman in helmet wearing green and yellow clothing (pyjamas) looking behind at the wicketkeeper.  The wicketkeeper is standing on one leg behind the stumps wearing a blue helmet and blue and pink clothing (pyjamas). In his gloves, he has the pink ball.
Howzat!
The photo is a close-up taken with a telephoto. Colour photo of batsman in helmet wearing green and yellow clothing (pyjamas) crouching down about to hit the pink ball square of the wicket.  The wicketkeeper is crouching down behind the stumps wearing a blue helmet and blue and pink clothing (pyjamas). In the distance between the batsman and the wicketkeeper a fielder in blue and pink clothing is crouching waiting to field the pink ball. The fielder is wearing a classic white wide brimmed sun hat.
Three's a Crowd
The photo is a close-up taken with a telephoto. Colour photo of batsman in helmet wearing green and yellow clothing (pyjamas) striking the pink ball.  The pink ball can be seen in front of the batsman in the air. The wicketkeeper is crouching down behind the stumps wearing a blue helmet and blue and pink clothing (pyjamas).
Take That
The photo is a close-up taken with a telephoto. Monochrome photo. The batsman is wearing a cap running his bat into the crease having taken a run. THe wicketkeeper is  jumping, feet off the ground, at full stretch. He has one arm above his head stretching up to catch the ball that is just out of his reach.
Take Them, You've Got Him!
The photo is a close-up taken with a telephoto. Colour photo of batsman in helmet wearing green and yellow clothing (pyjamas) reaching forward to play the pink ball. The batsman has one foot behind the crease with toe on the ground.  The wicketkeeper is crouching down behind the stumps wearing a blue helmet and blue and pink clothing (pyjamas). and has the ball in his gloves. The wicketkeeper has broken the stumps with his gloves and the bails can be seen in the air.
Howzat!
Colour photo. The fielding team are gathered together giving high fives to each other celebrating. They are wearing blue and pink clothing (pyjamas). The photo is a close-up taken with a telephoto.
The Celebration

Colour photo of batsman in helmet wearing green and yellow clothing (pyjamas) reverse sweeping the pink ball.  The wicketkeeper is crouching down behind the stumps wearing a blue helmet and blue and pink clothing (pyjamas). The photo is taken wide angle to show the surrounding. There are many large trees and a large country house in the distance.
An Amazing Setting












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