January 28, 2012

Australian cricket

Warner's leap of joy

Hamish Blair
 © Getty Images

I thought given Australia's recent success and my last photo was of Australia losing, that today's photo should be of an Aussie looking happy!

This photo was taken during the Third Test between Australia and India a couple of weeks ago. As is probably still fresh in most cricket fans memories, David Warner made a blazing century off only 69 balls. Warner is the sort of cricketer that is a photographer's dream. Big hitting, fast scoring and it is always obvious how much he enjoys playing.

I wasn't covering the Test in Hobart against New Zealand, where he scored his maiden Test century, but was watching it on TV and saw my colleagues' photos of his amazing leap when he reached three figures. I was covering T20 Big Bash League match at the MCG a few days later when he scored another century, also celebrated with a big leap. I wasn't quite on the right angle for that one, so when he neared his century in Perth I wanted to make sure I got it right.

Century celebrations can be a bit of a lottery for photographers. Obviously the head-on shot of the celebration is usually what make the best photo. I can never know which way a batsman is going to be running to score the run or runs that bring up the century. So often they're on 99 not out facing the direction I'm shooting from, then block the last ball of the over only to score the final run the next over running away from me. Or even worse run towards me for their 100th run, only to turn and scramble a second run, and so begin their celebrations in the opposite direction! The safest option is to be positioned in front of the team's dressing rooms or viewing area. Whichever way the initial celebration goes, at some point they will always turn to acknowledge their team mates. The position of the dressing rooms varies from ground to ground.

In Perth they are at a wide fine leg/long-off to a left hand batsman. I was shooting from my usual position on the other side of the wicket, so when Warner neared his century I moved around to position myself under the Australians rooms. In photography, as with most aspects of life, sometimes things go wrong and sometimes they go right. Fortunately for me, they all went right on this occasion. Warner was batting facing in my direction. He brought up his century with a six, which meant there was no issue of running his runs. Even so, he took an almighty run up, down the wicket to start with, before turning towards the dressing rooms and leaping in the air in celebration. This meant I had plenty of time track him as he ran and then as he leapt he was facing pretty much straight towards me. The leap looks even bigger, given he isn't the world's tallest man! The hundred happened late in the day, when the sun was low and the light nice and golden, which also adds to the image, but again something I had no control over, as I said sometimes things go right!

This photo was shot on a Canon 1D Mark IV, using a 500mm f4 lens. It was shot at 1/1600th of a second at f5.6 and 500 ISO.


Hamish Blair is a Melbourne-based photographer for Getty Images

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Max Johnson on (February 22, 2012, 22:54 GMT)

Where can I go to buy this picture ???

Posted by Max Johnson on (February 22, 2012, 22:52 GMT)

Just as amazing as this photograph ,, with my 12 year old son , I watched this from square leg. My sons first day of Test cricket, was one of the most amazing days of Test cricket ever...

Posted by andie on (February 21, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

Does anyone know if hamish is on twitter?

Posted by Sameer Chandna on (February 9, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

At present there is a heated argument on cards of David Warner's shot selection. A bowler pitches his delivery as if he is a left/right handed batsman but if a batsman quickly changes his batting hand during the delivery. If this is right and under ICC bible rulebook then this liberty should be given to the bowler as he can change the arm of bowl while delivery. I don't the reason that why batsman has got this liberty while a bowler has been denied. A bowler position his delivery based on the batsman style of play and if batsman changes his style then everything goes into vain. All hard work and mind work is gone in the bushes. In my opinion this reverse bat shot should be banned from Cricket or the bowler should be given the liberty to change arm while bowling.

Posted by yoshaba on (February 3, 2012, 15:34 GMT)

Some times it will happen but India Is Great Team.

Posted by Tumburrumba on (February 1, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

@Vivek, the most amazing thing about the photo is that Hamish took it while Warner was on the way down after his celebratory jump. Following the game Warner was fined by the Federal Aviation Authority for entering controlled airspace without a clearance but there is apparently no truth to the rumor that he briefly achieved low earth orbit.

Posted by uday on (January 31, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

Awesome Pic....

Posted by Alby Morris on (January 30, 2012, 23:19 GMT)

Ford should pay you a fortune for the free advertising, but still a great photo and will become a classic in years ahead.

Posted by farhan on (January 30, 2012, 18:40 GMT)

fablous....i wonder how the click was taken?

Posted by Vivek on (January 29, 2012, 18:19 GMT)

Great shot and thank you so much for describing it the way you have.

Posted by Bilal on (January 29, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

@ Vivek: It's because of the position of the photographer himself. Usually they take take them while they are sitting, either in a chair or on the ground. The second thing is that they (photographers) are leveled with the pitch, unlike spectators who are placed higher in the stands, making their photographic angle less horizontal. I my self take sports pictures, in my opinion this can be reason why these shots turn out to be so great.

Posted by Ravi on (January 29, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

fabulous photo

Posted by Anonymous on (January 29, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

Awesome description, makes pic all the more special

Posted by Abishehan Thileepan on (January 29, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

Brilliant work and do the same as australia will win all the upcoming matches and tournaments.

Posted by Bilal on (January 29, 2012, 9:28 GMT)

@ Vivek: It's because of the position of the photographer himself. Usually they take take them while they are sitting, either in a chair or on the ground. The second thing is that they (photographers) are leveled with the pitch, unlike spectators who are placed higher in the stands, making their photographic angle less horizontal. I my self take sports pictures, in my opinion this can be reason why these shots turn out to be so great.

Posted by Yasir on (January 29, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

It is such a wonderful picture, have shared it on my facebook with due credit to you...Amazing capture!

Posted by insider on (January 29, 2012, 7:18 GMT)

amazing pic !

Posted by Gordon on (January 29, 2012, 7:13 GMT)

@Vivek - maybe it's a combination of being shot from low down and the subject having his legs bent? If his legs were straight it wouldn't look anywhere near as high I reckon.

I love this shot - not just because it's well composed, sharp as a tack and the subject stands out from the blurred background, but because it captures the moment and the feeling so well.

Posted by TheNeutralFan on (January 29, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

Brilliant, mate! The emotion, the detail, all captured in the most awesome manner possible. Congratulations on your luck too!

Posted by thebonedoc on (January 29, 2012, 5:49 GMT)

Amazing, speaks volumes for his fitness & of course the alertness of the photographer!!!

Posted by vivek on (January 29, 2012, 5:05 GMT)

grt photography man...hats off to u...for such a briliant idea of dressing room.....gud presence of mind....gud luck for the future...!!1

Posted by Jenny Clarke on (January 29, 2012, 4:52 GMT)

WOW, its absolutely wonderful, makes the moment even more special,well done Hamish.

Posted by Mohan on (January 29, 2012, 4:52 GMT)

You beauty ,warner the next Sehwag. He sure change the way the test cricket played like Sehwag .

Posted by Anonymous on (January 29, 2012, 4:22 GMT)

Awesome photo! I love how the sand it visible near the ground!

Posted by Chris on (January 29, 2012, 4:17 GMT)

Great photo. @Vivek I think it's because they lift their knees up also. This guy is so athletic though.

Posted by Charles ray on (January 28, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

I buy your thought. He is the little monstor that happened to the oz cricket. All the best little david for greater deeds.

Posted by Vivek on (January 28, 2012, 17:51 GMT)

Brilliant photo. And brilliant description. One question. Why do players always look like they are jumping much higher than they actually do?

Posted by SlipCatch on (January 28, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

Brilliant photo, I love this man's passion!

Posted by Robin Smith on (January 28, 2012, 16:03 GMT)

Hey Hamish, it's great to have you back. I wondered where you had disappeared. The great thing about your blog is that it gives us a peek in to the story behind the photographs we love.

Posted by Agni on (January 28, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

You know Hamish when I saw the photo first time.. I was gaping in awe.. what a fantastic photo.. even the grass and sand grains due to Warner's leap were visible.. fantastic shot..

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Hamish Blair
Hamish Blair is a Melbourne-based Australian photographer who works for Getty Images. He covered his first Test match in 1996 and has spent a good deal of his career since following the Australian cricket team around the world. He has photographed over 100 Tests in the 13 years he has been shooting cricket.

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