I'd never visited the UAE before January. I was very happy to go and cover three Pakistan v England Test matches. I didn't know much about the places I was going to visit, namely Dubai and Abu Dhabi, although I expected to see some sand and probably camels, and thought I might quaff less alcohol than normal. (In fact, weirdly, I'm in Dubai as I type this, on my way to Ahmedabad for a Test match that starts in about 48 hours.)
The first Test match was here in Dubai - when I say in Dubai I actually mean near Dubai, kind of out in the desert near lots of buildings that were 78% completed. "Why?" I hear one of you shout. Well if you're after a complex and informative explanation of the economics of the seven emirates that make up the UAE (United Arab Emirates) you've come to the wrong blog. Rupert Bumfrey might be a good place to start - I've just googled UAE economics on your behalf and his name has come up fairly high up the page. Rupert has a very good name. I tweet under the name Dudley Platypus but I am a tiny bit jealous of Rupert's name. Bumfrey is a fabulous surname, well done Rupert, not that you probably chose the name.
England struggled against Pakistan and in the second innings Kevin Pietersen was dismissed for a duck. I watched him through my lens as he started to leave the field and was quite surprised when he threw his bat up in the air and caught it a few seconds later. It produced an okay photo from my position but nothing that great. I was fortunate that I had put up a second camera near the television cameras with a 180mm lens on.
The second camera has a radio control receiver attached to it and should take a photograph every time that I take a photograph on the camera I'm using at ground level. It doesn't always work. Oh, I think I talked about remote cameras in my previous Shot Selection on Muttiah Muralitharan, didn't I?
Pietersen threw his bat really high just before he was about to walk in to a shaded area of the ground. This frame captured the bat at the top of its skyward journey and I think it helps that the bat is vertical. I was also lucky that Pietersen was walking in front of a bright blue bag that was brought on to the field by one of the drinks waiters, also known as 12th men, so that distracting piece of equipment isn't really visible.
The photo got quite a few uses in the newspapers in the UK the following day, namely in the Times, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph.
Oh, good timing, that's my flight boarding, I'd better dash. Later.
Specifications: Nikon D3, 180mm lens, ISO 200, aperture f8, shutter speed 1/800 sec