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.