Eagles are back

New year, new American football season. The 2019 season for the Ouse Valley Eagles started back in 2018 when in November they held four successful Rookie Sessions in Bedford and Milton Keynes. In all venues, there was a great attendance from both youth and senior groups. If you are interested to join a Bedford based American Football Team, please do not hesitate to join the Eagles by getting in touch with them. Just visit www.ovfootball.com for more information.

After the successful rookie events, Liam Cooke held his very first training as the newly announced Eagles Senior Head Coach before the 2018 winter holidays, where he talked about the 2019 goals and how to achieve them. This was the very first time for the players to meet the new coaching staff too. Liam Cooke as the Head Coach, Craig Ramsay as the new Defensive Coordinator and Andy Cox, who will be returning as the new Offensive Coordinator has been with the Eagles for several years.

After two rookie sessions, I was there too, to photograph the first and last practice sessions of 2018 and 2019, which I think was a milestone in the team’s history. To photograph the Eagles training I brought my trusted Fujifilm kit, including my X-T2 body alongside with a variety of lenses from 18mm all the way to 140mm.
But this was the first time when I used my manual lens for more than just to photograph the balls or the helmets. This is a 35mm lens from Mitakon Zhyongi, called the Speedmaster, which can be as open as possible to f/0.95. I really love this lens, not because it’s manual so it’s retro and certainly I am not a hipster, I just wanted to photograph very wide and there are no other options for Fuji in this focal length range.

As you can see it’s not always easy to get the focus right, especially when you try to capture fast moving players, but that’s the challenge and I love it.
Of course, I have used wide and telephoto lenses too during practice session where Fuji’s focus tracking function was very handy to get sharp images of the players even with my 55-140mm telephoto lens.

There are no days of shooting when I do not use my other favourite lens the 56mm f/1.2 and do some panning shots with the 18mm f/2. Even after I dropped the 56mm on Donington Park’s tarmac (snapped strap loop) last year, the lens still works perfectly. It’s the perfect lens for artistic blur, incredible image quality with very little distortion to photograph portrait and certain action shots too.

Training session are not over, the Eagles have theirs every Sunday in Bedford, but my next time will be in February, as I have other commitments too. But if you would love to play American Football, please visit the link on the top of the page and maybe see you in February.