The Times asked me to get up close and personal with the England scrum.
A little email to and fro between Alan Miller, the sports picture editor and the RFU eventually led to my arrival at Pennyhill Park.
Nikon provided me with 7 x D810 Bodies and 7 x 14-24mm lenses.
Direct photographic provided the Pocket wizard transmitters.
I provided the blind faith that I could produce an image!
We were due to shoot at 10.30 in the morning, but due to a change in the training schedule we didn’t shoot until 4.30 in the afternoon.
This actually worked in our favour as we were able to iron out a few niggles with the equipment.
At first I tried to light the scrum underneath with Profoto B1’s, but we were unable to synchronize all the cameras. And fire the strobes.
They were all firing, but not in unison a couple of the cameras were slightly delayed.
I adjusted every setting that could’ve affected this but to no avail.
So I decided to use the built in flashes on the Nikon D810’s.
I also compensated the exposures to reduce the amount of flash and used more of the ambient light.
I didn’t quite know how the photographs would work as a set.
So I set out to “capture” as much as possible and then work out afterwards how I would produce a single image.
I laid my favourite images in a grid. My reason for this was to illustrate the anatomy of the entire scrum. Something that I don’t think has been seen this way before. I love all the expressions.
I then decided to use three separate images from the front of the scrum to build a composite photograph.
In a perfect world I would’ve either built a stage with a glass floor and then shot from underneath, but it would’ve meant attempting to transport the England team to a studio, which was not going to work with their busy training schedule.
The alternative would’ve been to dig a large crater in the pitch with the cameras underneath a glass floor, but I didn’t have the heart to ask the groundsman if I could dig a huge ditch.