As you can probably tell by now, I spent last Sunday at the Roses Cricket Match at Headingly watching Yorkshire attempt to bowl out Lancashire. We were actually due to go on Saturday for the first day of the match but the weather meant that there was no play so we went on Sunday instead. Lancashire won the toss and opted to bat first. We saw three wickets fall by the time we left at tea. The photo shows the last of these wickets being taken. Literally seconds after the shutter had closed the ball was in the safe hands of Jacques Rudolph. The match summary is a little more restrained than my opening description and describes the fall of the wicket thus:
The third-wicket stand had progressed to 81 when Chilton, on 42, edged Rashid and Jacques Rudolph flung out a right hand to grasp an excellent catch at slip. Lancashire 185-3. Stephen Croft joined Prince, who had reached 74 by tea when Lancashire were still handily placed on 192-3.Anyway, that is probably enough cricket, let's get back to the photo. I was using quite a fast shutter speed in an attempt to keep the ball mostly circular in the photos rather than just a red blur. The downside (given that I was using shutter priority mode rather than full manual) was that the images are darker than I would like, and certainly darker than the view appeared to the naked eye. Of course increasing the brightness is a fairly trivial post-processing operation. So I increased both the brightness and contrast (to 25/25 in PaintShop Pro) and then increased the saturation to add a little more colour (I used the hue/saturation/lightness dialog with values of 0/10/0). I then adjusted the colour balance using the auto white balance tool and a slight increase in the temperature (to 4550). The final step was to run the one step noise removal tool. Given that you never know when a wicket will fall and for each ball you only get one chance to take the shot I'm pretty happy with this photo.
One of the highlights of the day, other than the fall of three Lancastrian wickets, was the red kite that decided to drift lazily over the ground. Unfortunately given the height it was at finding it with the camera wasn't that easy, especially not at full zoom. Anyway a bit of cropping and noise reduction gives a photo that at least proves what we saw. It isn't that unusual to see red kites around Leeds given that there has been a fairly successful re-introduction programme centred on Harewood House but this is the first time I've seen one over a built up area anywhere in the country. A nice extra to a really good day.
Of course nothing is ever perfect and the weather meant that only two of the four days of the match were played resulting in a draw. That's the second Roses Match I've been to and both have been drawn due to weather. I hoping that is a coincidence and that I'm not at fault for Yorkshire failing to annihilate the opposition!
Apologies to anybody reading this who was unfortunate enough to be born on the wrong, i.e. west, side of the Pennines!