Although it is mostly football match’s I photograph, last weekend I had the opportunity to shoot a Mayo GAA Hurling match. Mayo were playing Wicklow in the Division 2 B National Hurling League. This match took place before the Mayo v Cork NFL Div 1 Rd 5 encounter.

mayo v wicklow hurling 16th march 2014

Can you spot the Sliother (ball)!

Photo: f/4.5, 1/640 sec, ISO-400, @96 mm.

It’s seldom I get to a hurling match, let alone a Mayo hurling match which I should really support more often! Shooting a hurling match is a lot harder than a football match, much the same as watching it. The sliother (ball) travels a hell of a lot faster than a football, and is much harder to track.

For football I use center point focusing and track the ball, which in itself is difficult enough. If I’m slightly off target it will focus on the background, which is usually the spectators or the terrace. Trying to focus on the sliother is next to impossible, which took a few off focus shoots to figure out! I found it a lot easier to focus on the player or hurl.

mayo v wicklow hurling 16th march 2014

Focused on background.

Photo: f/5.3, 500 sec, ISO-800, @240 mm.

As can be seen in the photo above, trying to focus on the hurl or sliother is difficult. I was only 1 or 2 mm off (and the other goal end of the pitch) but as you can see I was focused on the advertising hoarding 40/50 meters behind the player and happened in only 1 or 2 seconds!

Click on photo below for full slide show.

Michael Maye
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