Best of 2016 Sports Images

Best of 2016 Sports Images

2016 has been a busy year covering lots of Rugby and a first International Cricket match for me. As we move into 2017 I thought I would post some of my favourite images from last year. Often as photographers we are given a brief to follow and it is key that you get the images requested by clients. Sometimes you get the opportunity to go beyond the brief and capture images that appeal on a personal level, this selection showcases those photographs.

This image shows Alun Wyn Jones looking thoroughly dejected after the Ospreys lost to Leinster in the Guinness Pro 12 back in January. For me sport is not just about the action but also about the emotion, the highs and lows and as a photographer it is key to capture that.

Guinness PRO12 Round 12 – Ospreys v Leinster – Liberty Stadium – Swansea © CameraSport

As with the image above you can see the shock on the French Scrum Half’s face as they lost to Wales during the Women’s RBS Six Nations. France were favourites for the title but got a surprise in Neath that day. They did go on to win the Championship on the final day.

Women’s 2016 RBS Six Nations – The Knoll – Neath © CameraSport

Here George North is roaring with delight before scoring during the Wales v Italy game in the Mens RBS Six Nations, although Wales won with plenty to spare there is no doubting the pleasure in scoring for your country!

Wales v Italy – 2016 RBS Six Nations – Principality Stadium – Cardiff © CameraSport

At the end of a tight game between Saracens and Wasps in the EPCR Champions Cup Semi Final Will Fraser let out a roar of delight at the result.

Saracens v Wasps – EPCR Champions Cup Semi Final – Madejski Stadium – Reading © CameraSport

Ospreys won the bragging rights during the Judgement Day fixture against the Cardiff Blues with James King crossing the try line just in front of me. One of those rare moments when I was pretty much on my own as most other photographers has chosen to sit at the other end.

Cardiff Blues v Ospreys – Guinness PRO12 Round 21 – Principality Stadium – Cardiff © CameraSport

Sometimes it is not just the action or emotion but the sheer magnificence of a stadium that makes for a good image. A packed Principality Stadium, with the roof open and blue sky make for a pretty impressive scene.

Guinness PRO12 Round 21 – Principality Stadium – Cardiff © CameraSport

During the Aviva Premiership I spotted Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell pointing in a way that reminded me of the famous Lord Kitchener poster from World War I. I knew the image would make a strong Black and White photograph so I converted it to monochrome and edited to my taste.

Exeter Chiefs v Wasps – Aviva Premiership Semi Final –  Sandy Park – Exeter © CameraSport

I love Cricket but hadn’t had the opportunity to cover any International games until this year so my first foray was for the ODI match England vs Pakistan. Here Sarfraz Ahmed makes an impassioned appeal to the umpire but to no avail on this occasion.

5th Royal London ODI – England v Pakistan – Sophia Gardens – Cardiff © CameraSport

It’s always good to see a classy innings and Ben Stokes provided that with a magnificent 50, but it wasn’t enough as England went on to lose, although they won the series.

5th Royal London ODI – England v Pakistan – Sophia Gardens – Cardiff © CameraSport

Sometimes it’s good to capture a fleeting moment and Ospreys’ Jeff Hassler looks down the field over the ensuing scrum.

Guinness PRO12 Round 3 – Ospreys v Benetton Rugby Treviso – Liberty Stadium – Swansea © CameraSport

I was lucky enough to photograph Australia v Argentina during the 2015 RWC at Twickenham. So when the opportunity came to photograph the two teams during the Rugby Championship in a one off fixture at Twickenham I jumped at the chance. This image shows Agustin Creevy looking on in anguish as he knocked on jus shy of the try line. At that point the game was nip and tuck and proved crucial. After that moment Australia took control of the game and won with an interception try.

Rugby Championship – Argentina v Australia -Twickenham – London © CameraSport

Australia were too strong for Wales in the first Autumn International at the Principality Stadium, Bernard Foley looking delighted as he scored his sides fourth try!

Autumn International – Wales v Australia – Principality Stadium – Cardiff © CameraSport

I love International matches people make more effort and wear fancy dress costumes, before the warm up or the action starts I always go for a walk around the local area to get stadium shots and fan shots. Before the Wales v Argentina I went out as usual and as I took pictures of the stadium saw this hoard of oompa loompas heading towards me. I approached them and asked if I could take a group photo in front of the stadium. The lads were on a stag do from Cirencester with the stag dressed as Willy Wonka. This is without doubt my favourite fan shot of all time!

Autumn International – Wales v Argentina – Principality Stadium – Cardiff © CameraSport

Sometimes there is a break in the action and you take that opportunity to look around, during the Wales v South Africa game I saw this young lad with his face painted, a sheep hat and Wales flag rise up on his dads shoulders. A memorable day for the lad as Wales comfortably beat South Africa and ended a decent Autumn with three wins from four.

Autumn International – Wales v South Africa – Principality Stadium – Cardiff © CameraSport