Set as a challenge in late 2012, one of my ongoing photography themes – and goals – of 2013 will be Off-Season, which will take me to sporting grounds around the area to capture some of the atmosphere when the players and crowds are absent. Despite the fact that My Good Man is an avid AFL footballer, I have never been comfortable about going to watch him play – don’t like crowds, don’t like loud noises, don’t like sports. Three strikes and I’m out, rarely to be seen again at a live game.
On the other hand, there is an appeal for me in the solitude and calm of a seasonally-abandoned oval, and I expect that I will really enjoy poking about, camera in hand, in many-a local oval off-season. Hopefully I’ll dig up some interesting things for you, while keeping my sights aimed for the sweet spot at the centre of my goal posts.
I started this series off today with a visit to my local footy oval in Harrow, which – midsummer – is looking dry and patchy. As soon as I drove through the gate, I knew I had a chance at getting a good shot, and am happy with this quick snap of native wood ducks foraging on the oval. Please click on the images to view full size.
The thing I had most in mind to shoot was the score-keeper’s box, though I didn’t really know what I’d find in there. Not much, as it happened; anyway, it was a breezy, shady place to sit for a while and ponder, do a little writing…
Back at the main complex, I slipped into the Umpires room, where I was charmed by the incongruity of the vintage dressing-table mirror on the wall of the cement block room, with mismatched coat hooks along one wall.
I had never before noticed the time-keeper’s box, above the changerooms, and was keen to mount the steep stair to investigate the tiny room; it wasn’t all that interesting either, though I had fun using the XZ-1’s super macro mode on the dead fly suspended in a web.
Heading back to the oval in the evening to see how it looked with smoke from bushfires in the region passing a veil across the valley, I discovered the ducks had been joined by a family of Eastern grey kangaroos – our local footy team is the Southern Roos, so that was apt – but they bounded off at first sight of me, and the only action shot I got was of the sprinklers.