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Tag: Rugby

Springboks vs New Zealand – 20 August 2011

In the mid 90’s I had the privilege  to have met Hoffie Hofmeister, head photographer for the Rapport (Sunday newspaper in SA) at the time. What always amazes me about Hoffie was that how he always manage to be at the right place at the right moment while taking sport pictures. If one opens the Rapport  on Sunday morning all the key moments were captured by Hoffie. I always used to watch Hoffie at Rugby tests and see him floating around the field but never manage to sort out how he got it so spot on.

In 2007 i again met Hoffie at a Athletics meeting in Rustenburg and while chatting asked him how he always manage to read a rugby match so well. He explained that when he started of as staff photographer for the newspapers in the late 60’s early 70’s they used plate cameras and were issued 5 plates per match. He then used to shoot one scrum, one lineout and three action shots. Yes five images per match. There were no other way but to have picked the moments that he wanted  to capture very carefully. This experience stayed with him and that’s how he managed to got it spot so well.

These days we are using digital cameras shooting away at 10 frames per second. At a test match like the SA vs NZ on 20 August in PE there were forty accredited photographers. That mean for a 1 sec movement there is a chance that 400 images of that movement could have been photographed.

Okay what’s the point. In golf there is a saying that says ” driving is for show and putting is for dough”  Well the same here. A good sports photographer must be able to capture the action well but what makes a sports photographer stands out from the rest is what he does more than just shooting away at 10 frames a second. By that i mean seeing things from a different angle, shooting emotions off the field, before the match and after the match. Thats is where photographers like Hoffie, Walter Looss, Chris Smith, Erich Baumann, Tony Duffy  and a few others is and were just in a class of their own.

Here a few images that i took during the Test match on Saturday 20 August 2011. Fifteen years back on 10 August 1996 i did my first test in Cape Town between the Springboks and the All blacks and till today there are nothing that beats the atmosphere at such a test match. The adrenaline rush one gets during such a test is just something that will keep one going back year after year.

For more images of this match go to


Springboks vs Wallabies – 13 August 2011

I had the privelage to have covered the Sa vs Australia test in Durban on 13 August 2011 in Durban. Apart from having absolutely no internet signal to send images i had a great time and came away with some nice shots. After the match i went back to the hotel in Umchlanga and had full 3G connection to send some images away.

This week i’m going down to Port Elizabeth for the Springbok All Blacks clash. Looking forward to it and can’t wait to feel the vibe in the PE stadium. Last time i was there was during the Soccer World Cup covering the England vs Slovenia match. What a stadium and as with all the World Cup Soccer stadiums the light is so much better for photography appose to the Kingspark stadium where one still have to shoot at 4000 ASA at a speed of 1/640 sec. Some of the new stadiums one get away with 2000 ASA and 1/800 sec at F4 which is more than enough to get some decent shots.


Blitzbokke posted a something about my photography. Feel free to go and have a look.


Ruben Kruger

Image of Ruben Kruger against the 1997 British Lions.


Nikon F5

Last week i painted the reception of my studio and had to took off my Nikon F3,F4 and F5 from the cupboard where they were used as a display. It’s a pity that the only use now for a lovely machine like the F5 is as a doorstop or in SA even as weapon.

I even put some batteries in the F5 and fitted my old Nikon 85mm F1,4 manual lens to it. The sound of the shutter bring back many memories. It’s the same as you would listen to Tell Me and Satisfaction of the Rolling Stones. When listen to songs like these you all of a sudden think about school parties in garages in Ladybrand 30 years ago

I look through my old files and came upon many images that i took with the F5 and with my old 600mm F4. I used the F5 from the end of 1996 till around 2001 when the digital era started.

From 2001 till the end of 2007 when the D3 came out was a really bad period for me in photography. I knew i had to turn digital to keep up with technologie but there just wasn’t a good enough camera on the market at that stage, well not good enough comparing to film cameras and one that performs the same way as the F5 did.

I must admit the D3 is a brilliant piece of equipment that out performs any camera that i used in the past any day. It’s just that sound of the shutter. I wish they can build a D3 that sound like the F5. Only the true Nikon users will understand this.

Here a few images that i found in my archive that i took with the Nikon F5 and Nikon 600mm F4 lens.

Alex Criville during the 2000 Moto Grand Prix

Lance Klusener during a one day test between South Africa and India in 1998.

Andre Venter during a Super 10 Rugby match between the Cheetahs and the Blue Bulls at loftus Versveld in 1997

The Haka – 10 August 1996 at Newlands Cape Town

Till Later


Balance and Time

If you looking for the difference between the good international sports men and the brilliant outstanding in a different class sportsmen there are two characteristics that is always standing out and that is balance and time. If they doing something on the sports field it always look so easy and it always look like they got so much more time to make a decision.

There are quit a lot of them you can single out like, Pele, Maradonna, Jacques Kallis, Torres, Kaka, Naas Botha, Tiger Woods, Dan Carter, Matt Giteau  and many more. These guys just let it seem so simple and so easy to do what they do and have done.

The question is it talent or is it just plain hard work. My opinion is that it is just hard work and more hard work. A co cyclist told Neil Armstrong once that he got such a lot of talent and Neil answered him “And where were you last winter when i was practicing in the Alps?”

Here an image of Maritzburg’s Fadluraghman Davids that i took during the game between Amazulu FC and Maritzburg United on 29 November 2009.


More images on

Nikon 400mm F2.8

Got a mail from my photographer friend in the UK Matthew last week and it went like this;

“How are you using your lens, do you have a 400mm with a 1.4x converter ? It is very sharp if it is, I guess thats the advantage of Nikon over the Canon I use”

I answered him like this;

“At the moment i’m using the 1.7 converter on the 400mm which give you a 680mm F4.8. Then the camera can switch between full frame and a 1.5 conversion which give you a 1020mm F4.8.  So if i sit behind the pitch i’m using it on the 1020mm setting on the far side and on 680mm on the closest wickets”

Here an image of Graeme Smith on 15 November 2009 in the game between England and South Africa at Centurion.


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Fourie du Preez

For the second time Fourie du Preez received the player of the year award. Here an image of him during the Currie Cup final between the Bulls and the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on 31 October 2009. Heinrich Brussow running behind him got the young player of the year award.

Fourie BlogGerhard

More images on

Blue Bulls vs Cheetahs 31 October 2009

Congratulations to the Bulls and tough luck to the Cheetahs. Fourie du Preez was outstanding to create three tries against the run of play.

At least the Cheetahs won two of the three national titles with the 0/19 and 0/21 teams beating the Lions and the Sharks selectively in their finals at Loftus on Saturday. Well done Cheetahs were all proud of you!!!

Here an image of Victor Matfield running onto the field in his 5oth game for the Bulls.

Victor Matfield-01Blog

More images of the three games on



Cheetahs – 2009

To think the U/19, U/21 and the senior Cheetah teams in the finals in Pretoria on the 31 October 2009.  If there is a will there is a way!!

An image of myself  taking photos at the semi Final on 17 October in Durban during the semi Final between the Cheetahs and the Sharks. I’m busy taking photos of the Cheetahs celebrating their 23-21 win with my Nikon D3 and 10.5mm F2.8 fisheye lens.

Photo taking by photographer Howard Cleland.

Gerhard Steenkamp BlogImages of the game can be viewed at