David Ashdown's Sports Picture Diary: England v France

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The Independent Online

I put on my running shoes this weekend as it was back to the Six Nations for England's match against France at Twickenham.



Some of us photographers are given a free reign to run up and down the east and west sides of the pitch, the theory being to try and keep up with the play and never miss anything. Unfortunately it doesn't always work out that way! Sometimes it would be better to just sit and wait for the play to come to us.

It all depends on who England are playing. If they were up against Italy you could be quite sure Martin Johnson's team would have most of the play, but when they come up against a team as good as France, it could go either way (or considering the way England had been playing - the wrong way!).

Amazingly England scored a try in the first five minutes and that set the pattern for the whole first half, in fact they were so dominant that there was hardly any need to move at all.

I was using two Nikon D3 cameras, one with a 500 mm F4.0 lens the other a 70 mm-200mm F2.8 zoom. Moving up and down the pitch side it's easy to be caught out by the play, and find oneself looking through the wrong lens. By the time you have stopped and crouched down (we have to so the crowd can see over us) the play might have moved from one side of the pitch to the other, causing a mild panic about which camera to use.

The picture above was taken with the 70-200 mm zoom at 1/640 second at F2.8. It's more of a magazine shot than one for a newspaper as there's not much going on and too much space between the score board and the players, but it does tell the story in one image.

It's a good example of a picture being worth a thousand words - but I would say that wouldn't I!

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