Its not every day a city outside of Victoria gets to host an #AFL Grand Final. Its not every day a photographer has the opportunity to capture fireworks at half time, at an AFL Grand Final in a city which will most likely never host it again (here’s hoping that’s not the truth !).

When Melbourne played Western Bulldogs at #OptusStadium on Saturday 25 September 2021, I seized the opportunity to start my photography journey in Perth. Having moved to Perth a couple of weeks prior, I was wondering what I might start to snap in my wanderings – so I figured the AFL Grand final might yield that perfect mix of timing, opportunity, lighting and activity.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Despite the mozzies trying to carry me away, I set up at a secret 😉 location on the Swan River and waited for the sun to set. I experimented with my ND filters, setting manual focus correctly whilst I had good light and as the light diminished and I put the filters away, I focused on the increasing colour emanating from the stadium and adjacent city buildings.

I chose my 85 mm G Master (not really known as a landscape lens I must admit) to give me some reach up the river and compress the heros of the image.

Half time arrived – I was excited to see little firework spikes from within the stadium, but nothing dramatic. Just as I considered there wouldn’t be fireworks, BAM…. it went nuts. It caught me a little by surprise to be honest and I had to rush to adjust my settings to get some movement in the images, given there was still a fair bit of light around.

Im very pleased with my first images of AFL OPTUS. What a welcome to Perth.

Sony A7R3, Sony 85mm f1.4 G Master @ ISO 100, f11, 3.2 exposure

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