2016-17 Emirates FA Cup 4th Round Replay - Leicester City FC v Derby County FC

February 10, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Hello sports fans,

I was at the King Power Stadium to shoot the 4th round replay of The Emirates FA Cup between Leicester City FC and Derby County FC. Derby County are in the Sky Bet Championship, whilst Leicester City play in the Barclays Premiership League as well as being the 2015-16 Premiership Champions. A division apart, but a local derby that Derby was looking forward too. The chance to play against the current Premiership Champions. The previous match ended in a 2-2 draw at Pride Park Stadium. Derby almost pulled off a coup except for a late equaliser by Wes Morgan of Leicester City. 

Derby County having been playing well of late in the Championship and challenging every minute on the pitch. Leicester City on the other hand have not showed the form of last year when everything came together to win the Premiership. This match was heading for a tight result and if Derby played their best football and Leicester struggled, it would be a night to remember.

As with all my matches, I arrived very early to enable me to capture a variety of general views around the stadium before the players came out to warm up on the pitch. With the match starting at 7:45pm, I decided to capture some long exposure images outside the stadium to show off the bright lights. Leicester City have tight restrictions where accredited photographers can go before, during and post-match. As with all matches you must keep your eyes open for stories that surround the match and as this is a FA Cup match, many supporters had taken the time to make tin foil FA Cup's which provided some interesting supporter images. After uploading the general views and supporters images, I was out to set up on pitch side. With this match, Leicester City were still favourites to win albeit, a tight call. I decided to follow Leicester and move between halves which proved advantageous as the action followed them. 

The match started off well and it looked like it would be a cracking match. Leicester's Captain Andy King opened the scoring with a header in the 46th minute and then Derby's Abdoul Camara equalised from a deflected free kick in the 61st minute. Both sides continued to fight on but at the end of full time it was still 1-1 which meant extra time (15 minutes each way). With Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester coming on after just 4 minutes, he scored to takes the Foxes ahead. Again later a run by Gray managed to push his way past two defenders and strike the ball in to the far top right corner of the goal. The match ended 3-1 and in the end Leicester deserved the win. Derby fought as hard as they could, but if only they had more players to bring on as substitutes to take up the fight. Derby should be very proud of their efforts as they took the Premier Champions to a replay and again to extra time. Derby's profile has been raised and Leicester managed to hold off a tough team and regain some respect after a poor run in the Premier League. Leicester City go on to face Millwall in the 5th round.

As a contributor to Getty Images, it is important to ensure that only the very best images are forwarded and so I must be conscious of quality and timely image uploads. At the end of the evening, I uploaded almost 90 images from the game which meets our minimums for Getty and other worldwide picture agencies. 

As always, it was a pleasure to see the players perform from a close viewpoint and the match provided a selection of images which can be seen on the Action Plus Sports Images website.

Regards

Xcite Images

 

2016-17 Premiership Football - Leicester City FC v Manchester United FC

February 08, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Hello sports fans,

The weekend was action packed with Premiership football on Saturday when I was shooting Premiership football for Action Plus Sports Images for an afternoon match between Leicester City FC and Manchester United FC at The Kingpower Stadium.

As with all matches I arrived early at The Kingpower Stadium to prepare for the days action. Once parked, I 'hiked' to the stadium and the photographers entrance. The security teams were there to sign me in and search my bags. Once through security, I made my way to the photographers room which was very small but adequate where I set out a space for my laptop and collected my photographers bid and accreditation. My next task was to walk out to the pitch and identify where I shall sit through the match and see if there are any spare network connections. At this match, I decided to sit in front of the Manchester United fans as I expected some players coming my way during the match and an Ethernet port was available. 

One issue that all photographers have on pitch side is our ability to transmit images live before, during and after the match. Without a hard wired Ethernet connection, we are all using our wifi to connect to a mobile network service and with everyone now having mobile access to the same providers, then it undoubtedly gets busy as the bandwidth just cannot cater for almost 20+ thousand people wanting to check their e-mails, social media etc at the same time we want to transmit our images out. All Premier league clubs must provide hard wired ethernet connections on pitch side for photographers but this does not necessarily happen and we are at the mercy of network bandwidth. Even with a dedicated network dongle we cannot be sure of fast transmissions. There have been many a time when it has taken a simple JPEG image of 100kb size over 5 minutes to be transmitted. The best option is to transmit a a few images often instead of many at one time.

As always, I capture a few general views before the match starts so I can focus on the players. It is always good to seek imagery that appears different and interesting especially when shooting for stock use as well as editorial use. Once I had captured all my general views, it was time to return to the photographers room and download, caption, edit and upload. As with other premiership clubs, they kindly put on some food and drink to stoke the fire before the match. About an hour before the match, the players come out for the warm-up and it enables us to capture some player portraits with the ball.

The match highlighted the lack of form that Leicester showed last season when they won the Premier League title. Manchester United kept the pressure on throughout and were rewarded with three goals. This was another losing match for Leicester and their last premiership win was on 31st December against West Ham. There has been whispers that supporters are seeking to replace the Claudio Ranieri due to poor results but the latest news is that the Leicester City management have full confidence in him. After a successful last season, I do not want to see them relegated this season.  

At full time, I went through all my images to review any specific images that can be used for stock and sent them over the wire. As always, it was a pleasure to see the players perform from a close viewpoint and the match provided a selection of images which can be seen on the Action Plus Sports Images website.

Regards

Xcite Images


NEWS: Worldwide Image Use - SIGG Drinks Bottles, Switzerland

February 04, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Hello sports fans,

Recently I was informed by my picture agency, Action Plus Sports Images, that one of my images taken at the 2015 Slalom World Championships held at Lee Valley White Water Centre, London, is to be used by SIGG drinking bottles in their promotions.

SIGG drinking bottles started over 100 years ago in 1908 in the city of Bie/Biennel, Switzerland and are made of reusable aluminium. Their original and elegant design was recognised with a permanent collection at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1997. Many of the world's film stars and super models confirm their status as a 'must-have' life accessory. 

As part of their continued involvement in water sports, they sponsor Jan Benzein and Franz Anton of Germany in the Men's Canoe Double (C2) which is where our paths came together. Jan and Franz competed in the 2015 World Canoe Slalom Championships where I was shooting on behalf of Action Plus Sports Images. I was fortunate enough to capture Jan and Franz crossing the finishing line in final of the C2 Men and winning the World Championship. The joy on their faces after they realised they had won is what all sports photographers seek, the emotion of being the best in the world.

19.09.2015. Lea Valley, London, England. ICF Canoe Slalom World Championship. Day 4. C2 Men, Franz Anton (GER) and Jan Benzien (GER) cross over the finish line in the C2 Men and show their excitement in coming in first place and ultimately winning the Gold Medal.

I believe SIGG saw something in this image that related well with what they wanted to portray as a world leading international drinks bottle manufacturer and distributor. Through negotiation with my picture agency, they were able to secure a license to use my image worldwide. The image will be used on their sales tags attached to their bottles and social media, so next time your looking for a drinking bottle and come across SIGG, take a moment to view the literature that comes with the bottle. More information about SIGG drinks bottles can be seen on their website.

Regards

Xcite Images

 


NEWS: 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics - Photographer Accreditation Approved - Blog 1

February 01, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Hello sports fans,

Great News received today! My photographer accreditation application has been approved by the British Olympic Association as one of only 30 U.K. accreditated press photographers attending the 2018 IOC Winter Olympic Games to be held in PyeongChang, South Korea between the 8th February to 25th February 2018. Many thanks for all the hard work of my colleagues at Action Plus Sports Images.

This blog will be the first of a series over the coming year highlighting my preparations before the Games, my attendance at the Games and my review after the Games.

The IOC PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games slogan is 'Passion Connected'. Passion - The Olympic spirit and the warm hearts of the Korean people; Connected - New beginning of PyeongChang and harmony with the world.

This will be the 23rd Winter Olympic Games and will potentially attract 2,800 athletes from 71 Countries that will compete in 15 sporting disciplines for 102 gold medals across 12 venues. The sporting disciplines are categorised as:

  • 7 snow sports competing for 61 Gold's
  • 5 ice sports competing for 32 Gold's
  • 3 sliding sports competing for 9 Gold's

The sport disciplines will be held at the following venues:

PyeongChang

  • Alpensia Cross Country Centre
    • Cross Country, Nordic Combined
  • Alpensia Biathlon Centre
    • Biathlon
  • Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre
    • Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined
  • Alpensia Sliding Centre
    • Luge, Bobsleigh, Skeleton
  • Bokwang Snow Park
    • Snowboard, Freestyle Skiing
  • Yongpyong Alpine Centre
    • Alpine Slalom, Alpine Giant Slalom

Gangneung

  • Gangneung Curling Centre
    • Curling
  • Gangneung Hockey Centre
    • Ice Hockey 1
  • Gangneung Ice Arena
    • ​​​​​​​Figure Skating, Short Track Speed Skating
  • Gangneung Oval
    • ​​​​​​​Speed Skating
  • Kwandong Hockey Centre
    • ​​​​​​​Ice Hockey 2

Jeongseon

  • Jeongseon Alpine Centre
    • ​​​​​​​Alpine Downhill, Alpine Super G, Alpine Combined

The event will provide some great action shots and these will be uploaded to the Action Plus Sports Images each day of the Games, so please take a look at them. More information about the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games can be found on their website.

Regards

Xcite Images


2016-17 Emirates FA Cup 4th Round - Derby County FC v Leicester City FC

January 30, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Hello sports fans,

On a cold and very wet Friday evening, I was at Pride Park to shoot the 4th round of The Emirates FA Cup between Derby County FC and Leicester City FC. Derby County are in the Sky Bet Championship, whilst Leicester City play in the Barclays Premiership League as well as being the 2015-16 Premiership Champions. A division apart, but a local derby that Derby was looking forward too. The chance to play against the current Premiership Champions.

Derby County having been playing well of late in the Championship and challenging every minute on the pitch. Leicester City on the other hand have not showed the form of last year when everything came together to win the Premiership. This match was heading for a tight result and if Derby played their best football and Leicester struggled, it would be a night to remember.

As with all my matches, I arrived very early to enable me to capture a variety of general views around the stadium before the players came out to warm up on the pitch. Pride Park Stadium (previously called iPro Stadium until the sponsorship agreement ended late last year) has been upgraded for the current season and now boasts high quality pitch LED lighting which to us photographers on pitch side means we don't struggle with noisy images. In addition, the facilities management has included a barrier section for media around the pitch which stops supporters walking past us during the pre-match preparations. It can be tight getting past other photographers but at least its not the general public. One new restriction imposed on us photographers is the inability to sit in front of the away supporters. This does hinder us in our ability to capture any imagery of the away supporters and especially if the away team runs to their supporters after a goal is scored. That being said, the Derby County media team is always helpful and accommodating and I do enjoy shooting there.

The match started off well for Leicester City with Derby's Darren Bent scoring an own goal in the the opening minutes. Derby powered on and were in my opinion matching Leicester and Darren made up for his own goal by scoring from a header later in the first half. Derby continued to power on through and were rewarded by a second taking them 2-1 up and this held for the majority of the match. Only later in the second half did you see Leicester show their strength to drive onwards and in the dying minutes Wes Morgan scored the equaliser to end the cup tie at 2-2. Derby could have come away with a shock result beating the Premiership Champions but end up with a replay in a couple of weeks. Derby can hold their heads up high knowing that they fought well on the field and can go to the replay with confidence. 

As a contributor to Getty Images, it is important to ensure that only the very best images are forwarded and so I must be conscious of quality and timely image uploads. At the end of the evening, I uploaded over 70 images from the game which meets our minimums for Getty and other worldwide picture agencies. Looking forward to the replay!

As always, it was a pleasure to see the players perform from a close viewpoint and the match provided a selection of images which can be seen on the Action Plus Sports Images website.

Regards

Xcite Images

 
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