Barclays Premiership Football - Aston Villa FC vs Leicester City FC

January 18, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Hello sports fans,

On Saturday evening, I travelled south to Villa Park Stadium, home of Aston Villa Football Club to photograph images of their home game against Crystal Palace for Action Plus Sports Images. This match was a 5:30pm kick off which meant a late return home.

I arrived around 3 hours before the kick off and managed to park reasonably close to the stadium and free of the limitations of its closure soon after the match finishes. Usually, the venue provides free parking for members of the media but sometimes there just isn't enough to go around. After showing my accreditation and collecting my pass and bib, I was off to the mascot lounge which has a section set aside for photographers. The usual photographer area frequented by many is very small and comprises of approximately 10 wooden bays fixed to the wall and no chairs - so standing throughout. After reviewing the match programme and updating my image documents for the match, I was off to capture the supporters and team arrivals.

Once I downloaded, edited, captioned and uploaded my pre-match images, I was off to the pitch. In the past I would stay close to the visitors area especially due to the poor form of Villa and the likelihood that the opposition would score. However, for this match I decided to move to the other side of the pitch near the eighteen yard box and better views of the managers during play. Villa's pitch has a number of photographer locations but from the opposite side it is not possible to capture a full view of the managers as the grass pitch cuts them off at the knees? Moving to a more secure area enabled me to leave my camera gear under the watchful supervision of the Stewards whilst I captured warm-up images and managers arrivals.  The forecast was threatening heavy rain so I got out all my wet weather equipment covers. Better to be prepared as once the action starts, it is impossible to do with all the action going on. A few more warm up images of Villa and Leicester players and ready for the match to start. Before the match I had already uploaded general images.

With the whistle blown to start the match I was continuously watching the action on the pitch. On paper, Villa have not won the last 19 matches bar the last one and are at the bottom of the Premiership with only another 16 games remaining. After their 1-0 win earlier in the week against Crystal Palace they had gained confidence and Villa looked strong. However, Leicester drew first blood with a goal from Shinji Okazaki in the 28th minute. In the second half the fight continued and Villa were rewarded by a Gestede goal in the 74th minute.  

After downloading and captioning my images they were uploaded to the server. Shooting football for the wire services requires some multi-tasking skills as you are always trying to do a numbers of jobs simultaneously and also be very efficient in your workflow. We must constantly and simultaneously watch the action, capture images, download images, caption images, edit images and upload images to the news wire. It takes time to master the skill and it is high pressure work which I love since you are working full on from the whistle to an hour after the match ends.

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.


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