Barclays Premiership Football - Manchester City FC v Manchester United FC

March 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Hello sports fans,

On Saturday afternoon, I travelled north west to the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City Football Club to photograph images of their home derby game against Manchester United for Action Plus Sports Images. This Barclays Premier League match was a 4:00pm kick off so a leisurely drive to arrive in plenty of time.

I arrived around 3 hours before the kick off and once parked I walked over the pedestrian bridge to the stadium. I arrived at the media entrance only to be told that I needed a media pass. After trying three separate locations I finally picked up my pass and bib and entered the stadium. The Photographers room is located in the corner of the pitch in a side room the size of a home bathroom. With such prominent premiership club it is probably the most cramp place I have visited at any premiership club. With around 30 photographers and all their gear there was no room and we had to pick our way around the bags to enter and exit the room. Most photographers could not get in and waited outside.

As with all stadiums, I do a complete walk around to see what unique views I can capture as well as keeping an eye out for interesting stories on the day. Once I downloaded, edited, captioned and uploaded my pre-match images, I was off to the pitch again. One peculiarity of this match was the number of photographers present - more than usual which meant we had to enter a draw to choose a photographer location on pitch side. There was already around 9 places taken for the bigger agencies and so the remaining were to select which end and location. Unusual system but I suppose its only fair with so many photographers at the game. I managed to locate myself on the dug-out side so a little closer to view any managers reactions. One disadvantage of the photographer dug-outs is that they are about 1.5 metres below the level pitch and so I had to find additional seats to raise my platform to photograph the match.

With the whistle blown to start the match I was continuously watching the action on the pitch. This match was crucial for both teams at this point in the season. First blood went to Marcus Rashford of United in the first half and he also has the notable honour of being the youngest goal scorer in the Barclays Premier league. Both teams fought well but despite this, no other goals were forthcoming. The win for United raised hopes of a Champions League place. 

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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