Barclays Premiership Football - Stoke City FC v Southampton FC

March 16, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Hello sports fans,

On Saturday afternoon, I travelled west to the Britannia Stadium, home of Stoke City Football Club to photograph images of their home game against Southampton for Action Plus Sports Images. This match was a 3:00pm kick off which means better light before the final whistle now the lighter nights are slowly arriving.

I arrived around 3 hours before the kick off and collected my parking pass before driving over to the media car park. It was looking to be a bright day which makes a difference to the bad weather over the past few games. After showing my accreditation at the media entrance and having all my gear and myself searched due to the enhanced security measures at all the Premiership Clubs. I was shown to the photographers room where I collected my pass, photographers bib and a match programme. The photographers room is small in size and not really big enough for all the photographers to work. I set up my laptop walked on to pitch side to connect my ethernet cable in one of the pitch side sockets. They do provide cables that can be used for ethernet so I decided to utilise their cables instead of my own.

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 that show of the day. One especially caught my eye, a Stoke City supporter was walking to the match with their dog and it was dressed in Stoke City jumper to keep him warm - rather apt with Crufts 2016 happening this weekend. There was also one very familiar and 'famous' Stoke City supporter that comes to the games with his 'Hairy Potter' #1 team shirt and a red/white painted beard. He recognised me straight away and kindly let me take a few shots of him.

Once I downloaded, edited, captioned and uploaded my pre-match images, I was off to the pitch again. 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. I setup my laptop in a waterproof tent that I use to prevent sun glare on the screen and protect the very expensive laptop from the natural elements. By this time I was now taking warm up shots of the players from both sides and any other supporters in the ground that have 'something interesting' about them. 

Thankfully the Britannia Stadium has a wide walkway from the tunnel to the dug outs which gave plenty of chances to capture the managers walking towards the dugouts and capturing the meet and greet between the managers. With the whistle blown to start the match I was continuously watching the action on the pitch.

This match was crucial for both teams and I decided to plant myself at the Stoke City end watching the Southampton attack in the first half. It did not take long for Southampton with Pelle scoring off a corner to take the lead in the 11th minute and a second goal just before half time. It was not until after half time that Stoke City's Arnautovic scored a goal but they did not capitalise and go on to equalise.

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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