Barclays Premiership Football - Manchester City FC v Stoke City FC

April 25, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Hello sports fans,

The past weekend was full of football with a double header of Premiership Football. On Saturday afternoon, I travelled north west to the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City Football Club to photograph images of their game against Stoke City FC for Action Plus Sports Images. This Barclays Premier League match was a 12:45pm kick off so a leisurely morning drive up the M6 to Manchester.

I arrived around 3.5  hours before the kick off and once parked I walked over the pedestrian bridge to the stadium. I arrived at the media entrance just as the doors opened. After the usual security checks I collected my accreditation and bib and made my way down to the Photographers room. With such prominent premiership club it is probably the most cramp place I have visited at any premiership club although I have to say there is always a warm welcome from the elderly lady preparing the food and drinks (she knows who she is: 'R'). 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. 

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. Manchester City showed their form by scoring two goals in the first half with a 35th minute goal from a Fernando header and later a Sergio Aguero penalty in the 42nd minute. After the break, Stoke City fought back but the home team were too strong and in the 63rd minute Iheanacho made it 3-0 with a shot to the bottom left corner of the goal and in the 73rd minute he added another to make it a 4-0. Manchester City moved above Arsenal ahead of their match the following day.

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.

Regards

Xcite Images


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