2016 IAAF Diamond League Athletics - Alexander Stadium, Birmingham
Hello sports fans,
On Sunday I was photographing 2016 IAAF Diamond League Athletics at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham where the worlds best athletes were competing as part of their preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio-de-Janerio. Many of our British athletes were out to test themselves on home turf and local support.
I arrived nice and early for this event as there is always significant international media interest as well as it being televised on the BBC it would also be broadcast across the world. After collecting my accreditation, I set up base in the photographers room which was expecting significant traffic this day. The very efficient UK Athletics media team had everything laid on for us (as they did at the British Indoor Championships at the EIS). After reviewing the running order for the day and refining my captions, I received my photographers bib and requested some infield access to cover specific events (this usually depends on availability and sharing with other photographers). As before this worked well and the Media Team tried to accommodate when they could. The photographer briefing started about 2 hours before the action and the Photography Manager for the event gave all assembled a briefing on the day and what we can (and cannot) do. The team escorted us around the track showing access/egress points and areas we could use. On the whole we had good access except for those areas in direct line of the BBC cameras (as usual).
After the formal briefing, back to the Photographers Room to top up on food and refreshments before the action. Once topped up, I prepared all my equipment and what I would take with me for the event. The laptop stayed in the room due to me constantly moving about. I started with the Pole Vault and moved around the various events as they happened to capture the poignant moments. The bright sunshine meant we all had to be careful of dark shadows and over-blown highlights. It was a day of contrasting images. With some many athletic disciplines, it is always a great test and opportunity to seek unique imagery (when possible to access locations). Sometimes it is best to not go with the flow and seek alternatives. Some photographers literally sat in a chair facing the finish line for the entire day and unless your after one specific image, I believe this decision limits your creativity.
The one event that everyone wanted to stay for was the 3,000m in which Mo Farah was running. It was considered by many as the highlight of the day since Mo had not ran in the UK this year. In the early stages he was very composed staying in the leading pack in second place and only waited until the penultimate lap to break away and dig deep for the finish. His fellow competitors were left in his wake and he showed his quality and determination to continually push for the finish. He came over the finish line in 7:32.62 which was a new British Record last set by Brendan Foster 34years ago. Mo looked in top form and his preparations for Rio look on target. After the race he kindly posed for us photographers and out of respect for his hero Muhammad Ali he did a boxing pose whilst wrapped in a union jack flag.
After the event was over, I moved back to the Photographers Room where I downloaded my images and from my selects, I captioned and uploaded them on the news wire for editorial use. On the whole a great day to photograph amazing athletes and I wish all of them well for the future and for those going to Rio - come on Team GB.
You can view a selection of my images on the Action Plus Sports Images website.
Keywords: 2016, 5th June, Action Plus, Alexander Stadium, Athletics, British Athletics, Diamond League, Farah, IAAF, Mo, Mo Farah, UK Athletics
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