Day 10 – the tournament is really kicking in now we are in double figures of games.
Although I know totally what had been going on with the games that I have been covering, I have simply no idea on the scores or events of the other games. The worst case of this was when I was based in Japan and my colleague Tony Marshall was in South Korea for the World Cup in 2002. With the added language barrier, again I simply had no idea on the goings on in the country of South Korea and had a big shock when I caught up with the games when I got home!
Our house is really getting to be like Big Brother now!
Some housemates are complaining at their schedules, others are working hard and keeping their heads down.
It kicked off in the morning when one housemate decided against my wishes not to join me on the epic adventure to Port Elizabeth. I had no personal gripe, only that for 3 months we had accommodated everyone’s schedule to run like a well oiled machine, I had got other photographers from other countries to cover the games that AMA could not get to and after our trip here last year for the FIFA Confederations Cup, our number one rule was that photographers travel together in numbers.
After a round of banana sandwiches I and the others went to Soccer City. I planned on doing a feature that I had been meaning to do since my arrival here but I could not get my head around the maze of security fences to my planned destination, the TV Compound. I still have a few more weeks yet though to complete this little job.
Once again, photographers were placed in random positions. Much to our dismay, I was left with an awful spot near the half way line. A good position for a pre-season friendly, but not the best when photographing Drogba and Co of the Ivory Coast and of course Brazil.
The afternoon went by very quickly. We heard rumours that people eating the food here last time got food poisoning so many of us opted for Chocolate Fudge cake for afternoon tea.
As the sun set, it cold colder and colder, and the prediction of a -2c temperature seemed to be correct.
Out on the field this was my first night game at Soccer City. I wanted to see what the lights were for the big final.
For 60 minutes I battled with auto-white balance, manual white balance, pre-setting it and eventually through trial and error, one last tweak resulted in perfect colours.
Sitting on the side I had no hope of getting the goals, so concentrated on more action and feature pictures.
The darling of Brazil, Kaka got a red card. This resulted in tempers flaring up and some nice pictures normally associated with an English Premier League game and not a World Cup Group game. However, many of the Ivory Coast players play their trade in England as I guess it was no surprise after all.
Brazil came out on top 3-1. One of the Japanese clients commented on my excellent colours! I was glad that someone was happy with today.
I found a byline of mine in the Sunday Times, but it was not my picture. Again although I am pumping out sometimes hundreds of images from each game, I have quite literally no idea on what is being published. I guess I will have to wait until we get paid for them in the coming months.
The 30 minute drive home was a quiet one. No one on the roads. The South Africans are losing patience with the World Cup due to their national team not doing so well. This is good for us with no frenzied drivers on the road anyway!
I gathered my belongings, said my goodbyes and headed off alone to Port Elizabeth through the night. I left an angry message on my Facebook page which I now regret, but at least I got my frustration off my chest. Flying was a complete no no with no flights being available at 10am this morning. If I had of known 3 days before perhaps I would be sleeping and heading off to the airport. But hey ho. I like driving anyway. It’s just like home to Werder Bremen!