19 Jan : UAE v Iran

Today was a day that I did not think would come 10 days ago. The pace has slowed to crawling pace and although I am really enjoying myself, it has become a bit mundane and reminds me of why I don’t want a ‘normal’ 9-5 day job.

Normally my work entails lots of travel, sometimes an epic journey before covering a game, but the now routine of hotel bed, shuttle bus to stadium, game, bus back to hotel has got to me!

I miss my epic drives or long train trips.

 

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

So be it struggling, I crept over the finishing line after completing the Group games of this Asian Cup 2011.

 

I have now photographed all competing 16 nations with the United Arab Emirates completing the full list.

After today, the matches will hopefully get even better as the losers will be going home, but once again photographing in empty stadiums lowered the standard of pictures, especially when I can’t go where I want to go.

 

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

Certainly nothing to stick in the portfolio from todays encounter -not that I have one – but today was the finishing piece in the jigsaw to complete the big picture of covering all sixteen teams.

 

Iran were in their away kit, I have them in their home kit and they were odds on to qualify so I will cover them in their home kit again pretty soon.

My only requirement and challenge today was to photograph the United Arab Emirates.

No stadium shots – I feel like I have been here 100 times now! – thus my final edit only contained about 20+ pictures but they served the purpose of completing the first task of having stock pictures of all the competing teams.

 

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

 

Iran won 0-3. It was too easy for them.

Again a great set of Iranian fans but being as though I have so many opportunities to document them, it’s a no brainer to take more effort and care about what I am doing more when in stunning low crisp light rather than under the floodlights here with the confusing colour balance that no one can conquer.

No-one hung around to send pictures, our little gang got on the Narcolepsy Express – as soon as the driver starts up the bus, we all sleep. The TV Thailand people had to be woken up as we got to the first drop off point.

Lets say the edit reflected the days work. Too easy and just routine. I’m so looking forward to my first day off this year. Even with 4 days off ill back home, the travel day here, I have done 19 football matches in 20 days this year.

Although its great to shoot UAE v Iran, todays game was not met with the enthusiasm that I would have anywhere near reached if I had travelled to Abu Dhabi or Tehran for a one-off.

When I have done World Cups in France, Germany, Japan, South Africa or European Championships in Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland to name a few and other Asian Cups or Cup of African Nations every day has encountered an adventure. Perhaps I should have got a cheaper hotel far away and spent the remaining budget rented a car.

I do like my job, but this is being like a factory worker at the moment. I did not realise that I liked the adventure as much. I hope that I get severely lost tomorrow walking the streets of Doha.

Asian Cup 2011 Group stages – DONE!

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