11 06 2012 Euro 2012 : France v England

Not enough hours in the day at the moment to do what I want to do!

I keep having too many things on the go, too many projects and ideas in my head. It’s not a bad thing but it takes up a lot of my time.

Yesterday on the Kharkiv to Donetsk road trip I tried making some time-lapse films like the ones I did in the USA last summer. However due to the bumpy road and it being too bright, they were not as classy as my previous efforts. Needless to say, I proudly present a film of our trip yesterday :

Today was hot. Very hot. A day to relax on a sun loungers with the iPod on and sleep and rest.

The TalkSport radio team had finished a 17 hour train trip from Poland and obviously tired and ratty arguing amongst themselves before they were allowed into the stadium. Normally it would have been funny but we all felt sorry for them and knew how they felt!

We all tried in vain to get some nice pre-match images but in a word it was rubbish.

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

The game atmosphere could not even be described as pop concert-like, where people had walked off the street and gathered as one to watch a light show and see a band play.

If there were over 400 French fans in the Arena, then I am over exaggerating. There was little more than 3,000 England fans too … all turning up 30 minutes before kick off.

The fans who were outside the stadium prior to the game were all Russian. Some had ‘Steven Gerrard Liverpool’ kits on but every shot we took was a failure.

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

I don’t know where today went. Before I knew it Roy Hodgson was in front of me. It isn’t even a year since I was with WBA and Roy in the USA on a pre-season tour. He is now manager of the England National Team. I must have spent a few good hours with Uncle Roy in the USA and in his company chatting and listening to his tales… equally Joe Hart is the goalkeeper for England who I know well as he came up through the ranks at my beloved Shrewsbury Town. Everyone comes from somewhere.. but following England at the moment is a bit close to home for some reason!

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

Defoe on the bench blowing bubble gum bubbles and the banned Rooney watching from the stands, it was a good opportunity to haul in some nice feature pictures before the main event.

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

The atmosphere was awful. England fans refusing to take part in the Mexican wave. Almost at times wanting to be ‘with’ the French fans instead of them both drowning out the Russian fans hi-jacking the game with slow chants of “Ru – ssssss – ia” every five minutes. It was France and England’s day and unlike in South Africa for example where the locals embraced the visiting teams, it was left to the bordering giant to fill the seats and chant for their home nation.

It was hot. Baking hot. I like it hot, very hot but it was almost too hot for me to work in the first half.

Lescott scored and thankfully ran straight towards me celebrating (well in fact Steven Gerrard) but after the other nights dreadful start, I had something in the bag as the action on show to capture for us snappers was simply shocking.

© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY

Some Ukrainian girls tried to liven up the spirits by waving some England flags. The Union Jack waving Russian fans I think were bemused as to what the St Georges flag actually is.

The second half came and went and England had gained a creditable 1-1 draw. Despite the bias and I’d say blind England fans berating the referee on decisions which in my mind were totally fair and correct, for the visually excited there was not much to excite in the way of capturing action and creating stunning award-winning photography.

We were just on our way when Carl got a call from his ghost writer. Blogging for Canon it is not something I am custom to when I go to Stoke City in Carl being late after a game! But I was very proud of his exploits. Us Midlands based photographers need to stick together more!

After turd polishing very average pictures into attractive ones we left with Andrew who on this trip was the UEFA Photographer. His hotel was ace! Carl was a little jealous as our knives cut steak like butter – all for a very reasonable £15. Considering we were in one of the country’s top hotels, everything was in fact very reasonable value and affordable, unlike some of the places we have encountered to far!

We need to eat healthily anyway. Eating rubbish food like the media centre offers will simply lower our levels and we will get ill.

After the fireworks and gunfire had finished following the host country’s victory over Sweden the TV channels started played re-runs of the England game. We only saw the first hour but we all thought Scott Parker was immense and that it was not a bad game to watch – just TERRIBLE for pictures!

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