2014 07 04 franca x alemanha

I have been told that I have to smile more. I am trying, I really am.. but what has happened to this FIFA World Cup? AMA266325At the start of the tournament everyone was proclaiming that it was the best ever. The fans were great, action was end to end, lots of goals were being scored and even the mass travel was not as bad as we expected. I even embraced the Brazilian culture – by drinking Caiprinha – I was walking around with a smile on my face. AMA266223After watching the local news, I went to bed thinking what it would be to be crushed by a falling motorway… In Belo Horizonte a flyover collapsed on a bus and lorry during construction work for World Cup transport that has still yet to be completed. Upon arriving at the stadium at about 0730AM, we were told that we were not allowed to enter until 9AM. The tale of two photographers from Reuters having $50,000 worth of camera gear stolen after being tricked by their own driver who had a flat tyre soon got around. Temptations of freshly baked ham and cheese pasties for breakfast from a nearby store were put on hold as photographers stayed even more closer to their equipment and did not want to move in fear of losing their place in the long queue to the stadium. Thankfully a Japanese photographer took the names of everyone in line. AMA266229Without wishing to be critical, the media volunteers did everything in their power to make life as complicated for the photographers as possible once in side the stadium. First we were made to now wait in now three lines to collect a sticker to indicate what position we were in the queue only to then return to collect the actual match ticket later on! Thanks to Kaz, the Brazilian photographers failed in their mission to push-in and the gentleman agreements of Europe and Asia won the day. All this after the lady who was in-charge of making the massive print out plan of the stadium failed to turn up because of Air-Con flu leaving which caused another hullabaloo. Still locals turn up with no equipment and borrow thousands of pounds worth of the of the best that money can buy equipment for these finals. As the list of those who have had equipment stolen gets longer, should the traveling global photographer from Europe or Asia wish to borrow a certain lens for the day, it means getting into another queue to put your name down and then return later to get the lens or camera body. It makes the day go quick but the chance to get stunning reportage images outside the stadium and capture the spirit of the tournament fade away. AMA266234Today was hot. Very hot. A day for the beach to tell the truth. Today the sun did have some strength. It was also very hazy… causing more havoc for both photographers and film cameramen. AMA266257The game started and I chose to follow the French in the first half. And guess what! Germany scored up the other end – it was obvious that the 1PM kick off was taking its toll as the game was slow and again very uneventful for my camera lens. AMA266311My computer, baking in the midday sun, not having many picture to ship back to the UK for editing. Only rubbish feature pictures – not many solid “football action pictures again! AMA266302In the FIFA Confederations Cup, no group or knockout fixture took place at this crazy time. One hour after midday is crazy here in Brazil but sadly it is not crazy in Europe as the competition is laid out for the benefit of the European couch potato arriving home after work.  If played at 8pm it would have ensured a far better game in decent conditions in my opinion…  sod the Euro TV audience! PS Journalists of the world… Qatar in the midday sun is a BETTER climate than this. A 10PM kick off in Qatar would suit the 8PM European audience.. but still Qatar gets hammered and Brazil gets let off the hook for a midday kick off. AMA266300Do the television audience complain? Probably not, they have Brazil v Colombia to watch after this game which will be undoubtedly better. France v Germany is just today’s starter course during this month long feast of football. heat hazeAnd then there is the haze of the sun. A bad workman blames his tools but this light is almost unworkable sometimes. Come a random October day, an epic drive to say Dusseldorf or the City of Light that is Paris for an evening kick off, it would have resulted in my opinion a far better encounter between these two European giants and of course better pictures… but the heat haze causing more despair for the plucky traveling photographers trying not to get too depressed. Keep smiling we all keep saying! AMA266302Am I a complaining just for the sake of it? Certainly not! Especially when I hear the grumbles and moans from both fellow photographers and film cameramen. And then there are the fans. “Allez les Bleus” being drowned out by local chants for Flamengo, only for the Vasco fans to have their go. When the competing countries have a “go”, the Brazilian fans chant their national songs which results usually in the Police or at least stewards to steam in to restore order. Today was no exception. AMA266227From one of my cameraman friends ….”I have seen fighting kick off in the stands England v Costa Rica, Argentina v Swiss and Croatia v Mexico and each time because of the Brazilian fans taking the piss out of whoever they could” The Japanese, Germans and French all embraced every country and every match. If it was in England would Wolves fans chant Wolves songs at Aston Villa should Villa Park host Spain v Iran in a World Cup fixture based in England? ..only for then Villa fans to shout back and then it all kick off? Certainly not. We are lead to believe Brazil is a lovely football culture – well Brazil… PLEASE show some respect to the competing nations. When they get knocked out we know the country will be evil to us and will go on mass strike and the protests will start. AMA58210I was not even going to mention this until a German had a rant as we left pitchside at the end of the game… and he was happy as his team were in yet another FIFA World Cup semi final! …But the Brazilians annoyed those who have travelled far when people decide to get up and leave with 10 minutes to go!! Cultural difference is such a wonderful thing! Big rant over! … well not quite Probably my best action picture of the game, ruined by the Brazilian female photographer sitting next to me borrowing a big Canon lens that she could seemingly not handle and blocked my frame. Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 19.06.43The white bit being her lens hood which she refused to take off whilst she was chatting on Facebook. I don’t mind a linesman blocking me or another player but another ‘photographer’…. any decent lensman or woman would have been focussing on the moment pictured above. I was not happy. Germany won and the French were on their way back to Paris and being positive, we did not get wet, and to my knowledge there were no camera robberies reported today! AMA266385To quote another colleague to prove that it is not just me moaning, “I have not had a sausage since that last-minute Messi winner in the Iran game.” We will keep plodding on, hoping to cash in our football karma vouchers in the Maracana under the floodlights next Sunday. In the grand scheme of things, no one remembers Quarter Finals, only the final Picture sales from World Cups that don’t involve action from the final are normally the feature type images I have got today. We will keep smiling!

One response to “2014 07 04 franca x alemanha

  1. peter robinson

    Sounds so familiar….
    Locals with no gear suddenly hit the jackpot
    Morons short on shooting etiquette with long lens hoods
    Long queues and the usual queue jumpers

    Not so familiar but getting more so….
    Organised theft

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