Quotes from my esteemed photographer colleagues who have covered far more FIFA World Cups than I have, and colleagues here and now discussing the games ahead… “Semi Finals don’t count – it’s the Final that means most.” I agree. Very much agree. Who remembers Semi Finals?
Very true words… but I kind of feel that this encounter will most probably go down in FIFA World Cup folklore.
The story before was the absence of Neymar.
Someone was making a killing from selling Neymar masks, celebrating the Brazilian Superstar who is of course now out injured for the remainder of the tournament.
The biggest subject on the terraces – well stands – was religion.
Fans dressed up as priests.. other fans going up to them for help and guidance made some comical viewing, let alone some nice pictures. The locals seemed nervous.
If photography books were a way of making a killing, I’d consider a Football Religion one.. I think I have amassed a nice collection over the years and what I did today rounds it off well. Something else to think of when I get back home.
Finding Germany fans proved rather difficult until I spotted that they were stuck away high to the back of one of the ends in the stadium.
There were single fans littered around the stadium, which again, when I had my eyes peeled made nice images.
One fan from Germany seemed to be having a lucky day, I wonder if he knew what was in store for the main course.
And so it began, the first Semi Final of the 2014 Brazil FIFA World Cup… or whatever the correct way of saying the tournament is … FIFA 2014 Brazil World Cup..?
This was more like it! Nice fast action, no mega heat, played under sensational floodlights to ensure lovely colourful, vibrant pictures… Thankfully the remaining two games are 5PM and 4PM kick offs.
No more 1PM kick offs – no more shadows!
But who cares about action.. we all know what happened next.
Usually pictures like this are lovely to have. Today they may as well go into the trashcan. The item on the agenda was Germany mailing the hosts 1-7.
Of course my pre-final bad luck continued. The first five goals were at the other end of the pitch as I elected to do Germany attack in the second half.
Die deutsche Fussballnational mannschaft though did not let me down. Two lovely goal pictures and a great collection of celebrations – even if they were goal six and seven for Cath to edit back in the UK.
Sometimes the conventional goal picture is boring. Dare I say I quite liked this, I doubt it will ever be published but sometimes taking pictures for yourself is the way to happiness and a bonus if they are actually published.
With regards to getting images published, today was a squeeze sitting on the side. There was not much space to be had at all. There was no room to have my computer out, instead I had the LAN cable connected to the camera and everything I shot was instantly going down the cable to the AMA server for editing.
At the end the Brazilian crowd were cheering their opponents giving them respect. I hope this continues in the next two or three days. We can do without riots and any problems on the streets here. They can riot and go crazy once I am back in Rio!
And so to the end.. there was no utter dejection as the game had been a painful death. There was no shock but just the shock of contemplating what the Brazilian fans had seen before their eyes.
As soon as I knew I had 2-3 nice dejection in the bag, I ran back to my spot on the side and sent the pictures out. I still had time to make European newspapers for live pictures.
Dare I say I prefer one – nills. Editing and sorting out games which have 8 goals in them is something of a long drawn out process. Making sure each and every caption is correct for years to come when picture editors want images from this famous match.
After the editorial edit, the feature edit begins. Dark clouds above the stadium, the faces of the head coaches and other images to document the day’s game for years to come.
With the best football photographers in the world with incredibly powerful agencies behind them, it is imperative that I get something different that stands out amongst the thousands of images being catapulted around the globe.
Choosing images that appeal to a variety of editors and art designers is also a skill in itself. Some want space to put text in, some want a direct record of what happened, others want creative works.
I just take the pictures, someone else decided on what is going to be used. Knowing what they want is half the skill.
The bloke to my right in the media centre has a hard job too.
He is Brazilian and is trying to write an article explaining the host nation losing 1-7 to Germany.
I leave with my cameras needing an urgent charge. They are totally flat! We have another game in 24 hours. Next stop Sao Paulo.
One of my fan images makes an appearance on one of the newspaper galleries. I don’t have time to see and having a mass assessment with regards to what is being used. Sometimes it is best not to know.
There is nothing worse than seeing sub-standard pictures being used as newspaper accountants have gone for the cheap option of getting images at a flat rate. I don’t like to work like that.
The most important thing letting the cognitive behavioural therapy take control and keep focussed and happy on what I am doing and not get dragged down by everything else.
Today was another of those “I was there moments” – Perhaps this FIFA World Cup will finish off as it started with surprises and great moments. It started off well, went totally shit (for me anyway) – now things seem to be back on the up.
Not that I told you so, but later games in hot climates are always better 🙂