Keeping On The Ball (shortlisted for feeble pun headline of the week)
November 22, 2011
As I may have mentioned previously, I tend not to get work directly from newspapers these days. The pictures I take are usually commissioned by corporate clients, but my roots are in newspapers, so it wasn’t without a nostalgic twinge of pleasure that I got a call to take some pictures for The Sun for a feature piece on Frome Town Football Club’s girls’ team training.
Typical of a press job it happened in terrible conditions; cold, dark, and the rain was coming down sideways. The girls train at the Frome Leisure Centre all-weather pitches, which are floodlit and I have to say that although the lighting isn’t perfect, it was better than some I’ve experienced.
In addition to the adverse weather, I feared my Canon 5D MKII wouldn’t be up to the task of sport action, and it’s true to say that since I no longer own a 1D-series body it’s not so easy to catch action with the 5D’s 3.5 frames per second, but that’s where timing and a bit of extra thought comes in.
Under the conditions, I couldn’t just “spray and pray”. I had to find the angle, see where the pools of uneven light were at their brightest, and work hard to keep focus and capture the peak of the action.
In addition, I don’t think I’ve shot football of any description in over a decade, which added an extra little frisson to the evening’s assignment. That and the fact this was for The Sun, not a local paper that would be grateful for anything recognisable as football.
I shot the standard team shots and portraits of Julie Peet, the poor, suffering coach who had to put up with the rain, the cold and the fact that these girls are… let’s just say full of spirit. It was like watching a cat-herd at work.
I’ve posted some of the results here, including the “alternative” team shot which I couldn’t resist as a more fun alternative to the standard team photo.
In the end, the job was a pleasure. These girls have incredible spirit and humour to do what they do in a sport dominated by boys. They deserve to do well, and who knows? Maybe I have pictures of some future stars!
Apologies for not posting anything last week. Work has been crazy and continues to be so. I do my best