Preparation for this assignment was fairly minimal in that my location was fixed (Wembley Arena) and that equipment was limited. I chose to take my telephoto lens only. I did not feel I required any more than this. I was wary from the get go that I would not be taking my tripod (no room in the stalls) so this would mean a fast shutter speed, balance and some intuition!
The night before I followed my step by step routine of charging both batteries, cleaning my camera and lens, formatting my memory card and packing my bag.
Being situated high up in the stalls was a great advantage as my viewpoint meant I could photograph all parts of the pitch, from one end to the other with ease. There were a few goal posts that got in my way at some points, but nothing that couldn’t be edited out.
The only major downside of this experimental shoot was that I was completely fixed in one spot. This meant taking 435 pictures of the game would be somewhat repetitive and ‘same-y’. With that in mind I limited my shots while trying to capture a variety of available shots/angles/subjects. I did not see this as a set back, but more of a push to ‘think outside the box’. I’m sure most photographers are faced with a fairly closed shoot – in that they do not have many variables or control of their given situation. There was also no control whatsoever of the subject(s). I couldn’t position anything, or anyone. Again I do not view this in a negative light as it meant I simply had to push my boundaries.
Once the game had finished (we lost) it was back home to continue with the workflow.
I created a labelled folder and copied over all my images. I added it to Dropbox so I had a safe second copy. I then began sifting through my shots and flagging them using the red/orange/green system.
Once flagged, I took a closer look at the ‘orange’ and further flagged these as green or red, resulting in a smaller group of possibles.
I then take a break and return to my green/orange flagged images and start to work on the green. I did little in the way of post processing.
Here are my final pictures:
My favourite picture is the fourth one – at the time I did not realise how poignant a moment this was. One of the players brother’s had been killed the day before the match, and the team took a moment or remembrance.
Are these technically speaking the best pictures I’ve taken so far? Probably not, no. But the assignment criteria was to produce an effective workflow system, and in that sense I think I have fulfilled the brief. I gave myself a harder than usual task, and thus was faced with some restrictions. I was in a fixed positioned way back in the stalls so to capture the players I had to use maximum zoom. This has resulted in the pictures being slightly grainy when magnifying. (This is probably not the case with a very expensive telephoto lens.)
I wanted to incorporate a few shots of the atmosphere, mainly the crowd and opening ceremony, and also Madness performing live.
As for my workflow, I am happy with with the process. If I were to make any changes however, I would have sub-catagorized my shoot into: action(players/game), opening ceremony and crowd. This way it would have been slightly more organised, and easier to pick the strongest shots from each category.