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Monday, 12 September 2011

13 hours 457km 5 lenses, 1700 images and 2 football matches

Sunday saw the A-League come to Tassie, It also saw 6300 people cram (read fit easily) into Aurora Stadium in Launceston. The Mercury was down a photographer in the north so I was sent up from Hobart to shoot the Melbourne Victory verses the Brisbane Roar for a pre-season friendly and the Premier League Grand Final with The New Town Eagles going up against South Hobart. I packed the ridiculously heavy 400mm 2.8L and a bunch of other lenses in the Toyota Aurion and headed off.

I was hoping for the same kind of attention that the media get afforded when the cricket comes to Bellerive Oval, a buffet selection of savoury and sweet lunches, free wireless and comfortable surrounds. Unfortunately the A-League in Launceston doesn't warrant such attention and I shovelled a small salad roll into my mouth before hitting the ground for the start of the proceeding.
The next 5 hours was a blur of shooting, downloading, uploading, grappling with mobile internet, shooting, downloading etc. Victory got up easily over Roar 2-0 and that’s without the goal that the umpire seemed to miss in the first half.. see below

The first goal for Victory that was disallowed, or at least the umpire missed as the ball bounced out.

Roar's Ivan Franjic is tackled by Melbourne Victory's Fabio Alves Macedo

The Premier league final was a pretty exciting afair, going into extra time with South Hobart ending up scoring 2 goals in the 30 minutes of extra time to end 3-1 up.

New Town's Adam McKeown, and South Hobart's Loic Feral, both attempt to head the ball

South Hobart's Jonathan Lo and New Town's Alex Gordon fight for control of the ball

Another problem you have with shooting a sport like football is that there are lots of players and unless it's a sport that you follow closely, you need to get numbers so that you can identify the players later. I usually track players after I know I've got a great shot until I can get their shirt number and then record in audio against that file. This technique also allows me the have the 'keepers' tagged so that hungry picture desks get their images quickly after a game. Over the two games I shot around 1700 images, so if the selections aren't already marked, editing becomes a nightmare.
Back to the little media centre to download, select, upload and battle with mobile internet before hitting the asphalt to get back to the Mercury in Hobart at 11pm. Thanks to my mate Chris in Launceston who dosed me up on coffee before I hit the road making the return voyage much easier!

Roars Mitch Nichols and Victorys Grant Brebner

When I was a little kid I use to go to the cricket with Dad. This was before the days of instant replays and big screens, after 2 hours of sitting around, I'd get bored and start looking around for other things to do. The moment I took my eyes off the game, sure enough there'd be a wicket, a six or some other pivotal moment. Shooting sport is exactly the same, and that’s why it's especially tiring, you are concentrating on the action while trying to predict the next move constantly for the entire game. Added to that you'll always miss some moments where an umpire or player gets in the way of an otherwise great shot, so you just can't afford to miss any other moment.

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