Squash was one of my first assignments when I began working for Colorsport back in January 2010. Just over six weeks in, and I was listed to do the National Championships at Manchester’s National Squash Centre. It was the first sport that I’d done for the agency that wasn’t football. A difficult sport it turned out to be too.
Firstly, was the positioning available for photographers. It was brilliant. Located directly behind the glass wall which was used as the main part of the court, it gave fantastic views of the action unfolding literally feet in front of me. What’s so terrible about that I hear you cry? Small rubber balls, flying at 100mph plus make quite a racket I can tell you! When it hits the glass wall inches from your face it certainly lets you know about it.
Secondly, the sheer speed of the play and unpredictability of players movements made it difficult to keep up and frame the action nicely before it moved on. Thankfully this is one of those things that you pick up relatively quickly and after an hour or so you can beat the players to the next spot on the court.
My plan of action was the get a clean action picture of each player during the warm up, this meant I’d have a picture of each of them on their own with as little background distraction as possible. The first couple of sets would consist of more action, but with both players in the frame. Lastly, as the match was drawing to a close I’d concentrate on interactions and facial expressions.
Somewhere amongst all that I intended to take a wander up into the stands to get shots looking back down on the court. This was something that I added during the first game, as I’d realised that players turned their backs on the court when they were contesting a referee decision.
I spent the weekend at Manchester’s Sport City athletics track, with Action Replay Photography to cover the UK Youth Athletics League Finals. Teams from throughout the UK were involved over the two days, with many future hopeful medal winning athletes participating.
Photographs may be purchased directly from Action Replay Photography
The post-Summer solstice evening, the joint second longest day of the year, was a good one. Not a cloud in the sky, a lovely warmth as the sun dipped in the sky, and cricket! Durham were todays visitors to Old Trafford, where they lost by 50 runs after an impressive display by Lancs!
Today, was purely basketball. I thought there was a goalball exhibition match on.. but was getting ahead of myself, as it is tomorrow.. so keep an eye out for that one! Four games shot today, which covers every team in the tournament, both men’s and women’s. I have a growing admiration for the talents of these athletes!
Day two of the BT Paralympic World Cup saw the start of the football competition. The first game up was Team GB v USA. The game is slightly modified to be 7 a-side, and a little shorter at 30 minutes per half. The athletes entered suffer with cerebral palsy.
Today marked the beginning of an important weeks sporting events in the paralympic calendar. To start off the BT Paralympic World Cup, was the athletics, taking place at the Sport City athletics track in Manchester. Many famous names were lined up to take part, in particular, one Oscar Pistorius (South Africa). He is of course, known for his controversial legs, which have proved a head scratcher for scientists and sporting bodies alike.
The afternoon of May 16th, provided host to a gathering of the world’s top sprinters. The coming together was for naturally, for competition, on an temporary built running track down Manchester’s Deansgate road.
A new world record (my 2nd of the year!) was set in the men’s 200m straight track event, with Tyson Gay romping home in 19.41 seconds – into a headwind. Fantastic to watch and a privilege to photograph!
Tonight, along with the guys from VideoInk I shot the local Manchester band D.I.L.E filming their video for their World Cup song, Skank for England. The word skank, I was assured, is a style of dancing.. and not what you might have though. Truth be told, I kinda already knew that from my student days. Anyway, a cracking evenings entertainment for the local folk at Hyde United. A very catchy song too, look out for it on the TV and keep an ear open on the radio!
The finished video courtesy of VideoInk
I was lucky enough to be at Elland Road (home of Leeds United FC) for this promising tie between two of the world’s best rugby league teams. What a tie it turned out to be! With Rhinos taking the early lead, Storm fought back and easily managed the win in the second half.
Tonight I was shooting the engage Super League game between Salford and Bradford. As you can see from the scoreline.. it wasn’t the most thrilling of games! A trait that has followed me for a good couple of weeks now.. let’s hope things pick up!
The last of the quarter finals today.. same set up as yesterday so straight on to the pictures!
Thursday evening saw the first of the quarter finals in this competition, and featured many famous faces from the squash circuit, and a few highly ranked individuals!
The venue, Sport City Manchester’s very own National Squash Centre was fantastic. The lighting was very good, providing more light than some football grounds… and was comfortably shooting at 1/640, f2.8 and ISO1600.
More to follow tomorrow!
A blazing, late September day saw the duel between Tameside and Formby’s hockey teams. The tie took place on the artificial pitch at Astley Sports College, Dukinfield – my old high school. That alone brought back many memories.. which I shan’t bore you with.. yet..