This week I got the amazing opportunity to cover the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Arsenal and Borussia Dortumnd for the sports agency Sportpix.
The game was held at The Emirates Stadium in N London. This the highest profile sport photography assignment I have been on. Deciding to get into London early I got to the ground at 6pm nearly 2 hrs before kick-off. The photographers workroom was packed. Must have been 50 photogs in there.
I found a place and got my laptop running. Although Arsenal have their own wifi facility it was heavily over subscribed. So as I usually do I used my smartphone to create a local hotspot. After testing the ftp link to Sportpix I took the opportunity to have quick bite to eat courtesy of the Arsenal caterers.
Finished eating I headed out into the stadium. With just the Borussia fans for company and entertainment I found my 'pitch' behind the goal at the home end. I'm not first and it looks like the prime spot is near to the corner flag if all the 'togs' stools are anything to go by.
I took the hour or so to kick-off to get a few photos of the fervent Borussia fans. Got told by an Arsenal steward to move on as I was at risk of inciting the away fans. How was I to know?
Heading back to my 'perch' it's a quick dash to the tunnel to photograph the team line-ups and Arsene Wenger the manager.
Although the ground is well floodlit the camera still needs to have a high ISO setting: 3200. One good thing though is that the light does not change. So camera set to manual and off I go.
The results are brilliant for such a high ISO. I crop the best images as I go along, and tag them. At the final whistle its a dash through the rain to the workroom. Computer on, images downloaded, IPTC data added and all the photos ftp to Sportpix. Finished with 5 mins to spare before the 10.30 deadline.
Job done its time to stash the gear and head home. Its a long walk to the Arsenal tube not enhanced by the monsoon style downpour on the way.
Great experience. Hope I can get the opportunity again.