Another Saturday, another Exeter City home game. This week it is the visit of Bristol Rovers and a good crowd see a less good game. City didn't deserve to lose but nevertheless did just that as two mistakes made for Rovers winning for the first time this season, 2-1. Despite successive loses for the club, Exeter remain in a good position in the league and stayed fourth, a win at bottom of the table Barnet on Tuesday kept us on track.
In the past I have helped out the club photographer every now and again at home games and it's been a great experience, combining two great passions, Exeter City and photography. I've had a couple of pictures printed in the club programme, which felt good, and another two or three used on the club website. It's a fantastic privilege to sit pitchside and learn (still learning!) the art of capturing the action. It's often very fast and more than once I've had to watch the highlights afterwards to see what really happened. I've had to quickly learn to track players, a fraction out and the crowd are the only ones in focus. Some hits, lots of misses.
A good friend has been lending me a great quality f2.8, 70-200mm lens, which gets some great shots despite being dwarved by some of the monsters that the pros wield on matchday. I'm saving up! The club are very friendly and helpful - the photographer in particular is extremely good at constructive criticism - and, for me, it gives me a few hours in the week where I sit and (intensely) concentrate on something different, which is really good for me. I do love it. All voluntary and for fun and sometimes I've said, 'Sorry, can't make it, it clashes with work', and that has been fine all round.
Anyhow, on Saturday, the club photographer was sunning himself on holiday so I ended up as his substitute. It was frightening and exciting and, despite coming away thinking I'd made a mess of it, a later review of my shots was more positive. You can see what I ended up with here, Here's what I got. If you compare them with Keith's efforts at other games, you'll see how much better he is but I felt that they were okay in the end, though a flashgun failiure in the Man of the Match presentations afterwards didn't do me any favours.
It was fun and I am more than willing to step in if I'm required and I'm available but much prefer shooting as part of a team. I'll be much happier if, next time I'm needed, I am shooting in tandem with a proper photographer!