I pretty much do all of the England [international football] games, home and away. The EURO 2012 opener against France was a strange one. England normally takes a large contingent of fans to each game, but this time there were only 4,000 in a 60,000-seater stadium. That was the smallest amount of England fans I have seen for ages. It reminded me of a Division One game because you could hear individual shouts. It was surreal.
It was also hot; about 35°C pitchside, so the heat was fierce, especially as there were no sea breezes. It was hot and sticky, which thankfully didn’t cause any problems photography-wise. The old EOS-1D Mark IIIs struggled with heat haze a little bit, but EOS-1D X had no problems at all.
I have been using the new EOS-1D X since the [recent] Champions League Final in Munich. It was a test model, which I used straight out of the box, which was a brave move. I had heard great things about it, and it turned out to be phenomenal. I then got two [camera bodies] just before the Test Match at Trent Bridge and was really chuffed to be able to bring them to the EURO finals.
England ’s opening match was the second [EURO 2012] game I shot using the EOS-1D X. The first was Denmark versus Holland. The Denmark goal happened really quickly with the ball pinging about the box and eventually breaking to the lad who scored. The shutter on the 1D X is so fast; I got three frames of the strike whereas about 90% of the other guys on my side of the pitch missed it entirely. The shots were all really sharp and the colour balance was spot on. Then the guy came over to me celebrating and the camera tracked him all the way. It was brilliant.
From my position, not a lot happened at the England game but I was able to get the goal from the opposite end and got some nice action pictures. Because the 1D X tracks so well, I was able to get six or seven frames of a tackle whereas before I would only get two or three. It gives you far more choice when it comes to deciding which frame to send over.
When it’s coupled with the EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM [lens], the 1D X is outstanding. It was a great lens on the EOS-1D Mark IV, but when it’s on the new camera, it’s even better. It gives you more confidence. You’re excited… and it’s full-frame. I haven’t touched a full-frame camera since I was at college, but it is exactly what I have been waiting for. You see everything as your eye sees it, which is a big help. I can’t wait for the next game.
Biography: Carl Recine
© Carl Recine/Action Images
Carl Recine has worked for the Action Images agency for six years. He specialises in football photography but also covers a wide range of other sports for the agency. He has covered the FIFA World Cup Finals, UEFA EURO Finals, Champions League Finals, the FIFA World Club Cup Final as well as many Premier League matches and domestic cup competitions. Carl says: ”To me football is the greatest sport to photograph and I've been lucky enough to travel over the world to capture the drama, passion, skill that's all played out in 90 minutes of theatre.”