There can be a lot of travelling and not a lot of sleep when you’re covering a major tournament like EURO 2012. I'm basically bouncing between Kiev and Lviv in Ukraine, spending two days in each city. I'll cover the teams training one day and then their game the next.
Because the Ukraine is two hours ahead of the UK, the games don’t finish until 11:40pm. By the time I have packed up my kit, I eventually leave the stadium at about 1:00am. When I get back to the hotel, I pack up my other bags, have a couple of hours sleep and then catch a taxi to the airport. After the England v Sweden game in Kiev I didn't get to bed until 3:00am and was up at 5:30am to get to the airport. That’s just the way it is.
At training sessions, I’ll take along two EOS-1D Xs, one of which will have the new EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM [lens], which I often use with the EF1.4x III Extender because we can find ourselves quite far from the pitch. The EOS-1D X works really well with the extender, tracking beautifully and focusing really well. In the past I would have been wary of using extenders, because they were never quite as sharp as a 400mm [lens] on it’s own, but now I wouldn’t think twice about putting one on.
For us there are two ways of shooting training sessions: either follow the lead story, or simply take pretty pictures. Because Reuters has two photographers at each session, I will often go up into the tribune of the stadium to take wide-angle shots with my 15mm fisheye [lens], or shoot down onto the pitch with my 400mm [lens] to take advantage of the unusual angles you get from up there. More importantly, it gives you a clean background. If you can get a totally green background, the image will look a lot cleaner.
Because I am high up in the stand, I need the extender to get in close to the action. The quality of the image is so good you can crop in even further and still get a good result. We are bold about getting in there, so the fact that the image quality is so good makes it even easier to get the image we need.
Biography: Eddie Keogh
Award-winning photographer Eddie Keogh has been shooting sport for over 25 years. He shot his seventh FIFA World Cup finals in 2010 and is shooting his sixth European Championships at EURO 2012. Based in London, Eddie honed his photographic skills working for almost 20 years for two major UK newspapers, The Sun and Today. He joined Reuters in 2005 and says: “I haven’t looked back.” As well as his stunning sports imagery Eddie also works for a number of commercial clients, including Rolex and Barclays.