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Technical

Canon and UEFA EURO 2012TM

June 2012

The group stages of EURO 2012 have been fantastic. The football has been incredible and the people have been great. All the talk of violence ahead of the tournament couldn’t have been further from the truth. The only problem I have found is being at the wrong end of the pitch for all the action.

It happened again at the England versus Ukraine game – I got absolutely nothing. When Wayne Rooney missed a clear-cut chance in the first half, I was willing it to go in because I was sitting right in front of the England fans and I knew that, if he scored, he would run towards me celebrating. If England had gone out, that miss would have been the story.

Photographically these weren't great pictures but, at that time, it could have been the decisive moment and, using the EOS-1D X and the 70-200mm [Mark II lens], you're confident that if the decisive moment happens in front of you, you're more likely to capture it. They may not be award-winning pictures but sometimes award-winning pictures don't pay my wages: getting the goals and celebrations do. The minute Rooney scored in the second half, that miss became totally irrelevant because no editor would want a picture of a miss. They all wanted him scoring. Everything I had done up to that point went by the wayside.

I got some nice stuff of Cristiano Ronaldo during the Portugal versus Holland game. Every time he plays, I want to photograph him because he is so unpredictable and entertaining. He scored in the second half and ran over to my corner and, as per usual, ignored most of the photographers and went straight to the steady-cam guy. He knows what he’s doing. However, I got some good pictures of him with my EOS-1D X and my 400mm.

I shot the [Ronaldo] goal on my 70-200mm and followed him as he ran towards my corner, eventually sliding on his knees. As the rest of players joined in, I quickly switched back to my 400mm [lens] to get something different. When there are 15 players joining in, it can be quite difficult to pick out individuals so I went to my 400mm to get something tight… and it worked well.

What hasn’t worked is the TV and wifi in my hotel room, which have been down since the huge storm that affected the Ukraine versus France game in Donetsk. You could see it building all day and by the time the anthems were sung there was a huge crack of thunder. The referee stopped the game five minutes later because of the lightning. I was all ready to photograph goals and it turned it was more about the weather than the actual game.

I have never seen a game stopped because of lightning, especially in tournament football, so I made sure my gear was safe by wrapping it up in the lens covers, dug out my 16-35mm [zoom lens], put it on my 1D X and ran up into the stand and fired off 50 frames. I didn’t have a tripod so I could only drop it down to 1/30th of a second, but fortunately, because the 1D X is full-frame, I was able to get the pitch, the goal, the entire roof and the opening where you could see the lightning strike. The shot was used by some of the papers back home [in the UK], so I was quite happy it happened… despite getting soaked!

Biography: Carl Recine

Carl Recine

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 English 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.”






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