Treviso, Monigo Stadium – 20 February 2015
Night match for the Guinness Pro 12, an international rugby tournament, which sees the Benetton Rugby Treviso “lions” play at home against the Cardiff Blues from Wales. This is the fifth year that I’ve been following the Treviso team as official photographer; I love this sport and I’m also a fan when I go the matches! It’s essential for a sports photographer to understand a discipline that is immortalized through the lens: it’s the only way to capture the most significant athletic feats and anticipate the action so as to position yourself in the right place at the right time. I’m not particularly fond of using a stool and telephoto lens with telescopic power: I prefer to move around, follow the action, change perspective and point of view during the entire match.
I check the weather forecast before heading to the stadium: the weather appears uncertain, it could rain. Winter isn’t over yet and the humidity and the cold are sure to be felt, even by the equipment! But I’m not afraid of the weather and I know all my material will be well protected in my Roller Bag 70! I chose this type of bag because it’s quite large and can contain, and efficiently protect, all the equipment that I brought along. I usually take with me 2 camera bodies, a 300mm lens and a 70-200 for the game, a 24-70, a 10 mm and a flash for environmental shots – whether it be cheering spectators or the man of the match -, a laptop, card reader, a power supply for post production work and storage batteries!
All the shots will then be used not only by photo-journalistic agencies and various kinds of media, but especially by the club’s press office for its site, its archive and related social networks. All news reports will be accompanied by a relevant picture. My gloves, waterproof case, sports vest, tablet PC and personal effects all need to be placed in the trolley… if there’s room I also put the legendary Pixi and the go-pro in it! Externally I attach my monopod which always comes in handy. The trolley is compact, convenient to carry and allows you to bring all the material in just one bag. It fits extremely well in the car trunk and doesn’t break your back when going from the parking lot to the stadium. In the press room it can easily be placed under a table, even vertically; the compartments are well designed allowing quick access to all resources.
Finally we move onto the pitch: mud, water and rain, but they’re not a problem for the bag, which is ideally waterproofed and protected. A few seconds go by from the teams’ entrance onto the pitch to the moment of kick-off, but they’re sufficient to change cameras and put the other one in the designated compartment.
The sports photography I love is one of precision: waiting for the right moment, the impact, the try, the expression and then shooting; I don’t like taking numerous shots and then “choosing from the bunch” because it’s a superficial and counterproductive approach when the moment comes to elaborate the photos.
In fact, at the end of the first half I only have 10 minutes to select a dozen shots and send them to the press office and the photo-journalistic agencies. During these few minutes, and in precarious conditions, the trolley is also a useful support on which to place the laptop, connect the memory sticks, select the 10 best pictures, compile the descriptive Exifs requested (some of which are already preset in the software), export them in the appropriate format and forward them via ftp to those waiting to publish them. A race against time, but fortunately my ally is a convenient trolley that is not only used as a support but also organizes space perfectly… because it’s already time for the second half kick-off!
The Treviso “lions” beat the Cardiff team in a spectacular match by scoring 8 tries: this is big news and the agencies will be eagerly waiting for the photos which will be published in just a few hours. Quickly, but in an orderly manner, I place the equipment back in the bag and I head to the press room to complete my work.