Football Analogue Experiment

I have managed to blag myself a temporary press pass to shoot a football game at Brighton & Hove Albion’s ground, The Amex. It has taken quite a few emails, proof of work, a friend who works for the club and £2m professional indemnity insurance to allow them to let me shoot a game. That’s not the end of the hoops as the club have had to apply for a temporary license for me as the image rights are all owned by presumably sky and the club.

I am really excited for this opportunity. I am an amateur photographer so money is not something that drives me. Its projects like this that keeps me interested.

The game I am shooting will be a Tuesday night game so I will be shooting using artificial lights. I am limited by a number of factors. Sports these days are shot entirely on digital with massive fast lenses.

The equipment I will be using will be my Olympus OM1, I have a 50mm lens on it which won’t be suitable for this so I have purchased a 135mm F3.5 zuiko lens from ebay. Ideally I would be using a F2.8 but the price rise is drastic. I will also be using a Lubitel 166 and a Zenit E.

This was taken on my Olympus OM1 using expired 200 kodal gold film. You can see the lights worked well and the position of a photographer. No problem for a digital long lens but still a hefty range for my 135mm lens.

As the distances my cameras can reach are minimal a lot of this will come down to luck, right place right time. All I can do is make sure I have done my homework and selected the right equipment to use.

I will have the Olympus mounted on a tripod , the zenit E for a hopeful goal celebration right in front of me and the lubitel for crowd reactions.

What I am struggling with is what film to use. This is really important. I do not want to match or replicate digital photos. It has to have that analogue feel to it. It needs to be a fast speed for film. Maybe I should use black and white rather than colour? I am considering using Portra 800 as this should be fast enough to cope with the artificial lighting.

I tweeted Ilford and they said “The HP5+ left at 400 will give you the most leeway with your exposure, push to 800 if floodlit”

I also tweeted my UK analogue crew. Check these guys out, they regularly produce work I can only hope to achieve one day

@IainKendall “B&W. delta 400 would have fine grain…but I love the Delta range.”

@sibokku hp5plus 400 pushed to 800/1600. When dev’d properly it should look nice but a wee bit grainy

@AdamBronkhorst something fast. If your shooting black and white, go for a fuji 1600, if your shooting colour go for as fast as you can get,

@RobOrchard   or there’s Kodak portra 800, too. I’ve still got some FujiPro 800 in the fridge that I’m saving for a rainy day.

So anyone want to recommend anything? Any tips before I go? I have not shot sports before and have read various websites. I am limited in the equipment I have, the quickness of the camera, the amount of shots I can take before reloading, my skill and knowledge and to cap all that it may be a dull game and nothing of interest happens!

There is a lot that could go wrong but likewise this could be a great experiment.

 

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3 thoughts on “Football Analogue Experiment

    • I know what you’re saying but I have decided to limit myself a bit as I don’t want the same action shots as the digital army. I will be looking for different angles. I figure by using a completely different spec of set up my photos will get the different look I’m after.

  1. I can say that Portra is really nice pushed to 800 or even 1600 if you need to, and Tri-X pushes to 1600 quite well too. 1600 should give you enough speed.

    Another idea is that since you are limited by your gear, and can’t hope to replicate the shots people take with digital cameras firing off 10 shots a second, and massive f/2.8 zooms, why not go entirely different? Take a unique perspective and do something different. Perhaps try shooting like Hans van der Meer’s “European Fields” book, or some other way. Just a thought.

    Sometimes a less than ideal gear rig can force us to think creatively, and that can yield better-than-expected results. Just an idea…I’m looking forward to your results!

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