I had never been to Dundee FC to photograph before. Dens Park is literally across the street from Tannadice so I pretty much knew the score before arriving. No parking, but street parking isn’t too hard to find around the ground.
I must admit that I’m always impressed when a club has a proper welcoming party for media. Dundee excelled in that area where many other clubs fall down. I have to give the matchday programme a thumbs up as well. It was right up there with what Hearts offered earlier in the season in terms of design and quality.
The huge downside to a Friday night SPL match is the number of photographers. It turns out the photography area inside Dens Park is a couple of tables in a hallway. I imagine that works out fine for the average league match but on a televised Friday night where it is the only fixture in the country the setup isn’t ideal. I had a space at one of the tables pre-match but by the time I got in post-match another photographer had kindly moved all my stuff to the floor and taken my space. With no table spot and no room on the floor I decided just to pick up my gear and call it a night, sending the last few images from the car. It’s hard to blame the club for the space issues but perhaps they should consider limiting the photo positions to one per agency.
I’m hoping to be forgiven for not rushing into any mention of photography. Despite being at the Aberdeen end both halves I had an absolute nightmare. Six of the seven celebrations were on the opposite side of the goal to me, meaning that I missed out on the chance to get that shot where a player is running towards the camera. The one that was on my side of the goal was blocked by someone jumping up in front of me. I think at that point I knew it really wasn’t going to be my night.
On a more positive front I did achieve one of my aims which was to focus more on capturing the actual goals. Often I get drawn in to trying to capture the action as close up as possible which makes framing more challenging. I’ve noted recently that I very rarely take a shot where I frame both the goal scorer and the actual goal. I need to work to overcome my biggest problem which is putting down the 400mm and using the 70-200mm more often. My success rate ended up benig two from seven which is fairly miserable but certainly better than zero. I missed the second and fourth goals as I was busy wiring while the final goal found me caught too tight on the 400mm and also missing focus. Far from good but as always I’ll take away the experience and learn from it over the next few matches.
Check out the link below to view the full gallery from the match over at the Pro Sports Images website.