Soccer is My Life, My Experience Taking Photographs of Live Soccer Match

Pride, Fight, and Glory – A Story of a Soccer Match

As a big fan of soccer (we call it “football”, but I use the term “soccer” in this lens to avoid ambiguation), I was very happy to get the chance to take photograph of live soccer match. It was a final match of International Students Tournament in Hyderabad, a clash between two countries, Iraq versus Somalia. As I had no experience taking any photo in a live sports match before, I found this opportunity was challenging because I had only two types of lenses which were not suitable for taking picture of a sports match. At that moment, I didn’t have enough money to buy a new lens, then I decided to do whatever I could do with those two lenses. In the end, the result was very satisfying. I was able to capture the drama of the football match, as you can see in this article.

The Background Story about Soccer and My Life

The reason why this sport insprires me very much
The Warm-Up Session of Iraq Team

I remember my first live soccer match I watched on TV. It was between England versus Tunisia, in a preliminary round of FIFA World Cup 1998 in France. Since that match, I spent my childhood by looking up to those famous soccer stars such as Ronaldo, Michael Owen, Gabriel Batistuta, Dennis Bergkamp, and Zinedine Zidane. I dreamt to play alongside them, scoring a lot of goals and securing glory.

Among all of those great players, my favorite was Gabriel Batistuta. He was a very strong striker from Argentina. Batistuta was very dangerous and could easily convert a chance into a goal. He had very powerful shooting power and very deadly as a striker. Batistuta was named as “Gladiator”, and feared by most defender in the world. I was literally crying when I heard his decision to retire from soccer in 2005.

After the retirement of my favorite player, I start to be able to enjoy soccer more thoroughly. Maybe it is caused by the fact that I am no longer rooting for any particular team or player. Since 2005, I enjoy football purely as a spectator, not as a supporter.

Soccer and Photography

Two things that I really enjoy in my life
A pride supporter of Somalia

I was a committee member of Foreign Student Association (FSA) Hyderabad in 2012. As I have some knowledge in photography, I decided to use my skill to contribute to this voluntary association. The association runs a lot of events for foreign students in Hyderabad, such as graduation party, workshops, and sports matches.

In November 2012, FSA held a country-wise sports tournaments. I was lucky to be in Hyderabad at that time, so I could record those amazing moments in the tournament. The photos in this article were taken during the final match of the tournament between two strong countries from two different continents, Iraq and Somalia.

Although it is called “soccer”, actually it was only a “mini-soccer”. The field was only half of the real soccer field, and there were only eight players including the goalkeeper for each team. I used two of my best lenses (standard kit and fifty millimeters lenses) to take pictures. As the zoom magnitude of this lenses are very limited, I should stay exactly on the sideline in order to take good pictures. It was very challenging, but I really had so much fun.

The match ended with 1-0 victory for Iraq. The winner’s celebration was very great. The players and the supporters danced together and sang a song in Arabic. The best moment was when the captain of the champion received the trophy. They took the trophy, passed it from one player to another, and gave it to the supporter. It was almost like a world cup winner celebration. Luckily, I was able to take some of good photos before, during, and after the match.

Tips to take photos in a soccer match

The Runner-Up Use a tripod and zoom lenses
This is the correct way of taking photos in a football match. You need to have a tripod and a good lens with great zoom magnitude. This type of lens is called as “tele-photo lenses”, and the price ranged from two hundred bucks to two grands. It would be better if you can also get a tele-photo lens with image stabilizer, as it will make your photos to be less blurry.

Set your shutter speed as quickly as possible or leave it to your camera
Fast shutter speed means that you can “freeze” the action. With fast shutter speed, you can capture a high quality image in a sport competition. If you are not sure about the adjustment of the shutter speed, just set your camera in “Sports Mode”, and it will automatically do the work for you.

Shoot in continuous burst mode
It means that when you press and hold the shutter button, the camera will constantly take photos and will stop only if you release the button. The number of frames that could be captured per second depends on the type of camera. The more expensive the camera, the higher the number of frames can be captured in one second.

Don’t forget to capture the moment outside the match
The drama of a football match is not only about the events on the field. You can also capture a great photograph of various objects outside the field. The supporters, the officials, coaches; sometimes they are even more interesting than the soccer match. Thus, remember to point your camera to the opposite direction of the field.

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