Yesterday I had been invited to shoot the Champion League Finals in table tennis for a friend who usually shoot it but this time had to stand in as a tv-camera guy. All of this happened by accident actually. I contacted him and asked him about access to the floor during the game or if photographers were banned from being on the floor. He then told me that he could get me in if I helped him out, since he wouldn’t be able to shoot stills himself and I’m not hard to convince.
So even though it was very warm outside I showed up at 3.30PM as promissed and, after a bit of debarcle, was let in and told to go talk to the ref’s on the floor to get rules and information. So I headed down to the floor and was waiting for the ref’s to be done with doing all kinds of measuring of the players rackets when another person, whom I know from handball and also shooting the summer play’s in town, came down the stairs to me and liaised the information I needed to have. So for some reason he knew why I was there, though it was my first time ever at a table tennis event.
Then I stepped out on the floor and headed over to the entrance of the game ”court”, as soon as I got in there I was greeted by an older gent whom I understood used to shoot the table tennis games. Either for a newspaper or for the table tennis association. He was very friendly and chatty. Gave me some pointers and then I started to unpack. Soon I realized why the older gent had brought a chair with him, the game would take around 3 hours at least. Jeez!!
The game started and all of a sudden we were ”invaded” by freelance photographers, especially some @#!#¤ from Bildbyrån. We cuss at them during handball games because they give us photographers a bad reputation, turned out that they were just as bad during table tennis games. To them, rules and regulations are for the ”other” photographers and they can do as they bloody well pleases. Heard some harsh words from the tv-camera guy on the floor when he noticed the guy from Bildbyrån. *haha*
This was my first time shooting table tennis and I don’t know if I will ever do it again. Shooting team handball or American football is one thing, there you have a lot of action and expressions. Table tennis was like, one person on each side of the table hitting a small plastic ball. Eeeeeeeh, what to shoot? Did close-ups, did wide shots, shots in landscape and shots in portrait mode, but how many serves or returns can you shoot? Since I was there to help someone else out, I just kept shooting.
When I got home and downloaded the shots to the computer (and after removing the absolute terrible shots) I still had some 985 shots left!! Glad I’m not the one that will have to select the shots and do the work 🙂 Will be fun to see if the one I shot for will give me cred for the photo’s or if he will just put his logo on them and claim the fame.
I will still have the originals, so I can still publish the shots I like myself.
The game? It ended 3-1 to Eslöv in the first game, in three weeks they will play the second game in Pontoise just outside Paris. If that game ends with Eslöv only taking 2 games, they still win the whole shabang. And this is big!! Last year Eslöv became the first Swedish team ever to win the ETTU cup (same as Europa League in football), this year they were ranked team no 14 out of 16 in the Champions league, and when they got to the semi finals, that was the first Swedish team ever to get that far. Now they are in the finals as the first Swedish team ever!! This team, from a small town in southern part of Sweden (I bet that the Stockholm area is pissed off that it’s not a team from there) and they actually do have a good chance of winning this!