By Phil Noble
It was the author Mark Twain who wrote “Golf is a good walk spoiled” and although the persistent rain that dogged the final round play at this years Masters certainly made it tough for both players and photographers alike, the amazing photographs at the final hole of regular play and the subsequent thrilling playoff certainly ensured our “good walk” wasn’t ruined.
I was lucky enough to be asked to return to the Augusta National golf club this year for my second Masters tournament. Along with my Reuters colleagues Mike Segar, Bryan Snyder, Mark Blinch and 24 year Masters veteran Gary Hershorn, who would edit our pictures, we pitched up again at the Mecca of golf to cover a tournament unlike any other.
By Phil Noble
One of the best things about this job is the ability it gives you to photograph things you would never normally get to see in most walks of life. Whether that is pitch-side access to top sporting events, behind the scenes glimpses at royalty and presidents or getting close to wild animals, the opportunities are as varied as they are fascinating. Photographing a young Cheetah cub having a broken ankle repaired definitely falls into those categories.
Me and another news agency colleague had sat down with Chester Zoo’s marketing team a few years ago and discussed the possibility of doing different pictures at the zoo apart from the normal cute baby elephants and giraffes that regularly appear.
The last few days have been frantic to say the least as part of the traveling media circus following William and Kate across Canada.
There are no media charter flights on this particular tour which means that in order to stay apace with the couple’s Canadian airforce jet we are constantly having to decide which events to shoot whilst leaving us enough time to dash to the airport to get our scheduled flights.
As dawn broke over Westminster Abbey on Friday, myself and the other Reuters photographers were already on our way to our positions for the big day. With no donkey in sight, it already felt like we had done a days work by the time we got there.
Those of us with fixed positions on media gantries could access them from 6am which seems plenty of time for an 11 am start. But with the abbey doors opening from just after 8am and the guests starting to arrive shortly after it didn’t allow for much time for us to set up all the equipment and ensure our various editors around the world could see our pictures.
The guest list was finalized weeks ago and the invitations sent out. For the lucky ones their presence was requested, nobody refused.
There was no fancily decorated envelope from the lord chancellors office landing on our doormat, but an email from the UK chief photographer asking you to be part of the Reuters team to shoot William and Kate’s wedding is an invitation you don’t turn down.
It can’t be very often that I have the same thought as Prince William, or indeed his fiance Kate Middleton. But after today’s visit to Darwen in northern England I’m sure there was at least one point, as the rain bounced off the pavement, that we were all thinking the same thing; I hope the weather is better than this on the 29th!
It was billed as the couples last public engagement before the big day and myself and Reuters colleague Darren Staples had arrived at our separate venues early in the morning to set up and claim our positions.
DARWEN, England (Reuters) – A large crowd of well-wishers braved a downpour in Lancashire on Monday to cheer Prince William and Kate Middleton as they took part in their final official engagement before their wedding.
The trip was expected to be one of the last occasions that William, second in line to the throne, and Middleton were seen in public before April 29th when they marry at Westminster Abbey.
With a month to go before the big day the British media is revving up its engine and increasing the output of wedding related stories. The head chef and household staff at Buckingham house have been filmed preparing food and readying carriages and companies making souvenirs ranging from plates and mugs to beer and sweets have been splashed across the evening news and morning papers.
In a recent interview given by the Prince he admitted to feeling a bit nervous ahead of the big day and even suffered from a mild bout of ‘knee-knocking’ at a recent wedding rehearsal.
RAF VALLEY, Wales (Reuters) – Prince William has admitted to feeling nervous and daunted as he looks forward to his wedding to Kate Middleton in four weeks’ time.
However, William, son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, said he had managed to “outfox the media” and have a stag party away from the prying eyes of the press.
Prince William and Kate Middleton completed the final leg of their pre-wedding warm up tour of the United Kingdom by flying into Northern Ireland and carrying out a day of engagements in and around Belfast.
Earlier visits to England, Wales and Scotland by the couple meant a trip across the Irish Sea was inevitable before the big day, but the region’s troubled past and heightened security level meant the royal whistle stop tour was unveiled to the press with much less notice than the earlier visits.