Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Photographers' Blog:

Covering the U.S. Open (and Tiger)

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By Jeff Haynes

The U.S. Open is always one of the toughest events of the year to work. As photographers working a golf tournament we have to deal with more challenges during a week of golf than we might during the whole rest of the year. Weather, Tiger, blisters, Tiger, hills, Tiger, tight leader boards, Tiger, long days, Tiger, a sore body, Tiger, fog, Tiger, marshalls, Tiger and 155 other golfers not named Tiger.


REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Working with three outstanding Reuters’ photographers - Robert Galbraith, covering what he figures is around his 80th Major Golf Tournament dating back to the 1982 U.S. Open where Watson and Nicklaus battled at Pebble Beach, Matt Sullivan and Danny Moloshok - made this a very enjoyable week. Each day these guys came up with amazing photographs telling the story of the day.


REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

During the week leading up to the actual tournament our days start with 4:55 am wake-up calls, bus rides to the course and greeting Tiger Woods. Tiger is always the first golfer off in the morning on either the 1st or 9th tee before 7 am as we take pictures of his practice round and then try to find interesting and meaningful pictures of other golfers in the news. Casey Martin made news early on in the week, with him qualifying for a U.S. Open and being able to use a golf cart to help him around the course, because of a rare blood disorder he has had since birth. He sued and won a law suit more the 8 years ago granting him the right to use a golf cart during his round. Defending champion Rory McIlroy came in with high hopes of defending his title along with the number 1 ranked player in the world, Luke Donald. These three players would need to be photographed along the way, along with many other well deserving golfers, and the beautiful course itself.


REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

The toughest day in golf for everyone working the tournament is Thursday of the U.S. Open. It is one brutal day of work from start to finish. From the first tee time of 7am to following the last golfers off the course at 7 pm. If you can survive Thursday at a major you can probably survive just about anything. Not only the photographers have to deal with the obstacles it takes to make an outstanding picture but there are those behind us too. We photographers relied on the picture editing skills of Joe Skipper and Mike Fiala to look through thousands of images a day to choose the top 300 or so. These were then all processed by Beck Diefenbach and posted to the Reuters newswire as fast as possible to meet all of our clients’ needs.

from Photographers' Blog:

It’s been a hard day’s night… and I’ve been working like a ‘tog

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By Darren Staples

You off again?" people say. "Ukraine? The Euros? You've got the best job in the world haven't you?"

So here I am, the man with 'the best job in the world', about to have a needle stuck in my backside by one half of the Mario brothers.

from Photographers' Blog:

Shooting practice

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By Petr Josek

Yeah, yeah, yeah 4-1 loss for the Czechs against Russia in Wroclaw. The Russian fans left the city for Warsaw after that and ended up fighting Polish supporters. Wroclaw is calm and quiet. Here the fans like each other and the city center is calm and full of friendly faces. The spotlight moves on, but there is still work to be done.


After the next round the Czechs became a decisive opponent for Poland in advancing from Group A. Its a championship and the teams need to keep sharp, away from the headlines, and for photographers there are images to be made that tell the story. Eyes on the prize.

from Photographers' Blog:

A different approach to Euro 2012

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By Kai Pfaffenbach


Being a Reuters photographer means you travel a lot. War zones, disasters or political visits are on your list. By far the most exiting events - for me - are still the big sports events. 2012 offers a nice variety and the Euro 2012 soccer tournament will be an excellent warm up for the Olympic games to follow shortly in London.

Although I've followed the German team in previous tournaments this time it's a different approach for me to cover the tournament. With my colleagues Pascal Lauener from Switzerland, Austria's chief photographer Leo Foeger and our technician Gilles de Queiros from France I'm covering the games in Warsaw and Gdansk. With the complicated history of Poland's and Germany's relationship in mind I started this trip with different expectations and was wondering if our Polish hosts had any prejudices against Germans. Let's not forget the first shots of World War II were fired at Gdansk (then Danzig) in September, 1939.

from Photographers' Blog:

Finding Funtik

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By Will Webster

Who could have foreseen what the late Paul the Octopus started when he began picking the winning teams at the 2010 World Cup? Presumably he could have, he was clairvoyant. But he may have struggled to predict the psychic circus that has appeared in the last week before the opening of the EURO2012 championship:  Fred the ferret, an elephant called Chitta and Kiev’s very own Funtik the pig.

Animals predicting the outcomes of sporting events are all part of various big competitions now, Sonny Wool the sheep had a good run during the rugby world cup in 2011, so it’s easy to take it all with a pinch of salt (we’ll talk about local eating habits later.) However, using animals to predict the future goes back to biblical times, doves landing on the arc gave Noah a hint of better times.
Sitting in Moscow, my first view of Funtik was Gleb’s picture of a rabid and vaguely scary looking beast. Fred the Ferret from Kharkiv has a much more furry and cheeky appeal, so why did Kiev go for a pig? 

from Photographers' Blog:

The Cuban gazelle

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By Desmond Boylan

A mixture of gazelle and human is the impression Dayron gave me when he took off from where I was standing on the training grounds and jumped the first hurdle. He became tiny in the lens very fast, and when he was running towards me there wasn't much time to shoot until he filled the frame.

Dayron Robles is the main sporting figure of the moment in Cuba. In his specialty event of the men's 110m hurdles, he won gold at the Beijing Olympics and is the current world record-holder.

from Photographers' Blog:

Dream of gold

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By Swoan Parker

Gold in Haiti should no longer be just a dream. Even before prospective mining begins in the country's northern hills, the realization of it all could be little more than one month away. Without investing millions and weighing only 52 kg (114 pounds), 21-year-old Linouse Desravines, the country’s only judoka to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics, is all it might take for Haiti to acquire gold.

Being a fan of the martial arts with secret fantasies of being a Ninja when I was a young child, I wanted to meet the country’s only athlete who is also female and would represent them in judo.  I made a few calls and was put in touch with coaches Ulrick Louis-Charles and Andres Ramos Franco, both former Olympians at the 1992 Barcelona Games. Louis-Charles returned to the Games more recently as coach in Beijing.

from Photographers' Blog:

Russia’s hooligans

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By Maxim Shemetov

Photographing a soccer match for the first time, I realized that shooting the fans can be more interesting than covering the game itself.

We all keep up with the destinies of football clubs and the careers of soccer players. There are many parts to soccer life, however, that rarely appear on TV and on the front pages of newspapers. It's the life of people absorbed by the game - those inspiring exciting games, TV translations, as well as the construction of new stadiums.

from Photographers' Blog:

At home with Hercules

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By Peter Andrews

When asked which Polish athlete has a chance at the London Olympics I immediately thought of the shot put champion Tomasz Majewski.

For those who have never seen Tomasz in real life, it can be a bit intimidating. I have always considered myself tall at 192cm (6 feet, 3 inches), but when I first met Tomasz I suddenly felt very small. With a height of 2.4 meters (7 feet 10 inches) and weighing 140 kg (308 pounds), Tomasz is overpowering. He reminded me of Hercules with his long dark hair up in a pony tail. He also has a nice warm smile he puts on easily, so being around him is relaxed and easy right from the first handshake.

from Photographers' Blog:

Saving the Canon 400mm f2.8

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By Murad Sezer

All photographers make plans to deal with possible clashes. They are ready to protect themselves and their equipment when covering a potential riot (or a May Day demonstration as I did a few days earlier). But you don’t expect to be doing that before a soccer match, or any other sports events.

While covering the May Day protests I don't carry a camera bag or a laptop. I head out with my two camera bodies, spare memory cards, a gas mask and a wireless lan transmitter attached to the camera body to file my pictures - that’s all.. It's more comfortable and easy to cover if any riots break out. But to cover a soccer match is a different story. If it's a cup final or a decisive match like last Saturday's Fenerbahce - Galatasaray Turkish Super League Super Final, we bring along much more equipment. I pack a hardcase with a laptop, 3 camera bodies, four lenses including a 400 mm f2.8 super telephoto, remote control devices to set up a camera behind the goal, network cables, a mini tripod etc. And usually we don't even think about the safety of ourselves or our equipment. Normally during half time or at the end of the game we set our cameras down and rush to file pictures from the field or in the photographers’ working room.

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