The most striking images of European sports come together in our Top 10.
Chosen by a panel of photographers and editors, here are the top 10 for July, along with the inside stories from the expert photographers that shot them.
The usual photographer chaos ensued after the World Cup trophy presentation. The team went over the advertising boards to show the trophy to their fans only to be crowded out by the fighting mass of 250 photographers. The usual outcome from this is that one or two guys get a lucky frame and the rest get broken cameras and terrible pictures! The team went back on to the pitch where photographers aren't allowed.
After the traditional German saluting of their fans the photographers screamed to ask Mario Gotze to pose with the trophy. Working for FIFA, we had access to be on the pitch, so instead of getting up close I sat low on the grass to try and use the distinctive colorful lights in the roof of the Maracana. From the moment Germany won, I had noticed Gotze was almost stunned at what he had achieved by scoring the winning goal for his country. I like the picture as it looks more personal than him just holding the trophy aloft for the shouting throng of photographers.
The arrival of the Tour de France on the Champs Elysees is like a scene from the Wacky Races cartoons. The final run-in on the wide Parisian boulevards provides the battle ground for some high speed handlebar banging, fierce elbowing and choice French swearing. While just ahead of the photographer’s motorbikes, the peloton has turned on the speed for a final hour of racing in order to settle the stage honors and provide a show for the ten deep crowds.
That final hour can provide some of the key photo opportunities of the race. The photographers’ motos aren’t allowed to circulate while the race is on Champs Elysees, so after the first half lap Gery dropped me at Place de la Concorde where you can see the peloton at two different points. That leaves a few laps to “place” the yellow jersey in Paris before walking up to shoot the finish. Sometimes the yellow jersey will ride at the front of the peloton on the early laps, but this year Vincenzo Nibali rode a few rows back, hidden and protected by team mates. I used my 400mm f2.8 lens at f2.8 hoping to isolate Nibali in the peloton while keeping the Arc de Triomphe in the background. With just a few laps to go, a small gap eventually opened up where I could see him unobstructed for a brief moment. I think I managed 2 or 3 frames of him before setting off to shoot the last finish of the race.
Having previously covered Squash at Queen’s Club and Canary Wharf in London I was looking forward to photographing squash at the Commonwealth Games. It’s an intense sport with incredible athletes. A couple of my colleagues had already shot squash earlier in the week and had a couple of really good shoots. The lighting of the venue and the construction of the court lent itself well to trying to capture a reflection in a side panel of glass.
I decided to shoot each match using just a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens with my Canon 1Dx to try and lose as much of the background as possible. There aren't many positions 'court side' for squash and I knew from previous shoots that I wanted to sit on the left and wait for players to hit forehand shots. Once I had enough action from the match between Nick Matthew and Peter Barker I focused on trying to get a good reflection shot. I had to be patient and wait for the right moment which came when Nick Matthew of England played a forehand creating an interesting shape that worked well with his reflection.
During the World Cup I was working on assignment for FIFA. They are a great client to work with and the access they offer is unrivalled. This often gets me into positions other photographers can't get to. The World Cup Final was one of those nights. Germany had just won the World Cup in extra time and immediately attention turns to the 'pot shot'. So many photographers are covering the match and all of them are hoping for a unique angle or moment. I was in the right position to combine those two elements and was delighted to capture this image of Schweinsteiger and the German team celebrating with the trophy. They had a great team ethic and I think this picture conveys that very well.
Being a long time member of Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, getting this picture on behalf of the R&A meant an awful lot to me! It was such a surprise to find this mass of members and their friends waiting to greet the new champion and it was such a spontaneous moment. It shows the wonderful youthful yet incredibly fun star Rory McIlroy is. The next global golfing superstar has arrived in every sense and this picture captured everybody who was lucky enough to be there for his own stunning 'selfie'. For me, in my 99th Major, this was one of my top three Open Championship memories.
This picture was taken from a remote camera installed in the roof of the Velodrome. I knew I wanted to ‘place’ the event in Glasgow and helpfully the organizers had placed the event logo on the bend. Even though track cycling may look predictable it’s always hard to know how the action will fill the frame and it took a good 3 days before the right race came along to get a moment where a large group of bikes were perfectly positioned around a wide area of the track and most importantly around the Glasgow sign.
Peter J. Fox
The sharp nature of turn 1 at Hockenheim means a straight head on shot will be lost very quickly due to the closeness of the photographers' position in relation to the corner. I therefore decided to shoot the start from further round the track, focusing more on the exit of turn 1. It's a good place to be in case an accident occurs, as they often do at the start of the race when drivers are fighting for an early lead. As Felipe Massa turned in on Kevin Magnussen, I was able to capture a sequence of images on the crash. This is the best frame helped by the dramatic sparks coming from Massa’s car and the position of the driver facing the lens. Massa has been quite unlucky recently and this season I've been in the right place to capture two of his crashes.
Fans make the World Cup special. However there are a lot of fans whose mission it is to appear on TV, in magazines, and in newspapers. They dress in crazy costumes and can turn on the waterworks in the blink of an eye when their team loses and exits the tournament. This carry on doesn't really appeal to me but it does make for good pictures. This particular fan ran over to me and proceeded to eat his flag in disgust in the most dramatic way he could after Brazil crashed out of the tournament. I got the picture I wanted and then left him to it as he was starting to get on my nerves. That night he became a bit of an internet sensation via the @GettySport twitter feed and my phone was red hot with comments and updates.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez
This picture was taken from a balcony at Curva Estafeta that on previous years had been mainly just used by tourists. Last year a photographer took a photograph from this location that gained a lot of impact. I think that this angle probably offers the best view and captures the atmosphere of the running of the bulls. For an agency it is a very important image to have as it is also very commercial. I planned to take the shot as early as possible during the festival so the street and balconies would be at their busiest.
Many thanks also to Carmen, as she welcomed me at her home letting me work from her balcony!
As we were on assignment for FIFA, we had the chance to check out the presentation rehearsal two days ahead of the final. After careful consideration we asked for two photo positions slightly to the left and right of the TV camera platform above the tunnel. As you’d expect from the World Cup Final, with so many factors to take into account - from TV camera lines of sight, fan views, and other photographer’s sight lines - we weren't sure we would get the spots but after discussion with FIFA, TV/Host Broadcast and security we got the go ahead.
At the end of the final I battled my way up to the position and realised if I stood as planned, I'd probably get blocked by people shooting on their mobile phones. People are much taller when they’re waving their mobiles in the air! Fortunately I grabbed a large metal box nearby to stand on. In the end the angle worked really well as Schweinsteiger is well framed by teammates and he is showing great emotion in his face. The red lighting in the background also lifts the picture and makes it different from any other angle. Bastian Schweinsteiger had really dragged Germany through the final - they’d stitched him up on the pitch to keep him playing. He didn’t score the winner but he certainly made the difference and epitomised the German team’s determination, so I was glad he starred in the picture. It's good to find an angle that you think may work but turns out way better than you imagined.