Equine photographer

Gaucho International Polo – o2 Arena London 2011


Yesterday I was in London for the first Gaucho International Polo at the o2 Arena. The press call was for 3pm, I found myself there a bit earlier, but fortunately the o2 has plenty of coffee shops. There were probably about 15 other photographers there to cover the event for various magazines and papers. We did all the press call pics, team line-ups etc on the arena pitch, then we were taken to the press bay. Despite the size of the arena the press area had been put up high on a balcony, personally I prefer to be on ground level with the horses, so I decided to head back down a floor via the short route we’d just taken. Unfortunately the security guards had different ideas, apparently, we were only allowed to use that particular route if we were being escorted, and as no escort was available, I had to walk the entire way around the arena carrying a particularly heavy camera bag, just to get to a point a few feet from where I was originally!

There were 4 matches but my main, and probably most people’s interest, was the last match between England and Argentina. Arena Polo is played with only 3 players on each team and on a pitch 1/3 the size of normal Polo field. This means you’re generally in a better position to capture the action for more of the match. The game moves much faster with goals being scored only moments apart, as there’s no need for the players to cover such a large area. Usually I use a combination of two cameras, one with a long lens and one with a shorter zoom. As the the arena action moves so fast, it doesn’t give me a lot of time to change from one camera to the other. It’s also worth noting that because of the pitch being surrounded by 4′ high boarding and then 4′ netting on top of that, getting a decent goal shot is nigh on impossible. The lighting in the arena was ok, but that was more down to modern digital cameras being able to cope better, with lower levels of light. However, it wasn’t very even, which resulted in often putting the players faces into shadow.

This is my favourite from the evening, when the spot lights were on the Argentinean team, just after they entered the arena. Admittedly, not an action shot, but not an image you see very often.

Oh,…. and the winners!

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

+44(0)7812 766 337