Marc Aspland: “Know your sport”

From Press Gazette

Times sports photographer Mark Aspland, winner of the Carlsberg FA Cup Road to Wembley photographic competition, tells Rachael Gallager what it takes to capture the moment…

Whether it is football, cricket or tennis, you have to have a good understanding of the sport. For example, if it’s tennis you’re looking for the forehand and the backhand; if it’s football it’s the moment of the goal.

More of the understanding comes from the moments which make that sport what it is: the winning try in rugby, the winning goal in football, the winning shot in a tennis match.

You have to capture that moment by knowing that a wining goal or try is coming. How you capture that is down to good experience, good timing and mega concentration.

When there are 90,000 people in a stadium, its 0-0 in the 89th minute and someone is on the attack, there’s an unbelievable amount of noise and pressure going on and you just have to block out everything else and concentrate.

The best example is when Manchester United won the European Cup final in Barcelona in 1999. Of 120 photographers there, only one got Solkjaer’s winning goal because it came out of the blue.

Aspland uses a Canon EOS camera with 400mm superfast lens taking eight frames a second.