The most striking images of European sports come together in our Top 10. Read the photographer’s stories behind the images.
The below competition is now closed. Congratulations to David Price, who won the vote with his picture from Arsenal vs Swansea at a rain-soaked Liberty Stadium.
We arrived in Brazil with the F1 Drivers’ Championship neck and neck between Hamilton and Rosberg. Early in the race, Nico locked up his AMG Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton in the frame just behind him. It’s not rare to see an F1 car like this with smoke billowing out from the tires but in the context of the race, it was perfect as the two main protagonists were in the picture. In hindsight, it would have been nice to have Hamilton in the lead position as after all, he went on to win the title a few days later. But on the day Nico won and it told the story of the ‘nip and tuck’ title race perfectly.
I’d been looking forward to photographing Scotland vs. England since it had appeared on the fixture list. A match between the ‘Auld Enemy’ always produces a legendary atmosphere and under the lights, Celtic Park didn’t disappoint. Wayne Rooney is always the focus of everyone’s attention when he’s playing for England, and that night he scored a couple of goals as England won 3-1. Often players don’t celebrate much during friendly matches but Rooney showed how much the match meant to the players and fans, despite only pride being at stake. I’ve taken nearly 1,500 pictures of Wayne Rooney in my five years at Getty Images; I don’t think any of them shows as much passion as the ones I took in Glasgow.
The pit lane at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi is unique in that it sweeps down to the left, under a tunnel and emerges on turn two. The elevation allows for this striking and clean angle of the car against the sky. I’d wanted to get the man of the moment Lewis Hamilton in this frame, but for it all to work I needed him to start his Q2 session just as the sky had turned golden and the light from the floodlights gave detail to the car. Sure enough, he appeared just in time!
I’m currently on tour with the England cricket team in Sri Lanka and when I woke up to the news that the Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes had tragically died, while playing the game he loved, I was shocked and saddened. As a cricket photographer, I spend most my life with cricketers. I probably see more of the English cricket team than my wife. I can’t even imagine what the Australian cricket team is going through.
I didn’t know Phillip Hughes personally, I only knew him as an incredibly talented batsman who played for the opposition. But the England lads knew him as a real person, a tough opponent, a county teammate and mainly, they knew him as a good bloke. They wanted to pay tribute to Phillip Hughes whose innings was cut short on 63 not out. They placed their bats out in the dressing room – a simple yet powerful image. The 15 bats, one from each player, was a sign they were thinking of him and also connecting with the rest of the cricketing world in honoring a fellow cricketer.
This was taken at the water jump at Newbury Racecourse with a 14mm. The old saying of “Where’s there’s water, there’s a reflection,” comes to mind with this image. With the light coming from behind, and no wind allowing the water to remain motionless – it was just a case of framing the image and waiting for the horses to arrive. When the light is good at Newbury, you always get a nicely lit grandstand with the red silks of the jockey against the blue sky showing up to nice effect.
To get an opportunity where six top footballers are celebrating a goal within touching distance of each other, can be years apart. So you really don’t want to mess it up when the opportunity knocks.
Many years ago I learned a very valuable lesson when I found myself in a situation where I was totally underprepared and over-lensed. AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi, the ‘King of Celebrations,’ ended up standing on the advertising board directly in front of me, so close I could have tied his boot laces together. All I could do was stare up his nostrils through a lens that was way too long! Ever since that day, there has always been a trusty wide angle lens at arm’s reach.
During the game between Barça and Sevilla, all eyes were on Lionel Messi to see if he would be able to beat the all-time La Liga goal-scoring record held by Telmo Zarra since 1955. As the official FC Barcelona photographer, the expectations were especially high, knowing that I was on the verge of capturing a historic moment.
In the first half, Messi equaled the record, and in the second he broke it. Although I was all set to get a great photo of the reactions, the players surprised us all with a spontaneous celebration that not even Messi himself had expected. Luckily for me, they did it almost directly in front of my position. It was his 252nd league goal. A few minutes later, he got his 253rd.
At the conclusion of the season, the World Championship team photo has become a tradition. It was good to see Nico Rosberg turn up despite being unable to stop Lewis Hamilton clinching the title. We positioned our three photographers around the pen to provide different angles. It was my job to shoot a tight picture from head on. It might look spontaneous, but we all knew the champagne would appear at some point!
As the winter nights draw in, there’s always the chance of a nice sunset at a 3pm kick-off. On this day, the Kassam was illuminated by a brilliant one. I knew if I had some action in front of me, it would make a great silhouette. But with the ball at the other end of the pitch where my colleague Alan Crowhurst sat, and only minutes of the half remaining – this looked near impossible. However, just as I was losing hope, a long kick by the Tigers landed on the line perfectly in front of me.
I grabbed my short lens, ran to the corner of the pitch and laid myself out on the floor. Having to guess where the catcher would emerge, I quickly racked my exposure for the sun to silhouette the players. Things frequently don’t go your way in sports photography, but every so often, everything falls into place.
When I was starting out as a photographer, I used to dread shooting in the rain. Now I look at it as an opportunity to take some dramatic pictures. The heavier the rain, the better! I took this image at the Liberty Stadium during our Premier League match against Swansea. Our full back Calum Chambers was given a torrid time by Jefferson Montero all afternoon, and here the winger is proving a tough obstacle once again.
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