Sep 24 : The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018

September 24th, 2018

I can not claim to be a fan of ‘the beautiful game’ - indeed coming from Australia, as far as I’m concerned football is called “Soccer” and Rugby League is “Football”. And I ain’t changing my views on that front! But that doesn’t mean that, when there’s a large event in London, I won’t attend.

But sadly if I were to (say) reach into my bag and discover that I’d left the Big Gun Nikon’s battery back at the apartment and I had to photograph the whole event with a Pentax + 40mm pancake lens, and that the event didn’t even have a public pen I’d have access to meaning I’d have to shoot from a distance….. well my tears would be minimal.

Still…here’s how it went down (NOW WITH MISGUIDED COMMENTARY):

I personally think  “The Best Fifa Football Awards 2018”  is right up there with “ The Intent 2 : The Get Up ” in terms of ‘words that sound great separately but not when arranged like that’ Also… as a bit of a closet fan of fonts, the one they’re using for ‘the best’ looks… kind of appallingly bad.   1’.49 3951’  …  Really??

I personally think “The Best Fifa Football Awards 2018” is right up there with “The Intent 2 : The Get Up” in terms of ‘words that sound great separately but not when arranged like that’
Also… as a bit of a closet fan of fonts, the one they’re using for ‘the best’ looks… kind of appallingly bad. 1’.49 3951’ Really??

If you ever wanted to make sure nobody had a chance of photographing into your paparazzi photographer cordon/pen, this is pretty much how you’d do it.  Robotic sentry guns sold separately.

If you ever wanted to make sure nobody had a chance of photographing into your paparazzi photographer cordon/pen, this is pretty much how you’d do it. Robotic sentry guns sold separately.

There’s a man balancing a ball on the back of his neck, but I’m even more excited that I managed to get a smiling face reflection on a mobile phone screen to my right in this photo. That’s not easy.

There’s a man balancing a ball on the back of his neck, but I’m even more excited that I managed to get a smiling face reflection on a mobile phone screen to my right in this photo. That’s not easy.

“Incoming!! It’s probably not made of glass, but watch out!!”

“Incoming!! It’s probably not made of glass, but watch out!!”

“If somebody were to accidentally scratch the car mirror slightly, will the whole vehicle flip over and roll from the damage?”  I’d laugh.

“If somebody were to accidentally scratch the car mirror slightly, will the whole vehicle flip over and roll from the damage?” I’d laugh.

“The expensive watch I’m wearing is on the other hand. My sponsor will not be pleased”  (edited to add : I have no idea who this is) (edited to add : Edwin van der Sar, apparently)

“The expensive watch I’m wearing is on the other hand. My sponsor will not be pleased”
(edited to add : I have no idea who this is) (edited to add : Edwin van der Sar, apparently)

“Those three girls behind me are cute, but your beard is magnificent. You can accompany me”  (edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

“Those three girls behind me are cute, but your beard is magnificent. You can accompany me”
(edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

“A ticket? For this event? Check out the bald head, man : I’m an icon of the game!!”  (edited to add : I don’t know who this is) (edited to add : Roberto Martinez)

“A ticket? For this event? Check out the bald head, man : I’m an icon of the game!!”
(edited to add : I don’t know who this is) (edited to add : Roberto Martinez)

Call your grandparents and an exorcist : I actually know who this is without any assistance: he’s Germany’s Manager Joachim Loew. ( I watched his team lose to Korea in the World Cup while I had a beer at an Alexanderplatz pub in Berlin. True story )

Call your grandparents and an exorcist : I actually know who this is without any assistance: he’s Germany’s Manager Joachim Loew. (I watched his team lose to Korea in the World Cup while I had a beer at an Alexanderplatz pub in Berlin. True story)

Like I said… 40mm pancake lens on the Pentax. This is less than 30metres and it’s LONG RANGE.

Like I said… 40mm pancake lens on the Pentax. This is less than 30metres and it’s LONG RANGE.

“When I said I wanted ‘angel wings’ for my suit, I was speaking in metaphor”  (edited to add : I don’t know who this is) (edited to add : he’s Paris St-Germain defender Dani Alves)

“When I said I wanted ‘angel wings’ for my suit, I was speaking in metaphor”
(edited to add : I don’t know who this is)
(edited to add : he’s Paris St-Germain defender Dani Alves)

“It’s guys in suits!! EVERYBODY GET EXCITED!”  This event does lack for ballgowns… and I’d extend that criticism to the game of football too. (edited to add : I don’t know who the two guys on the right - who are not holding hands - are)

“It’s guys in suits!! EVERYBODY GET EXCITED!” This event does lack for ballgowns… and I’d extend that criticism to the game of football too.
(edited to add : I don’t know who the two guys on the right - who are not holding hands - are)

“Seriously? We’re here for the Haywood Gallery : where’s the Art?”  (edited to add : I have no idea who this is) (edited to add - he’s “Kanu”)

“Seriously? We’re here for the Haywood Gallery : where’s the Art?”
(edited to add : I have no idea who this is) (edited to add - he’s “Kanu”)

Everybody, write your congressman and picket your nearest coal-mine : I’ve photographed a second person at this event I actually recognise!! England Manager Gareth Southgate (his vest is, sadly, obscured by overenthusiastic darkening of this image, for which I will not apologise.)

Everybody, write your congressman and picket your nearest coal-mine : I’ve photographed a second person at this event I actually recognise!! England Manager Gareth Southgate (his vest is, sadly, obscured by overenthusiastic darkening of this image, for which I will not apologise.)

“What are the black armbands for?” ”To commemorate all the players whose hairstyles were ruined by careless tackles in the past season” ”I thought they were bringing back capital punishment to stop such barbarism”

“What are the black armbands for?”
”To commemorate all the players whose hairstyles were ruined by careless tackles in the past season”
”I thought they were bringing back capital punishment to stop such barbarism”

I think she’s a womens footballer, but given I can’t recognise mens footballers, please don’t call me #racist, at least not specifically for this reason.

I think she’s a womens footballer, but given I can’t recognise mens footballers, please don’t call me #racist, at least not specifically for this reason.

“Do you play the game?” ”What kind of question is that?? Of course I own a Nintendo Switch”

“Do you play the game?”
”What kind of question is that?? Of course I own a Nintendo Switch”

Everybody calm down : it’s the third of three (3) people I recognise, but in this case only because he’s a singer, not a footballer. And I’m about 66% certain that of the two Gallagher brothers this… is…. I’m gonna say… Noel.

Everybody calm down : it’s the third of three (3) people I recognise, but in this case only because he’s a singer, not a footballer. And I’m about 66% certain that of the two Gallagher brothers this… is…. I’m gonna say… Noel.

“Noel : it’s not just for Christmas”  (edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

“Noel : it’s not just for Christmas”
(edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

“And not one centimetre closer. That’s how we shake hands in…..” ”… The Hood?” ”Dude, didn’t you see me just get out of a limo?”  (edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

“And not one centimetre closer. That’s how we shake hands in…..”
”… The Hood?”
”Dude, didn’t you see me just get out of a limo?”
(edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

Well… at least somebody had the balls to wear white trainers with a tuxedo. (edited to add : I don’t know who he is but I photographed him a second time)

Well… at least somebody had the balls to wear white trainers with a tuxedo.
(edited to add : I don’t know who he is but I photographed him a second time)

Edited to to add : I (still) don’t know who this is. But as pointed out : white trainers, black tuxedo. Nice.

Edited to to add : I (still) don’t know who this is. But as pointed out : white trainers, black tuxedo. Nice.

“Are you bringing a brown paper bag with money in it to a FIFA event???” ”No… bag is branded. As you can clearly see”  (edited to add : I don’t know who this is) (or what’s in that bag) (or whether, for the purposes of legal testimony, there even IS a bag)

“Are you bringing a brown paper bag with money in it to a FIFA event???”
”No… bag is branded. As you can clearly see”

(edited to add : I don’t know who this is) (or what’s in that bag) (or whether, for the purposes of legal testimony, there even IS a bag)

“OMG! OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!”  . True story: I was told by security that I could not hold my camera above the railing because “security inside might not know what it is” (… and you’d need to be a giant squid to have a socket big enough for the eye-roll my response to this requires)

“OMG! OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!”. True story: I was told by security that I could not hold my camera above the railing because “security inside might not know what it is”
(… and you’d need to be a giant squid to have a socket big enough for the eye-roll my response to this requires)

“Who are these people? Is Winnie the Pooh coming?” ”Shut up and keep getting autographs from whoever I tell you to get” ”But Muuuuuuum….”

“Who are these people? Is Winnie the Pooh coming?”
”Shut up and keep getting autographs from whoever I tell you to get”
”But Muuuuuuum….”

“Please… any closer and I’ll have to get this suit reupholstered”  - the fans in my area were generally goodnatured, though their chanting and names-of-players-shouted-out-and-at were on the Spanish/ Uruguayan/ Italian side of Central London. (edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

“Please… any closer and I’ll have to get this suit reupholstered” - the fans in my area were generally goodnatured, though their chanting and names-of-players-shouted-out-and-at were on the Spanish/ Uruguayan/ Italian side of Central London.
(edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

“I used to guard C-level reality TV stars…. where did I go wrong?”  (fyi : I do know who the security guy is!)

“I used to guard C-level reality TV stars…. where did I go wrong?”
(fyi : I do know who the security guy is!)

“I can literally put my hand through this lady’s head. Unless it’s some kind of optical illusion”.  Eh… that Pentax lens might be mostly plastic, but there’s probably some additional substance in it. (Edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

“I can literally put my hand through this lady’s head. Unless it’s some kind of optical illusion”. Eh… that Pentax lens might be mostly plastic, but there’s probably some additional substance in it. (Edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

I think the guy in the background is a footballer. But I’m really basing that on the nature of the event I’m photographing, not some kind of greater psychic inference that needs to be studied by the US Military.  (edited to add : I don’t know who he is)

I think the guy in the background is a footballer. But I’m really basing that on the nature of the event I’m photographing, not some kind of greater psychic inference that needs to be studied by the US Military. (edited to add : I don’t know who he is)

Based on the part in his hair and spiffy white tux, I’m about 14% more disappointed that that I don’t know who this is than any other person who I also can’t identify at this event.  (edited to add : he’s Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos - thanks bbc.co.uk!)

Based on the part in his hair and spiffy white tux, I’m about 14% more disappointed that that I don’t know who this is than any other person who I also can’t identify at this event.
(edited to add : he’s Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos - thanks bbc.co.uk!)

“Yes, yes, your adulation from outside the event is almost as good as the free champagne and canapes I’ll be getting once I’m inside. And now…. I’m going to head inside”  (edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

“Yes, yes, your adulation from outside the event is almost as good as the free champagne and canapes I’ll be getting once I’m inside. And now…. I’m going to head inside”
(edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

Somebody shouted   “Schmeichel!!!!”   which I’m only not making fun of because I believe I might actually know how to spell that name. (edited to add : is it Schmeichel?)

Somebody shouted “Schmeichel!!!!” which I’m only not making fun of because I believe I might actually know how to spell that name. (edited to add : is it Schmeichel?)

I have no reason to believe this is not a womens footballer. So I’m taking this photo and putting it here, and asking if anyone knows who she is…. (?)

I have no reason to believe this is not a womens footballer. So I’m taking this photo and putting it here, and asking if anyone knows who she is…. (?)

Likes my reasoning - re - prior comment (edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

Likes my reasoning - re - prior comment
(edited to add : I don’t know who this is)

My commitment to dark and moody photography appears to have resulted in the point of this photo (the crowds of people inside the venue, looking out) being obscured. But I stand by my Art.

My commitment to dark and moody photography appears to have resulted in the point of this photo (the crowds of people inside the venue, looking out) being obscured. But I stand by my Art.

Not wearing a bow-tie, so possibly not even a footballer. But…. you know…. that bank of five lights on the left of the photo do look kinda cool.

Not wearing a bow-tie, so possibly not even a footballer. But…. you know…. that bank of five lights on the left of the photo do look kinda cool.

I’m don’t know who this is, I’m not sure that’s a wave, and I’m not sure what the blurry hand in the foreground is trying to say. But the Pentax focussed on the metallic beam in the background, and you know what? That’s a nice looking metallic beam, right there.  (edited to add : I don’t know who he is, but there’s a chance he’s Didier Deschamps, Best Coach on the night, but the BBC article I’m looking at has even less of his face, and in worse quality, than I have here!)

I’m don’t know who this is, I’m not sure that’s a wave, and I’m not sure what the blurry hand in the foreground is trying to say. But the Pentax focussed on the metallic beam in the background, and you know what? That’s a nice looking metallic beam, right there.
(edited to add : I don’t know who he is, but there’s a chance he’s Didier Deschamps, Best Coach on the night, but the BBC article I’m looking at has even less of his face, and in worse quality, than I have here!)

Some of the people I photographed got boos (most got cheers, some got indifference) : I think this guy was generally liked (edited to add : I’m not sure who he is)

Some of the people I photographed got boos (most got cheers, some got indifference) : I think this guy was generally liked (edited to add : I’m not sure who he is)

These are not my people. But I am standing next to them, so I’m theirs.

These are not my people. But I am standing next to them, so I’m theirs.

Only my keen knowledge of tomorrow’s newspapers tells me that this is “Marta”, who won the best Female Footballer award on the night, so any joke-comment along the lines of   “Marta. Marta? Marta!!  " would seem to be highly childish. And based on a reference to Batman v Superman, which itself was referencing The Brady Bunch.

Only my keen knowledge of tomorrow’s newspapers tells me that this is “Marta”, who won the best Female Footballer award on the night, so any joke-comment along the lines of “Marta. Marta? Marta!!" would seem to be highly childish. And based on a reference to Batman v Superman, which itself was referencing The Brady Bunch.

The people around me were shouting  “Ronaldinho”  in hushed yet loud tones. I myself am skipping the easy ‘sunglasses at night’ comment and merely wondering why you’d be wearing a surgical hat / shower cap to an event like this?

The people around me were shouting “Ronaldinho” in hushed yet loud tones. I myself am skipping the easy ‘sunglasses at night’ comment and merely wondering why you’d be wearing a surgical hat / shower cap to an event like this?

“The patient’s chances of recovery are excellent. Also…. that conditioner from the hotel smells of sandalwood. It’s delightful”

“The patient’s chances of recovery are excellent. Also…. that conditioner from the hotel smells of sandalwood. It’s delightful”

Lady on right tries to get me excited about this event. Guy on left represents my prevailing attitude.

Lady on right tries to get me excited about this event. Guy on left represents my prevailing attitude.

Once again, only my keen knowledge of tomorrow’s newspapers tells me that this is “ Luka Modric ”, who won the best Male Footballer award on the night. He doesn’t know that yet, which might be why he’s looking slightly glum.

Once again, only my keen knowledge of tomorrow’s newspapers tells me that this is “Luka Modric”, who won the best Male Footballer award on the night. He doesn’t know that yet, which might be why he’s looking slightly glum.

“Who are we looking at? Has Blake Lively arrived? Is the Queen coming? Did I miss the DJ Impact warmup? Is it always this cold in London in September?”

“Who are we looking at? Has Blake Lively arrived? Is the Queen coming? Did I miss the DJ Impact warmup? Is it always this cold in London in September?”

….and I’ve decided to head off to the train station. Everything looks more colourful already.

….and I’ve decided to head off to the train station. Everything looks more colourful already.

…. so that was that.

I don’t recommend using the wrong / sub-par lens at a large event, shooting at distance. If you ever want to simulate the effect, get yourself a mobile phone, put a DSLR sensor in it, and then slam it against a nearby wall a couple of times. Then get shootin’…. and call it ‘practice’ or ‘keeping yourself sharp’.

Then it won’t be a complete waste.

Until next time!