GooGaBu Nordic Creations: Blog http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) GooGaBu Nordic Creations ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) Tue, 31 May 2016 19:50:00 GMT Tue, 31 May 2016 19:50:00 GMT http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v52/u916334927-o33348875-50.jpg GooGaBu Nordic Creations: Blog http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog 80 120 The road less travelled http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/the-road-less-travelled Driving to Switzerland for BeachEuro2016

Sometimes you get the request (this time I was late to get on the ball) for a job on a short notice, so with flight prices through the roof, and weeks car parking at the airport going well into three figures. Some photographers would give up as there would be no profit, others would ask the client for four times as much as their normal rate - and some, just find the economical way to make a profit and keep prices normal for clients.

This is what happened to me, as I noticed less than two weeks before a tournament - that it was happening (yes, my fault and I should be better!). Few quick enquiries and clients were happy that someone was offering them images ... and so it was planning time.

Quick search came out with flights/car parking/rental car/hotel/etc - came up to close to £1500. But hey! the tournament is only in Switzerland, and I live in the UK - so what about driving?? I've driven further away for jobs....

So, Petrol/Road Tolls/EuroTunnel/Hotel ... and all of a sudden I was looking at the costs being near £550. This was much easier expense to cover with the payments from my clients - and I still would end up making a decent profit from the job. Although eating out in Switzerland isn't the cheapest for a week!

Departure from home, HR8 postcode, afternoon on Sunday - non-stop driving to Folkestone EuroTunnel .. quick bite of Moroccan Meatballs and into the train (delayed by an hour). Out of the train around midnight in Calais - non-stop for about 500km, with fresh air breaks as I had to jump out of the car to pay for the road tolls. Luckily this was night time and roads were empty... I do LOVE driving on the French roads, driving is so much quieter than the British rumbling roads.

Around 4.20am stopping at a service station (no two hour limits for parking here!) - plenty of other travellers taking a nap in their cars. So pull on the duvet and two hours of sleep. Good as new ... drive through some small French villages to the Swiss boarder. Boarder guards looking at me funnily with my bike packed into the car and explaining that I am off to Biel for Beach Volleyball. But in the end this stretched to a ten minute chat ... very quiet crossing this one, so I was the only one there.

Off the motorway in Switzerland and through some mountain roads... LOVELY SCENERY!!... and down to Biel. Two hours before check-in time to the Hotel. So taking advantage of this one and go for a little cycling around the lake. What a way to end the journey/start the day.

Is driving 700 miles a great way to go to every job?? Probably not, but for me - it beats the stress and hassle of flying. No worrying about the weight limits, connecting flights, what kind of rental car I get... Maybe I should move somewhere in southern Germany... would be pretty easy driving to most countries in Europe :-)

I do understand that as photographers we probably should always pass our expenses (whatever they may be) to our clients - but with the ever tightening budgets everywhere. I do not mind looking for ways to keep my clients happy.. and keep making a profit myself.

Now - looking forward to GREAT five days of covering BeachEuro2016 (European Championships in Beach Volleyball) here in Biel - and after today's first photo-session in the training... it's all looking good at the moment!!

Let the games begin!!

 

p.s Car is now parked at the garage of the hotel, while in Biel - I will move with the bicycle. Great way for an unfit photographer to try to keep himself in some sort of shape.

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) Biel assignment beach beacheuro2016 blog driving eurobeach2016 photo photography sports sports photography switzerland travel volleyball work http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/5/the-road-less-travelled Tue, 31 May 2016 19:49:43 GMT
Erik Murphy on his first year abroad! http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/erik-murphy-on-his-first-year-abroad Erik Murphy is someone whom I've followed for the past years - and was lucky enough to catch-up with him in Istanbul after a EuroCup game.

It was couple of years ago when I first heard the surname Murphy, in association with Finnish basketball. While covering the FIBA EuroBasket U20's B-division in Sofia, Bulgaria.. Alex Murphy was taking his first steps with the Finnish 'Susijengi'. It was after this that I looked up more about the Murphy's and noticed his older brother Erik .. playing for Florida Gators at the time.

ErikMurphyInterview-01ErikMurphyInterview-01

I must admit that I am not a great follower or even fan of NCAA or NBA basketball - so do forgive me my ignorance on this subject. But when Erik came to play with the Susijengi in 2014 - even if he probably wasn't quite suited for European style of game to start with, I definitely liked what I saw through the viewfinder (as a photographer, that's how I see my games). As the summer went on, and Finland enjoyed their first outing in World Cup.. and after many chats with Erik over the summer. I was just hoping for him to sign for an European team for the domestic season - so there would be a chance to see him play. (flights across the pond aren't cheap - so unfortunately his D-league season passed me by).

ErikMurphyInterview-04ErikMurphyInterview-04

Summer 2015 once again saw Erik play with the 'Wolves' - always ready to have a work and wearing his blue 'Gators' baseball cap.. this summer Erik was leaner and fitter than in 2014 and it showed in the way he contributed to the team on the court. 

So when he signed for Besiktas in Istanbul during the summer (coached at the time by Finnish National team Head Coach Henrik Dettmann) - I knew I had to get to visit him in Istanbul. Early November saw my visit to Istanbul - for a EuroCup game vs Szolnok. After the practise on day 1 of my visit, you guessed it - Erik walked out of the training with his Gators cap on. Quick exchange of hellos, before Erik jumped into his car and 'confidently' drove into the rush-hour traffic in Istanbul.

ErikMurphyInterview-05ErikMurphyInterview-05

Following day was the game day, Erik played the first 14 minutes of the game (no-sub) - gave me a nice dunk to capture.. and in the end was second top scorer for his team. After the game - caught up with him, to talk about playing abroad for the first year, what he thinks of Istanbul/Turkey.. as well as Finland's chances of hosting a group at the EuroBasket2017.

Finnish basketball will enjoy Erik's game for many years to come - and don't be surprised if one year you'll see Finland's starting five being read out and you see three Murphy's on the score sheet!

Next time Erik - it'll be Maksalaatikkoa and Lättyjä for dinner :-)

Murphy on deserts, driving and basketball in TurkeyMurphy on deserts, driving and basketball in Turkey

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) Besiktas Erik EuroBasket2017 EuroCup Istanbul Murphy Susijengi Turkey assignment basketball blog photography sports sports photography travel http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/erik-murphy-on-his-first-year-abroad Fri, 06 Nov 2015 16:33:24 GMT
It's not supposed to be easy http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/its-not-supposed-to-be-easy When all else fails, follow the locals!

Another long work day abroad, just to get your mind at ease that I am not sitting by the pool and enjoying a Turkish holiday ;-)

Up early in the morning, catching up on invoicing and other correspondence - then cross Istanbul in the Metro (two lines) to catch-up with Finnish Men's National team Head Coach Henrik Dettmann, first meeting with Turkish security then at the gate of the apartment complex. After four phone calls, I was taken on a golf buggy down through the garage and up on the lift.... they do make things complicated sometimes.

Quick interview and photo-session with the coach, as well as catching-up on stuff... even when this is mostly work, it is always nice to have a more relaxed chat with people on the road.

Erik Murphy post game videoErik Murphy post game video

Then back across town on the Metro (just missed rush-hour!) - lunch.. shower and off to the Sinan Erdem Spor Salonu for the evenings EuroCup game.

Aah, the entry wasn't easy. Instructions were to use a door on the RIGHT hand side of the Arena.. slight language barrier with security .. whom all sent me in different direction. After trying all doors with anyone guarding them, and always been sent to one direction or next.. I did what I should have done to start with.  Stand outside the dark doors of Media Entry and wait for local press... they always know who to call and contact. So after five minutes, I was following three journalist and a door was opened to them and I just followed them in SUCCESS!! 

Erik MurphyErik MurphyMurphy 14 points in EuroCup

Off to the press seats, get wi-fi code, accreditation badge, chat with the locals - high five the players I know.. the usual prep to a game.

Cover the game, concentrate on Murphy - nice dunk inside the first five minutes, I knew that was the picture! Although if Murphy would have made the flying dunk to start 3rd Q with.. that would have been even better. Post game video interviews (one below - two more to follow in the next two days). Great game by Erik - on the court from start and one of the key players for Besiktas tonight.

Arena was a bit like when I visited Sasu Salin in Ljubljana for some EuroCup games - tough to fill a 14000 Arena for a regular season game. But the Besiktas fans we GREAT!! making noise well before tip-off, and when DJ tried to play music.. they whistled so he would turn it down and the fans could keep singing ... some REALLY great fan culture!! Thumbs up from this traveling photographer!

Quick drive to get something to eat with players - off to the hotel, edit material.. and after few hours of sleep - Havalimani Ataturk and flying back to Birmingham.

MurphyB-02MurphyB-02

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) EuroCup assignment basketball blog photography sports sports photography travel http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/its-not-supposed-to-be-easy Thu, 05 Nov 2015 06:00:00 GMT
No delights yet in Istanbul http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/no-delights-yet-in-istanbul Return to old haunts in Istanbul!

As a photographer you get used to things not always going smoothly, or as you'd expected them to. So it came as no surprise today that I ended up spending two hours outside the Sinan Erdem Sport Salonu in Istanbul, instead of inside it. But the weather was nice, and there was a little exercise park across the road - so got my own fix of practise done (no hoops though!).

At the end of training, managed to catch up quickly with Erik Murphy and Lassi Tuovi - Murphy headed quickly to the evening traffic in Istanbul - and Tuovi and I went inside the Arena for a quick interview on video.

Sinan Erdem Sport SalonuSinan Erdem Sport SalonuBack here for the first time since 2010

It was a strange feeling, last time I left this building was after the Final whistle of the FIBA2010 World Championships - after photographing the tournament in Turkey. On this trip I am staying in the same hotel, walking the same route to the venue... it is a trip down the memory lane.

Tomorrow should hopefully be a busier day, with a surprise interview to be done in the morning - and then Besiktas EuroCup basketball in the evening, capturing 'Susi-Erkki' (Erik Murphy) playing for the Turkish team. But - there is still the wait to hear from the Media Person in regards to the accreditation for the evenings game tomorrow.......

Lassi Tuovi - BesiktasLassi Tuovi - Besiktas

For now - interview with Lassi Tuovi to start the Istanbul work part of the trip.

 

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) Besiktas Erik Istanbul Lassi Murphy Tuovi Turkey assignment basketball interview photography sports sports photography travel video http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/no-delights-yet-in-istanbul Tue, 03 Nov 2015 20:04:24 GMT
I'm back - and now it's Istanbul http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/im-back---and-now-it-s-istanbul Let's see if one can return to some Blog posting of the usual non-sense....

And what better place to start than sitting in the same hotel where I stayed during the FIBA World Championships 2010 in Istanbul.... It's a return to Blogging and back to one of the first big tournaments I covered (guess that's up for debate).

It was your usual travel day - nice drive through the fog back in England to the airport, then it was time to 'Fly like Kobe' .. with the Turkish Airlines. Come on, one covers hoops week-in week-out, I had to check this airline out ;-)

With long legs and economy class seating.. I wasn't feeling like bouncing the ball to the fellow passengers, and they didn't look like they were up for it. In flight meal... less said the better (would be nice to have it hot??). No Minions on the entertainment set.. even if it was advertised on the magazine. The little things that disappoint a frequent traveller.

Flight was smooth, so all safely and in one piece in Istanbul Airport - the usual taxing of 15 minutes to the bus, and then 5 minutes to the terminal on the bus. Luckily the airport made us from Britain feel very welcome, with all the little potholes on the tarmac.. it was just like driving a car back home.

Passport control was nice and quick - and as a Finn, no need to get a Visa to get to Turkey!!! 

Airport Hotel for the three night stay, but no shuttle bus after 22.30 in the evening (and my arrival was at 23.30 due to Turkey holding on to Summer Time for a week longer... due to the General Elections). So a very disappointed Taxi driver .. who had waited for three hours, and then got a ride for five minutes to the closest hotel. I don't understand much Turkish, but he wasn't best pleased... after my ride he was back at the end of 800 Taxi's waiting at the airport.

Quick room service pasta once in, which at least was warm.. if rather tasteless. Now time to chill for few hours.. hopefully tomorrow photographing the Besiktas training session ahead of Wednesdays game.

Good night from Istanbul .. hopefully tomorrow we'll spice the Blog with some pictures!

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) assignment basketball blog photography sports sports photography travel http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/im-back---and-now-it-s-istanbul Mon, 02 Nov 2015 22:24:11 GMT
Year 2014 - March http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/12/year-2014---march March 2014 - travels, UWCL and BBL

 

March has become synonymous with Cyprus and Women’s Cyprus Cup - four four years there has been a two week trop to Larnaca to cover some of the best Women’s International football teams for various clients.

 

And sometimes the weather has been treating us for some early spring sunshine.

Same again this year - 12 days of training/games covered and players caught up with in Larnaca, Nicosia and Ayia Napa.

 

Year2014-March-02Year2014-March-02

 

From Larnaca it was straight up to Scotland to cover a rare meeting of Finnish players in Scottish Premier League - as Teemu Pukki and Aleksei Eremenko Jr faced in Kilmarnock vs Celtic.

Often I’ve stayed at hotels close to the venue where I’ve worked - but never have I been able to see the pitch/court from my hotel room window…. before the trip to Kilmarnock that is.

 

Year2014-March-01Year2014-March-01Teemu Pukki ja Alexei Eremenko / SPL / 14/03/2014 / Kilmarnock vs Celtic, Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, Skotlanti

 

With the weather warming up - there was also increasing amount of Birmingham City Ladies games/events to cover. Another day spent inside the St Andrew’s and taking portrait images of BCLFC players - before once again hopping on a plane and going AGAIN to Ljubljana to catch up with Sasu Salin!

 

Year2014-March-02Year2014-March-02

 

Once again - directly from the airport to cover Women’s Champions League action, as BCLFC edged past Arsenal to reach the Semi-Finals of the competition! A truly memorable evening at St Andrew’s (even if it was cold).

 

Before the month was over little bit of traveling with high fever and hours of driving from Manchester to Glasgow and back home. But it was worth it to cover Volleyball EuroCup Final in Paris and BBL Trophy Final in Glasgow.

 

Year2014-March-04Year2014-March-04

 

Once again - few more images to remind what March 2014 was like, looking through the lens.

 

Year2014-March-05Year2014-March-05

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/12/year-2014---march Sun, 21 Dec 2014 20:21:04 GMT
Year 2014 - February http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/12/year-2014---february Second month of the year - this month really had only one event to consider for images.

Having covered the rise of Finnish Basketball over the past years, the one BIG event in February of 2014 was the FIBA World Cup 2014 Wild Card announcement and World Cup draw.

​A trip I probably will remember for a while - heading to Barcelona on the day of the Wild Card announcement, I had a change of planes in Zurich and as I checked Twitter and news. My timeline was full of 'Finland granted one of the Wild Cards for Spain2014'. 

Funnily enough the other passengers in the plane looked at me funnily as I punched the air and had a big grin on my face on the flight to Barcelona. This meant busy few days in Spain for me - talking to the Finnish Head Coach and Chairman, and doing the video interviews for Finnish Media.

Also sitting at the Media Tribune with my camera and capturing the moment when 'Finland' was drawn into the same group with Team USA. As a photographer you should of course concentrate on your work and not let the emotions get to you - but after Finland had been drawn, I did allow myself a little pumping of fist - just something you can't help when following a team so closely for a long time.

But - just so this month would not be only a one event re-cap, there was the kit launch event for Birmingham City Ladies at St Andrew's to photograph. This also enjoyable for reasons of having been traveling with the team for few years, and getting to know some of the players. Then the jobs/games come also something 'personal' to you, as it is not for a client.. it is also for 'you'. Good times and pictures with Karen Carney and Kirsty Linnett at the stadium - and also with Mary Earps (who unfortunately left the club before the season properly started).

Still - couple of great events that will stay with me for a long time, and looking at the picture with 'FINLAND' drawn at the venue in Barcelona.. still gives me a chill down the spine. Little was I to know that this was just the start of something special with Susijengi over the summer of 2014!

Year2014-FebruaryYear2014-February

Year2014-February1Year2014-February1

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) BCLFC Bilbao Birmingham Carney City FC Karen Kirsty Ladies Linnett Spain2014 assignment barcelona basketball blog draw fiba kit launch memories photography special sports sports photography susijengi travel work http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/12/year-2014---february Sat, 20 Dec 2014 19:42:06 GMT
Year 2014 - January http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/12/year-2014---january January 2014 - Volleyball starts the year off

 

Busy 2014 is almost behind us - and what better way to end it than looking back at what the year has had to offer.

So in the coming days, I will try to post a page per month from my travels (read WORK!) over the past 12 months and post some of the images that I think are worth remembering the year by.

 

We start from January and straight to work on the 2nd of January - and the location of years first visit was Poprad in Slovakia and Finnish Men’s Volleyball National team attempting to qualify to the World Championships later in the year.

Memories start from the drive from Poland to Slovakia and battling through some mountain roads during holiday season, with 1000’s of Polish people heading for ski-holidays.

And a hotel room where the bed was made for Hobbits and the dog in the neighbouring room barking every night.

 

The tournament went great from team Finland and in the end they celebrated the qualification to World Championships before the last ball was struck in the final game against the hosts on Sunday evening in Arena Poprad. Nice arena, with good lights - and what is important in tournaments, a shopping mall with restaurants next door!.

Honestly the year, photography and sports-wise - could not have gotten a better start, a Finnish team making its way to the World Championships… even at the time I think I mentioned that the coming 12 months would have a LOT to live up to, if this was how the year started.

 

Otherwise January offered the normal events that come around this time of the year, BBL Cup Final at the NIA, NBA London games at the O2, Birmingham City Ladies FC starting their pre-season training.. and the usual mix of covering English soccer and BBL basketball, so in my terms a month with very little traveling outside of UK.

 

So here are five images from the January 2014 - that show how the year started from photography point of view for me.

 

Finnish Mens National team celebrate qualifying to World Championships.Finnish Mens National team celebrate qualifying to World Championships.Finland-Slovakia - European Qualification for World Championships 2014 - Arena Poprad, Poprad, Slovakia - 05/01/2014 -©Ville Vuorinen 1 - Finnish National Volleyball team gather for a team picture to celebrate winning spot in World Cup 2014 !!

Tuomas Sammelvuo (Finnish Head Coach) - lets out a Lions roar as Finland clinch the place in World Cup 2014.Tuomas Sammelvuo (Finnish Head Coach) - lets out a Lions roar as Finland clinch the place in World Cup 2014.Finland-Slovakia - European Qualification for World Championships 2014 - Arena Poprad, Poprad, Slovakia - 05/01/2014 - ©Ville Vuorinen 2 - Head Coach Tuomas Sammelvuo roars after Finland clinch the point needed to qualify for World Cup 2014.

Kirsty Linnett of Birmingham City Ladies FC at the teams first pre-season training in January 2014Kirsty Linnett of Birmingham City Ladies FC at the teams first pre-season training in January 2014Kirsty Linnett of Birmingham City Ladies FC at the teams first pre-season training in January 2014 3 - Kirsty Linnett at Birmingham City Ladies FC pre-season training in late January.

Two BBL legends (Charles Smith and Drew Sullivan) go head-to-head in BBL Cup Final 2014 in front of a almost sell out NIA in Birmingham as Leicester Riders and Newcastle Eagles played for the seasons first Trophy.Two BBL legends (Charles Smith and Drew Sullivan) go head-to-head in BBL Cup Final 2014 in front of a almost sell out NIA in Birmingham as Leicester Riders and Newcastle Eagles played for the seasons first Trophy.Two BBL legends (Charles Smith and Drew Sullivan) go head-to-head in BBL Cup Final 2014 in front of a almost sell out NIA in Birmingham as Leicester Riders and Newcastle Eagles played for the seasons first Trophy. 4 - Charles Smith and Drew Sullivan - two BBL legends, faced off yet in another Cup Final.

Leicester Riders Head Coach Rob Paternoster falls to his knees and raises his hands in celebration as his team clinch the thrilling Cup Final win at the NIA in Birmingham.Leicester Riders Head Coach Rob Paternoster falls to his knees and raises his hands in celebration as his team clinch the thrilling Cup Final win at the NIA in Birmingham.Leicester Riders Head Coach Rob Paternoster falls to his knees and raises his hands in celebration as his team clinch the thrilling Cup Final win at the NIA in Birmingham. 5 - Leicester Riders coach Rob Paternostro celebrates his teams BBL Cup 2014 - win in front of an almost sell-out NIA.

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) BBL Biirmingham Canon Charles Smith Cup Drew Sullivan Final Finland NIA Poprad Rob Paternostro Slovakia Tuomas Sammelvuo Volleyball assignment basketball bclfc blog kirsty linnett photo photography soccer sports sports photography travel work http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/12/year-2014---january Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:14:21 GMT
Volleyball in Italy !! http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/11/volleyball-in-italy Great sport and faith in humanity restored !

As someone who travels a lot after work (and I know there are fellow photographers who judge me for this) - I see and experience a lot of good things, as well as my fair share of bad things and challenges. 

Trip to Busto Arsizio in Italy gave me plenty of both - so here is a short recap of my 23 hours in Northern Italy.

Last minute look at game schedules pointed me to Finnish team LP Salon Viesti starting their FIRST EVER Champions League campaign in Pala Yamamay in Busto Arzisio in Italy. So a EuroCup basketball game in Antwerp was changed to a volleyball game in Italy. Arriving to Milan airport (with the flu) at 11am on Wednesday morning, I checked into the airport hotel and crashed to bed.

The EMOTION!!The EMOTION!!The EMOTION!!

Then it was the usual last minute emails to potential clients about the game and after an hour of relaxing in the Sauna and by the pool (this gives more glorious view of my traveling life!) - it was time to head to town and find the venue. Short train ride to Busto Arsizio - to which I assumed to be the station named in the signs above the doors of the station (Busto Arsizio) - and I started to walk, in the rain, towards what I thought was the direction of the Arena

Two and half hours before the game started, so that should have been plenty of time, unfortunately yours truly managed to get lost.. well, not lost but just not finding the Arena. No worries, I might have been soaking wet - but still knew the way back to the train station, so just walk back there and get a Taxi... right?!?

ActionActionAction

WRONG!!! Arriving to the station, I see no taxis waiting outside the station - OK, just go inside and find a number for a taxi. Oh, lucky me - I was given TWO numbers to call. After about 15 minutes of trying, and no answer (theme of the day, from the room service at the hotel!).. I walked to the little cafe at the station to ask the owner to call me a taxi. As a local, he must get asked this often... he tries for 20 minutes.. still no answer.

By now the game is only 45 minutes away from starting - you can forgive me to start to get a little worried that I might not make it to this Arena in a city with no taxis and no map (and as you will find out - the map would have been little use!). So, there I am in the middle of Busto Arsizio train station soaking wet, and desperately mouthing 'Pala Yamamay... Yamamay... Yamamay...'

Action VolleyballAction VolleyballAction Volleyball

Frienly customer tries to be helpful and decides to speak to me in German..."Pala Yamamay, zwei minute.."  This perks me up, two minute.. really!?! This is followed by everyone at the cafe joining in the discussion, in usually animated Italian style... in Italian (so I am left wondering what is said). Then I am taken to a group of teenagers and few of them speak English... "Pala Yamamay...??" they helpfully take out their smartphones and plot the route... walking time 2 DAYS 2 HOURS!! By now I am starting to wonder if this is even the right country!

But, just when things look bleak...my faith in the goodness of humanity is restored. A stranger walks next to me and says.. " I know where it is ... and I can take you there!"... after a quick conversation, I find out his name and that he is waiting for his girlfriend to come on a train and once she arrives they can take me to Pala Yamamay.

Five minutes later I am sitting in a car with Davide and his girlfriend (if I remember correctly, Gabriela) and speeding through the wet streets of town I had started not to like too much. OK - we did get lost, but in ten minutes I am walking in through the doors of Pala Yamamay!! Before leaving the car, Davide says that he might have some friends at the game who can help me after the game.. or just give him a call.

Eyes on the ballEyes on the ballEyes on the ball

Now - without Davide's help.. I do not know how I would ever have made it to the game!! But.. I do still have to get back FROM the game.

After the game.. I get a lift with the Finnish team to their hotel, from where I can call a Taxi, so does this mean there are taxis in this town? Arriving to the hotel (nice hotel) around 11pm the reception calls a taxi for me. I get talking to a Lebanese doctor while waiting for my taxi.. which takes 35 minutes to arrive.. and in the end, probably isn't a taxi - but just someone with a fancy car who wants to make few extra Euros. The driver also looks like a big tough guy.. so I doubt there will be haggling of the price he will tell me once we get to my hotel :-)

Safely at the hotel around midnight... I order a Parma Ham, Rocket and Mozzarella salad to the room, edit few images and crash to bed for four hours of sleep before starting my journey back home.

OH - the game of Volleyball!!

Loved the game, and ALWAYS love coming to photograph this sport, there is so much emotion and so much action and different angles to cover it from. And the Italian fans... once I get too old to work as a photographer, I'll just travel to games of some of the teams I've photographed to experience this as a fan and despite Busto Arsizio not becoming my favourite city.. I will come here to see their volleyball team!!

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) busto arsizio champions finland italy league lentopallo lp photography salo sports suomi travel viesti volleyball yamamay http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/11/volleyball-in-italy Fri, 14 Nov 2014 13:20:28 GMT
Just a normal weekend http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/just-a-normal-weekend Weekends are great?? Right?!

When the Mon-Fri 9to5 crowd chat excitedly on Friday about the weekend and time-off, for myself - the excitement is of a different kind, sports are waking up from the mid-week hibernation in the UK and it's time to get some serious work done!!

Here is a little re-cap of a quite 'normal' weekend - which just happens to be this weekend gone by.

Friday : Off to done some Head-Shots and Action stuff in a basketball game in Leeds - having trundled along the English roads for enough years, I know that to be sure to get to Leeds by 4pm, I better start driving at 10am (for those who don't know - this journey SHOULD take about 3 hours). My motto is that it's always better to be 2 hours early than 5 minutes late at a job.

Once again the M42 and M1 were true to their Friday form - and the drive from Worcester to Leeds took me SIX hours, but - I got there on time.

Set-up my lights, I had forgotten my backdrop stand - but but of gaffer-tape and clamps on the walls and all was good! Photograph the players, then the game.. and back down the motorways to get some sleep. Smooth driving most of the way - apart from SatNav directing me to a road that was closed (Thanks TomTom!!). 

Arrive home around 1.45am - shower, bed !

Saturday : Alarm rings at 6.45am.. off to our local French bakery, baguette, serrano ham, pain au chocolat.. and then off to Loughborough University to cover the opening day of WBBL. Head shots..action shots and also a Men's BBL game to end the evening with.

Luckily for this day I had some help from a fellow photographer (Hvala !!) - long day at the University from around 9am until 9.30pm. And this is without a break in the games/head-shots. So my diet was mainly the baguette and serrano ham.. flushed down with coke and red bull. Who says you can't live healthy and have a busy work schedule ;-)

Back home and just make it there before midnight.. shower.. bed!

Sunday : Alarm once again at 6.45 - French bakery closed today, not good!! So just a quick bite to eat before heading out. Three WBBL games to cover and in between rushing to Birmingham City Ladies in Solihull (and once again help from a friend).

Set-up in Loughborough - yes, we had to change to different room/venue from Saturday :-) Go through the first team of head-shots and then down the M42 to Solihull. Cover the footy game there, edit game-gallery for the client and up the M42 to Loughborough to cover the last WBBL game of the weekend.

Studio gear nicely packed away - stuff into the car (it's still in the car today - Tuesday) and fight my way through Sunday traffic back home. Shower... bed...

Monday : Not going to wake-up early!! But once I do - it's time to look at about 5000 images on the computer. Time to get some serious image editing done, lots of head-shots, action shots.. now this is the part of Sports Photographers job that you don't see. We sit alone in our office/living room/bedroom and spend hours shifting through the images, archiving them, uploading them....

But !! It is a job I love, a job that will never make me rich in monetary values... but the people I meet, the games I cover.. it is something I love and am very fortunate to be able to call a 'job'.

During the weekend I spent about :

- 20 hours driving

- 18 hours sleeping (three nights)

- 24 hours photographing games

- 10 hours editing images (Monday)

My diet was :

- 1 baguette

- 8 slices of Serrano Ham

- 2 Pain Au Chocolat

- 3 'Grab Bags' of crisps

- 4 cans of Red Bull

- 6 litres of water

- 1 yoghurt

- 1 cheese burger

- 1 bowl of cereal

- 2 bottles of Coke

And that is all I ate from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening - yes, it is a healthy lifestyle !!!

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) BBL Canon FA WSL WBBL assignment basketball blog football leeds loughborough photo photography soccer solihull sports sports photography travel work http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/just-a-normal-weekend Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:12:08 GMT
Spain2014 - Day 2 http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/spain2014---day-2 The journey continues - or begins. (Suomeksi taas Englannin osan lopussa!!)

Long Wednesday - firstly a visit to Korispiste shop in Helsinki to pick up some all important 'Susijengi' gear. I know as accredited photographers we should not 'represent' or 'support' any nation. But I guess my t-shirt under the photo vest will go (plus I am working for the Finnish Basketball here!).

With Susijengi in Spain2014!!With Susijengi in Spain2014!!With Susijengi in Spain2014!!

Then to the airport to video and photograph the players arriving - few smiles as players saw me checking in for a flight in Finland, they are more used to seeing me once they arrive to Tirana or some small town in Romania :-) But Finland.. why would a Finnish person take a flight from there! Flights with Lufthansa were OK (as we got to Bilbao and got our luggage!) - but the 'sightseeing tour' of Frankfurt Airport we could have done without.

-Off the plane - coach to the terminal, long walk through the terminal, coach to the plane... and AND!! we get on the same flipping plane we just left, same cabin crew, etc. And the funny thing is that out luggage was taken off the plane.. and then put back in .. one by one. Oh well :-)

With Susijengi in Spain2014!!With Susijengi in Spain2014!!With Susijengi in Spain2014!!

11pm arrival to Bilbao airport - about 28 degrees and humid outside. Drive to the hotel (not staying with the team) - edit the first batch of images and deliver them to clients. Then SLEEP!

Thursday morning - off to BEC and picked-up accreditation for the FIBA Spain2014 Group Stages (need Finland to progress to get anything further). Quick walk around the Media areas, Ukraine were training so no access to court side. Nice little chat with Sakis (my FIBA Europe contact) while at the Arena.. always nice to see familiar faces.

Attempted to get to USA practise - but despite the last 15 minutes supposed to be open - the four Finnish journalists (we were the only ones there!!) didn't get in. But - we stuck outside and myself and fellow photographer took the FIRST pictures of Team USA in Bilbao. Nice gesture by James Harden to stop-by and pose for a picture with a little Spanish boy... really was one of those little things that will make someones day!

Quick bite of Pixtos to eat - still haven't made my mind up about them.. are they dinner food, breakfast, lunch, snack?? Or maybe everything? Then Finland training - typical big tournament open end to training, most players just sit about waiting for the interviews - so rather challenging for us photographers. Quick interview with Koivari and little chat with Rannikko and Salin.

Then off to edit videos and pictures - before meeting Meral by the 'Guggeli' - afternoon drinks and then Meral gave her 'fans point of view' on video. That bit is only for those who understand Finnish... sorry!

With Susijengi in Spain2014!!With Susijengi in Spain2014!!With Susijengi in Spain2014!!

Still another training session to go today - it's been a nice opening for Spain2014 in Bilbao!!

Bilbaoon ja heti työn makuun

Keskiviikko oli pitkä päivä - ensin hieman Susi-vaatteita Korispisteestä reissuun mukaan, sitten kentälle odoittelemaan Susijengiä kameroiden kanssa. Videota ja still-kuvaa kertyi mukavasti - vaikka tietenkin yritin myös pysyä taka-alalla koska matkustus-päivät kuitenkin pelaajille hieman rauhoitettuja, toisaalta kuinka paljon pelaajat katsovat että minä olen 'mediaa' ja kuinka paljon 'osa joukkuetta'??

Joillekin pelaajille (oikeastaan kaikille) outo kokemus nähdä minut kentällä Suomessa - yleensä he näkevät minut bussin ikkunasta kun istuskelen odoittamassa heitä Tiranassa tai jossakin 'keskellä ei mitään' kaupungissa Euroopan rajojen sisällä. Mutta - ensimmäinen kerta näinpäin!

Lennot OK - laukut kaikilla perille Bilbaoon, ja kaupan päälle kiertoajelu Frankfurtin lentokentällä... koneesta ulos, bussilla terminaaliin, pika-vauhtia terminaalin toiseen päätyyn kävelyä, taas bussiin ja sitten noustaan samaan koneeseen josta juuri 30 minuuttia sitten poistuttiin. No - ainakin lentoemännät tiesivät mitä juomia halusimme toisella lennolla :-)

Bilbaoon yhdentoista aikoihin.. suoraan hotellille, editoimaan kuvia/videoita.. ne asiakkaille ja sitten nukkumaan.

Torstaina aamulla suoraan BEC Arenalla - STT-Lehtikuvan kaverit autossa mukana. Akkreditoinnit haettu ja Spain2014 laukut saatu mukaan. Tapasin siellä arenan uumenissa myös FIBA Europe kontaktini.. ja mukava oli tavata taas eri oloissa... koripallo piirit kuitenkin aika pienet, ja tuttuja tulee nähtyä (joskus enemmän kuin vaimoa) peleissä ja turnauksissa. Ukrainan treenien takia ei kentälle ollut asiaa - mutta se nähdään myöhemmin illalla.

Ensin yritys sitten USAn treeneihin - mutta jostakin syystä heidän treenien viimeiset 15min eivät olleet avoinna (kovat paineet Suomi-otteluun!) - joten sitten oltiin 'paparazzi' modessa ja otettiin kuvia hallin ulkopuolella. Iso Kudos James Hardenille joka pysähtyi matkalla bussiin ja poseerasi kuviin pikku Espanjalaisen pojan kanssa!! Hieno ele pelaajalta jonka ei todellakaan tarvinnut pysähtyä.. ja varmasti teki pikku poikaan vaikutuksen!a

Suomen treenit sitten kuvattavana - Koivari, Salin, Rannikko... nopeat jutustelut siinä kaikkien kanssa, ja Murphyn videointi Aamulehdelle. Lisää editointia ja sitten 'Merkkua' tapaamaan Guggelin eteen. Tästä eteenpäin, se ei ole enään Guggenheim Museo.. vaan ystävällisesti 'Guggeli'. Mukava iltapäivä tapaaminen taas yhden tutun kanssa (ja pieni veto Jenkki pelistä - jos häviän niin sitten olen kokkausvuorossa myöhemmin Bilbaon reissun aikana!! Se että lähtisinkö syömään jos voitan vedon....). Tehtiin myös nopea video-klippi.. hieman fanin-näkökulmaa MM-kisoihin.. ja terveisiä myös Sasu Salinille!!

Merkku - Fans Point of View - Day 01Bit of fun with a familiar Finnish Basketball player - as I caught up with her on the rainy streets of Bilbao.

Pieni iloinen video klippi - huumorilla tehty, tutun pelaajan kanssa Bilbaossa MM-kisojen aaton aattona!!

Sitten lisää editointia.. nopea 'bite to eat' ja kohta taas kohti treeni-kuvaamista..

Näin on Bilbaon reissu alkanut - hyvä näin ja tästä on kiva jatkaa!!

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) assignment basket.fi basketball bilbao blog guggeli meral photography salin sasu spain2014 sports photography susijengi training travel video http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/spain2014---day-2 Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:51:37 GMT
Spain2014 - Day 1 http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/spain2014---day-1 Let's give this a try ! (Suomeksi lopussa!)

So - another tournament journey begins, off to Spain2014 with Susijengi! Long days and long nights ahead, but maybe I'll find time to share the my views of the tournament here.

Tuesday was the first day - early morning drive to Birmingham International and flights via Frankfurt to Helsinki. Things got to a bumpy start, with flight time BHX-FRA 1hr 15min - time from landing at FRA to get to the Terminal 1hr 10min. And I never knew there was Terminal C in Frankfurt!! Then again, it was about as far as Great Malvern from Worcester.

Still plenty of transfer time, so safely to the second flight to Helsinki - a bit delayed so missed my 'Shirt pick-up' in Helsinki. But these things happen.

Funnily enough I am staying at an airport hotel, where I used to work as a Chef over 20 years ago... so as well as being a bit of a throwback - it also makes me feel rather old ;-) Last time I stayed at these rooms was after doing a late shift in the kitchen downstairs, and having the breakfast shift the following day.

Weather in Finland has turned - it's pouring down with rain, which is good.. I was starting to get the impression that Finland had changed into some warm paradise and I needed to move back here.

Wednesday - time to pick-up some 'Wolf-clothes' and then head to the airport and fly with the team to Bilbao!!

Suomeksi (huonolla Suomella) !!

Kun kuitenkin Susijengin otteita kuvaan ja seuraan - niin koitetaan myös Suomeksi pitää tätä tarinaa elossa.

Edessä siis kesän viimeinen reissu - takana valmistavat ottelut MM-kisoihin, Naisten EM-karsinta, U20 EM, U18 EM... ja nyt sitten edessä MM-2014 Bilbaossa (ja Barcelonassa)

Tiistai aamuna matka normaaliin tapaan alkoi aamu-ruuhkassa Birminghamin kentälle (ja Suomalaisille tiedoksi, ruuhka ei ole se kun edessä oleva auto vilauttaa jarruvaloja!!). Hieman yli tunnin pituisen Frankfurtin lennon jälkeen sitten mentiinkin etanan vauhdilla, tai ehkä etanatkin ovat nopeampia, laskeutumisesta terminaaliin - se missä lento kesti 80 minuuttia, laskeutumisesta terminaaliin kesti 75 minuuttia. Ja sitten kaiken huipuksi löysin itseni Terminaali C:n puolella - ja sieltä sitten toinen maraton-matka Helsingin lennon portille. Toisaalta - pieni liikunta lentojen välillä on ehkä terveellistä.

Helsinkiin saavuttua (myöhässä) - Rantasipi hotelliin kentän lähellä, pieni dejavu kun itse viimeksi tässä hotellissa yövyin - niin silloin työskentelin alakerran keittiössä Ravintola kokkina. Tuosta aikaa onkin jo vierähtänyt yli 20 vuotta... se pistää miettimään, JOS olisin vieläkin täällä töissä niin minkälainen elämä minulla olisi. Luultavasti olisin mukana Susijengien fani-porukassa matkaamassa Bilbaoon kannustamaan joukkuetta... nyt kun matkustan sinne kuvaamaan ja videoimaan heitä. Tietysti myös varmasti asuisin mukavassa omakoti talossa jossa lämpötila sisällä ei vaihtele samaan tahtiin kuin ulkona (Britessä vielä opetellaan rakentamaan kunnon asuntoja ;-)

Onneksi Suomessa auringon paiste on vaihtunut tähän kaatosateeseen - viimeisten kolmen reissun jälkeen alkoi jo hieman muutto takaisin Suomeen houkuttelemaan, sen verran mukavat kelit täällä tänä kesänä ollut. Ja ehkä tuolla alakerrassa olisi kokin hommia tarjolla?

Keskiviikkona - parit Susijengi vaatteet noudettava Malmilta, jotakin pientä itselle ja eiköhän parit kaveritkin ansaitse jotakin. Sitten takaisin kentälle ja joukkueen kanssa kohti Bilbaon MM-karkeloita.

 

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) Spain WorldCup assignment basketball bilbao blog canon googabu helsinki photography spain2014 sports sports photography susijengi travel wolfpack http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/spain2014---day-1 Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:21:17 GMT
From the road - part 2 http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/from-the-road---part-2 How to 'kill' time when you have eight hour stop-over at an airport!?

That - for sure could make a good Blog entry for me :-) And one of the things, is to update the Blog!

13 days spent in Sarajevo for the FIBA Europe U20's B-division - about 40 games covered, too many pancakes for breakfast, becoming a regular at 'iChicken', listening to the Hotel CD for about 1000 times - talking to people from Bosnia, Finland, Netherlands, Cyprus, Belgium, Estonia, Portugal, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, USA...

All in all it was a good couple of weeks spent covering the first bigger tournament of basketball this summer. There is certain appeal in the B-division tournaments, that you just don't get at A-division/EuroBasket/World Championships/Olympics. Things are perhaps a little less formal, players/coaches/etc are still all approachable and there are no big 'egos' around (or the tight security that keeps things separated in bigger events).

Photography wise, naturally these events offer challenges with the lighting at the venues. But todays cameras can handle them nicely - and it's just a question of getting your settings right during the first couple of days.

Now - it's a brief (about 30 hours) visit to home, before heading out to Sofia for the U18's B-division tournament. However this trip will not be 13 days in Sofia.. it'll break-up after the first days for a three day trip to Leipzig in Germany.. and my first look at covering Susijengi (Team Finland) this summer... and it ends with the flights to Helsinki to cover the Finland vs Lithuania game at the Helsinki Ice Rink!

Hopefully from the next two weeks - I can give the Blog some extra colour in the shape of images. But if you want to check out some of my photos of basketball courts... feel free to browse to my Instagram thingy "Basketballviews' will find me there!

Now - only another FOUR hours to wait at Munich Airport!!

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) Canon Europe FIBA Munich airport assignment basketball blog photography sports sports photography travel work http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/from-the-road---part-2 Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:08:04 GMT
From the road - part 1 http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/from-the-road---part-1 Hello from Sarajevo !!

(I would have liked to add few photos to go with this - but as you will read, the Wi-Fi isn't really up for such demanding jobs!)

 

It is now little over a week into my Summer Travels with various photography assignments, covering events, games and tournaments around continental Europe. So far I have managed to visit four countries  - and still have another 10 days here in Bosnia.

 

When you travel around, you notice things that are different in each country - whether it’s about the culture, transport, food, cost of things.. And when you spend your time 90% on your own, there is plenty of time to muse over the ‘little things’. Which I of course will bore my wife with once the travels are done and dusted :-)

 

So here is my first list of the good, the bad and the annoying things I’ve seen (please remember that these are only my own individual opinions and not based on any research..)

 

- Munich Airport has great 24 hour Free Wi-Fi, brilliant for us who travel on business and need to stay connected!

 

- Using your own mobile abroad, without additional costs is brilliants, that is thanks to the network I am with (no advertising!)

 

- Flying with one airline a lot means you get to know their in-flight free food choice before the plane even takes off - yes, I’ll have the chicken wrap (again) please!

 

- Finland has lots and lots of trees.

 

- Ring road/Motorway away from Finnish capital Helsinki (population about one million??) has four lanes!!

 

- Ring road/Motorway around Birmingham in England (population about four million, plus converge of major UK roads) has three lanes!!

 

- People driving from the M42 to M5 should take better care of their cars - during the last four trips from Birmingham Airport to home, it has been 20 minutes faster to drive via Bromsgrove than using the motorway, due to a broken down vehicle on that section of M5.

 

- Having Frequent Flyer card gives you access through the Fast Lane at Airport Security - during summer holiday season that lets you get past the 30 minute queue of holiday makers (me like!).

 

- Flights from Birmingham ALWAYS end up on the furthest spot at Munich airport - so please be prepared for the bus journey to the terminal.

 

- If you are doing photos or videos for a client from a game/tournament, I would advice you to stay somewhere else than the hotel where all the teams are staying. Somehow hotel Wi-Fi’s are programmed to give priority to the players updating their Facebook status - than you sending your large video/image files.

 

- I do NOT like people smoking indoors !! And people in certain countries do enjoy smoking everywhere… breakfast table, reception, the game venues … sorry guys, it just gives me a headache.

 

- When the venue you cover games in does not have A/C - it is OK that the temperatures outside are not the usual 35 to 40 degrees. It still gets warm enough…

 

- Finding somewhere to eat at 11.30pm, after 13 hours of working without a break… it can at times be challenging (good for losing weight?).

 

- If your Wi-Fi signal is either not working or weak in your hotel room - but when you open the door to your room, the Wi-Fi is flying fast. It makes you wonder what your door has been made out of??

 

- Why does it always take the photographer to go and ask a venue whether more lights could be turned on, for all the lights to be on at a venue??

 

- British football teams get their own buffet and walled of section for breakfast at hotels.

 

- You might not get a burger at all places in Bosnia - but you sure as heck get a Burek (and they are nice!)

 

But as always, I am enjoying my time on the road - meeting coaches and players or new friends at events and having chats with them in the the hotel, at the games - whether it is about how their team is doing, time spent at the hotel or certain players... it has been a fun and let's hope it continues like that for the coming few months!!

 

Now - time to edit few more images and before I know it... it's another three game day at Skenderija Arena at centre of Sarajevo

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) airport assignment basketball blog bosnia finland helsinki hotel photography sports photography transit travel wi-fi work http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/from-the-road---part-1 Sat, 12 Jul 2014 07:49:47 GMT
52 days, over 100 games, 37 flights, 14 hotels, 14 countries http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/52-days-over-100-games-37-flights-14-hotels-14-countries The title of the entry starts to describe my coming two months quite well - join me for the 'adventure' !!

There are numerous reasons why I love my job as a Sports Photographer, you get the best seats in the house for some great games, you meet different people, explore new countries, experience different cultures... all this while getting paid.

Then there are other things, which I still personally feel like I do enjoy - but others shake their heads when they hear about them. The getting up at 3am to catch an early flight, staying up until 3am to edit that set of photos or exclusive interview, sitting at airports waiting for connecting flights, doing a big tournament and not having anything to eat for twelve hours and then eating a pizza at 1am...

Every summer my clients fill my schedule with single games and larger tournaments around Europe - so I thought that perhaps it would be an idea to shed some light to what my summer looks like from behind the lens.

As I write this, it is the last day before the start of the long two month stint of living on the road. Somehow it makes you feel slightly emotional sitting in your own home office and being surrounded my your 'mess'. For the next two months, I will be staring at hotel room walls and having uncomfortable work stations (which my back will surely reward me at the end of it all!).

A quick look at my calendar showed that the following months will have approximately the schedule detailed below :

- 52 days abroad (out of 68)

- 14 hotels

- 37 flights

- 14 countries

- 100 games (on top of this, training sessions, press conferences..)

and

- 5 days spent at home (mainly doing laundry)

So why do I do this? Simple answer, if there is such a thing, would be that I love my work and all this makes me happy. Yes, all these games/events will be work, so you do need to approach them professionally and there is some pressure to get the images/interviews/videos that your clients need. But when you love holding the camera and strive to capture the special images for your clients.. it gives you a buzz like nothing else.

Having established a working relationship with many of these clients for many years, it also helps to make things run smoothly. And it means that the teams/organisations have many people whom I have grown to know over the years... so one could almost use the quote that many Finnish basketball players say to me (one of the teams/players I cover the most!).. 'It is time to spend some time with the "Summer Family"...'

Hopefully over the coming weeks I will be able to regularly update the Blog with various entries from the road.. and spice them up with few photos, so you don't have to just read the dry words.

But now - I will head to my garden for a while... just lay back and enjoy a good book for a while.

LIFE ON THE ROAD STARTS TOMORROW AT 8AM !!!

 

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) Canon Europe FIBA assignment blog flights photography sports sports photography travel work http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/7/52-days-over-100-games-37-flights-14-hotels-14-countries Wed, 02 Jul 2014 10:41:16 GMT
Bank Holiday football http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/5/bank-holiday-football Bank Holiday Sunday in the sunshine - and the third Birmingham City Ladies vs Arsenal game of the season !!

As a photographer, I do try to distance myself from the teams/players who I photograph - at least for the duration of the game time. What happens after the game can be more relaxed and having a friendly relationship with the players helps both sides when photographing profile/headshot images.

Birmingham City Ladies FC - Arsenal Ladies - FA Women's Cup - 1/4 Final - 04/05/2014 - Solihull Moors, West Midlands - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.comBirmingham City Ladies FC - Arsenal Ladies - FA Women's Cup - 1/4 Final - 04/05/2014 - Solihull Moors, West Midlands - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.com- Birmingham City Ladies FC - Arsenal Ladies - FA Women's Cup - 1/4 Final - 04/05/2014 - Solihull Moors, West Midlands - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.com

On the other hand when you talk to the players before/after the games, you do also start to live the game on the sidelines and you can often hear me mumble about a certain refereeing call/poor shot by a player. Although I have to admit, I am not qualified to judge any calls/decisions made on the pitch/court.

It was sunny day at Solihull Moors for the THIRD game between Arsenal and Birmingham - nice lighting with bit of hazy cloud in the sky to diffuse the harsh mid-day sunshine. Especially with the way the Moors pitch is - the sun comes from a nasty angle during the day time kick-offs. Luckily for me, for the WSL games I am quite free to choose my position pitch-side to adjust the shooting angle to the sunshine.

Birmingham City Ladies FC - Arsenal Ladies - FA Women's Cup - 1/4 Final - 04/05/2014 - Solihull Moors, West Midlands - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.comBirmingham City Ladies FC - Arsenal Ladies - FA Women's Cup - 1/4 Final - 04/05/2014 - Solihull Moors, West Midlands - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.com- Birmingham City Ladies FC - Arsenal Ladies - FA Women's Cup - 1/4 Final - 04/05/2014 - Solihull Moors, West Midlands - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.com

Few nice images of the Blues goal celebrations, few images of the referee (whom both sets of teams were rather unhappy with!) as he did influence the game probably with few decisions. I know - we photographers are there to mainly take images of the players, but if the referees come involved in the game with their calls/talking to players. Then yes, i will point my lens at them as they also become part of the 'story of the game'. Sometimes the action also takes place on the sidelines of the game - as the picture of Marcus Bignot and Jade Moore (below) shows - coaching staff sometimes call players over to give them instructions, and once in a while you manage to snap an image at the right time to make it look amusing.

As in most games - there are winners and losers, and it is often the losing teams players that offer the more emotional images after the final whistle. And looking at the Birmingham City players at the end of the game - it was their faces that were captured in the frames as they sat in the middle of the pitch.

Birmingham City Ladies FC - Arsenal Ladies - FA Women's Cup - 1/4 Final - 04/05/2014 - Solihull Moors, West Midlands - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.comBirmingham City Ladies FC - Arsenal Ladies - FA Women's Cup - 1/4 Final - 04/05/2014 - Solihull Moors, West Midlands - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.com- Birmingham City Ladies FC - Arsenal Ladies - FA Women's Cup - 1/4 Final - 04/05/2014 - Solihull Moors, West Midlands - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.com

From a photographers point of view - it is weather like we had yesterday that show WHY we should have football played during the summer and not during the winter. Luckily the Women's League already has seen the 'light' and does so... unfortunately the men seem a bit more stubborn ;-)

 

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) FA Cup birmingham city fc football jade ladies moore moors photography soccer solihull sports sports photography women http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/5/bank-holiday-football Mon, 05 May 2014 13:10:31 GMT
Women's Champions League with BCLFC http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/womens-champions-league-with-bclfc ​Last weekend I was privileged enough to travel with the Birmingham City Ladies FC to their UWCL semi-final 2nd leg in Tyreso, Sweden. Here are few random thoughts and couple of images from the journey and game in Sweden!

Covering sport is something that I love to do - and feel very lucky to be able to call my job! And it isn't always the BIG occasions like World Championships or Olympics that necessarily are the greatest events to cover. Even if they have the high profile and big shots competing there with their cameras.

Seger celebrating !!Seger celebrating !!- Tyreso FF - Birmingham City Ladies FC - UEFA Champions League - 27/04/2014 - TyresoVallen, Tyreso, Sweden - - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.com

Often for me it is the sports where I can somehow relate/interact with the players whom I photograph, and Birmingham City Ladies FC is one of those clients for me. I have been covering their games for the last 5 or 6 years now, and as well as capturing some momentous occasions on the pitch - I have been granted access behind the scenes as well, and it is these images that often stay between myself and the club/player in question, that make photographing so rewarding.

Klingenberg, Seger and LawleyKlingenberg, Seger and Lawley- Tyreso FF - Birmingham City Ladies FC - UEFA Champions League - 27/04/2014 - TyresoVallen, Tyreso, Sweden - - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.com

On the most recent trip to Sweden, it is true that the game didn't go the way the club would have wanted - and defensive displays do challenge photographer in me to look for other ways to cover the game than the usual celebration images after scoring goals. Some of the best images this time came during the 'off-time'. And perhaps I got to know something more of the personalities behind the players as well - and for me, that in some ways gives an extra insight to the players and it is nice not to just think of them as players on the pitch - but also as someone you can have a nice chat after the game, etc. Although in one way it also makes my job a bit more difficult, as I do share the coach/plane back with the players - and am sure to hear about it if there is something 'wrong' with an image I have published ;-)

Linnett gets away from defenders.Linnett gets away from defenders.- Tyreso FF - Birmingham City Ladies FC - UEFA Champions League - 27/04/2014 - TyresoVallen, Tyreso, Sweden - - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.com

Here in this Blog entry you will see few of my favourite images from the pitch during the game - my favourite image must the one of Tyreso FF captain Caroline Seger lifting her arms up in the after the final whistle with the background of Yellow&Red flags of the fans in the stands. One of those images that for me will go into the archives and always be shown to new potential clients when pitching for work covering Women's football!

Another image is of Tyreso FF players Seger and Klingenberg trying to get the attention of Birmingham City's Mel Lawley after a tightly contested ball - although Seger ran more to hold Klingenberg back in the situation!

Make not of the name : Jessica Carter!Make not of the name : Jessica Carter!- Tyreso FF - Birmingham City Ladies FC - UEFA Champions League - 27/04/2014 - TyresoVallen, Tyreso, Sweden - - ©Ville Vuorinen/GooGaBu Nordic Creations Ltd - NO UNPAID USE ALLOWED - www.googabucreations.com

Hopefully you will enjoy these images - and sorry for not sharing a full gallery of 100's of images for your enjoyment, but knowing the players.. they would just snap the good ones for their profile images without telling me :-)

It is after capturing images like this, and sharing a journey like this with the team - that I am often reminded why I love my work.. and as some wise man once said "Find a work that you love doing, and you never work a day in your life". Perhaps that is where I am at this very moment...

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) assignment bclfc birmingham blog champions city fc ff football game ladies league photography soccer sports sweden travel tyreso uwcl women's football http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/womens-champions-league-with-bclfc Tue, 29 Apr 2014 15:08:13 GMT
LIKES don't pay wages! http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/likes-dont-pay-wages In this age of Social Media - how important is a 'like', 'favourite', 'retweet', 'comment'!?

As photographers we all post some of our images online every now and then, and as human beings we want our images to be 'liked' - isn't it embedded into our brains to want our friends and strangers to like what we do?!

Myself, I cover lots of Women's Football and Basketball - so most people who follow me on various Social Media sites, tend to be followers of these sports and I guess there is the occasional photographer as well who thinks it's worth following me. Depending on the season that is going on, the 'likes' and 'followers' keep changing - when I make posts about Women's Football for three weeks.. the basketball fans disappear, and the other way around. The other week I covered some basketball in Romania - their Cup Final 4 weekend - and as well as covering the game for clients, I took few images of cheerleaders and posted them on my Blog and Fecebook/Twitter accounts. Photographers who cover basketball - don't try to tell me you never snap images of the cheerleaders. After all, in the last World Championships for basketball - I spent minutes taking pictures of fellow photographers who posed with the Cheerleading squad after the Final!!

So as usual, I post my Blog entry and few images and video online for the odd stranger who comes to read about my ramblings. I get the usual likes from couple of friends, family and few basketball fans. The next day I include a picture of a cheerleader into my image gallery, and head to Facebook/Twitter to post a link to the Blog article (and include few images on FB post).

Next time I log-on to Facebook, instead of the usual one notification from some random person inviting me to play FarmVille or BurstABubble.. I have 58 new notifications! - WOW !! am I Mr Popular or what, I think to myself. As I said, we all like it when people like what we post ;-) Looking at the comments/likes/share/retweets - they are 98% about the photo of the Cheerleader (and one invite to play CandyCrush). Luckily for me, the cheerleader herself had also liked the image - so at least she approved of it. In the next couple of days, the Gallery gets over 2000 visits, I get 100's of likes/comments. 

This is all very nice, but deep down inside I think to myself - I was at this event to cover basketball and what gets most likes is the picture of a Cheerleader! Now, my clients paid me for the images from the game itself - and they were happy with what I provided for them. But the people out there in the World Wide Web.. they didn't care too much about the nice Slam Dunk image, or the two players celebrating the Cup win... all they wanted to see was Cheerleaders.. Although to be fair - there were people who did also like the game images .. but these were in the 'tens', instead of 'hundreds'.

But - do 'likes', 'retweets' and 'comments' actually help me to pay my bills, fill up the car, buy a new lens, fly to Spain?? Unfortunately the answer is no - at least last time I checked in my local supermarket - 1000 Likes on Facebook wasn't accepted as a payment, and my usual choice of airline doesn't offer the chance to pay for a flight with Twitter 'retweets'.

In a funny way this made me feel a bit better about the fact that only very few of my posts get a big number of likes/shares/retweets - as much as it gives a little boost to your ego that your work gets 'liked'. In the end, the real rewards are when you get paid for the images you take for the clients. No matter if your image goes viral and gets millions of views/likes - the opinion of your client is still more important than any 'like' 'retweet' 'share' or 'comment' on Social Media.

Notice how I didn't use the image of the cheerleader as the cover photo - this means less likes for the article ;-)

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) basketball blog like media photo photography retweet share social sports work http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/likes-dont-pay-wages Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:45:59 GMT
Romanian Cup - Final 4 weekend in Ploiesti! (part 2) http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/romanian-cup---final-4-weekend-in-ploiesti-part-2 Romaniei Cup Final 4 - Champions 2014 Energia Rovinari !!

Two days, four games - it has been another good trip to Romania, and the Cup winners are Energia Rovinari - despite scoring only FOUR points in the opening 12 minutes!!

First game of the day saw the hosts Asesoft take a comfortable win over Pitesti - in a game that never really got going. And after shooting 23 times and missed from downtown in the Semi-Final.. it was fitting that the first shot from downtown went in today.

When one pictures says more than 1000 words!When one pictures says more than 1000 words!When one pictures says more than 1000 words!

Finnish player Gerald Lee top scored with 21 points for the home team - and his thoughts of the Cup weekend on the video interview.

Gerald Lee Jr - Cup Final 4 thoughts.Gerald Lee Jr - Cup Final 4 thoughts.

Final was a noisy affair - with both sets of fans keeping the photographers ears ringing through the 40 minutes. In the end, it all came down to couple of free throws .. which according to one 'expert witness' on court side should not even been awarded.

And before you start to think that I am saying myself to be an expert.. No - this person really DOES know what happens on the court!!

Where there are winners, the are also runners-up.Where there are winners, the are also runners-up.Where there are winners, the are also runners-up.

Still Energia Rovinari celebrated in the end - and the lowest placed team in the Final 4 took the Trophy home with them. Asesoft will think on this weekend as they slowly prepare for the play-offs, where in the first round they will face Energia Rovinari!!

And what else would you want from a Final game - except few nice celebration images!!

CHAMPIONS !!CHAMPIONS !!CHAMPIONS !!

So I leave you with these pictures, and get my four hours of sleep before heading out to the airport and catching an early bird flight to Birmingham via Frankfurt.. and straight to Women's FA Cup action over there.

Thank you once again Romania - it has been great to cover couple of more games here, and meet some old friends (not that I am saying these friends are old.. but you know what I mean!!)

Until next time.... vă mulțumesc și la revedere !!

 

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) Asesoft Basketball Cup Final Four Gerald Jr Lee Ploiesti Romania Rovinari basketball blog photography sports travel http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/romanian-cup---final-4-weekend-in-ploiesti-part-2 Sat, 12 Apr 2014 19:21:16 GMT
Romanian Cup - Final 4 weekend in Ploiesti! http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/romanian-cup---final-4-weekend-in-ploiesti After my first trip to Romania - who would have thought that a year later, I am here for the 6th time!

My first Blog entry from Romania got some local people talking - as I mentioned driving on dark roads and coming across horses and carriages, and yes it was different.. but even then I liked it. Now.. on my sixth visit here.. it's starting to be one of my most visited countries.

This weekend I am here covering the Romanian Cup Final 4 weekend in Ploiesti - mainly thanks to Susijengi player Gerald Lee Jr playing for the host team. And as well as covering the games, there is another reason for my visits to see Finnish players abroad... but that will come clearer once the summer goes on :-) But for all the Finnish fans, as well as English speaking readers... it should be well worth the wait!

Although I do love coming here for games, I do have to say that Ploiesti never treats me well with the weather - third visit to this city.. and it's either been freezing cold or raining every time! (unlike Pitesti where I only have sunny memories..)

After flying across most of Europe - I arrived at my 'Ploiesti home' at Hotel Central .. pouring it down from the sky, so I am glad that basketball is an indoor sport! Headed to the Arena to catch up with 'Junnu' and have a good chat about tomorrow's Semi-Final game. As well as looking ahead to a BIG summer for Finnish Basketball.

Gerald Lee Jr - Romanian Cup Final 4 WeekendGerald Lee Jr - Romanian Cup Final 4 Weekend

As the interview is in Finnish - I'll translate few bits of it (hopefully 'G' will be OK with my translations!). Firstly I asked about how he feels ahead of the game tomorrow evening.

"I am feeling good, we've gotten a good week of practise under us - in preparation for these games. We also clinched the regular season (finishing at the top of the table), which was one of our goals for this season.."

Home court advantage, and winning the regular season.. is CSU Asesoft Ploiesti the favourite to win the Cup?

"Probably in other peoples eyes we are, but inside the team we concentrate on our own doings and try not to pay too much attention to the talk. Our game has gotten better in the recent weeks, especially on the defence... so that's where start from tomorrow as well."

What sort of opponent is Energia Rovinari??

"They are a good team, they have three Americans who can score, as well as a big Serbian who is also a scoring threat and grabs rebounds.

How about two games in two days?? A smile comes on Gerald's face as he replies.

"Luckily I got used to that sort of schedule during EuroBasket2013 in Slovenia... I think we had four games in row.."

For the Finnish fans.. you can watch the video interview in Finnish!

Now - hoping for a bit less rain tomorrow.. and of course looking forward to some exciting basketball action!

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ville.digitalsport(at)gmail.com / ville(at)googabucreations.com (GooGaBu Nordic Creations) 2014 CSU Asesoft Ploiesti Gerald Lee assignment basketball blog interview photography ploiesti romania sports sports photography susijengi travel video http://googabuphotos.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/romanian-cup---final-4-weekend-in-ploiesti Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:03:25 GMT