Behind the Scenes: World Cup Final

Sports photographer Eddie Keogh recalls photographing the all-important Germany-Argentina clash of 2014

 

Germany's Mario Goetze lifts the World Cup trophy after the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro

Germany’s Mario Goetze lifts the World Cup trophy after the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

 

I felt very privileged to be part of the Reuters photo team covering the World Cup in Rio in 2014, but was even happier when asked to be part of the team that stayed to cover the World Cup Final between Argentina and Germany.

It was an incredible setup: eleven photographers covering every angle on the pitch and from balcony positions high in the stand. There were even cameras bolted to the roof to give a very high view of each goalmouth.

Now as you can imagine, almost every media outlet in the world wanted to use a picture of the winning team holding aloft the World Cup trophy. So this was a big deal for Reuters, and by extension for us. We knew that if we got it wrong, our whole World Cup would finish on a downer.

We started with a team meeting, three hours before kick-off, where our photo editor Pawel Kopczynski briefed us all with the plan on how we were going to shoot the game, shoot penalties if it came to that, and finally how we would tackle the all-important trophy lift.

 

Camera equipment is seen inside the Canon loan service office at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 12, 2014. In a project called "On the Sidelines" Reuters photographers share pictures showing their own quirky and creative view of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh (BRAZIL - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP SOCIETY MEDIA SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) - RTR3YLVY

Camera equipment is seen inside the Canon loan service office at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, July 12, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh 

 

The shoot

 

Our most important moments were in the aftermath of the game. When the dust settled, Germany emerged victorious. Mario Gotze scored the winner in extra time, finally putting down a frustrated Argentina who had not once managed a shot on target.

My colleague Dylan Martinez, also based in the UK, but with a sizeable amount of Argentinian blood in his veins, nailed the shot of the winning goal for Germany and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

When the final whistle blew, Germany immediately celebrated, and photographers were left with the choice between shooting that or getting a picture of Argentina’s Lionel Messi looking distraught.

Meanwhile, our two German photographers Kai Pfaffenbach and Michael Dalder were manoeuvring for the best head on presentation positions.

 

Photographers take their position for the award ceremony of the 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray (BRAZIL - Tags: SOCCER SPORT WORLD CUP) - RTR3YGZZ

Photographers take their position for the award ceremony of the 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray 

 

Due to the amount of photographers in that exact position, it wasn’t possible for Kai and Michael to shoot tethered. A photo technician had to wait behind them, ready to grab their card as soon as they felt they had the picture. It would then take valuable minutes before the photo technician would be able to get the pictures back to the computer to spool them into the desk.

Myself and three other photographers on the pitch remained tethered to our cables so that our pictures were moving real time as we shot the lifting of the trophy. I was positioned on the other side of the pitch, about  70 metres away from where the trophy was being presented, using my Canon EOS-1DX with a 600mm f/4 and shooting at ISO 1600, 1/1000sec at f/4.

 

Germany's captain Lahm lifts near coach Loew the World Cup trophy after the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro

Germany’s captain Philipp Lahm lifts near coach Joachim Loew (R) the World Cup trophy after the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

 

For jobs like this, the editor and processors in the office will have a caption ready, meaning as soon as the first pictures arrive they can be cropped, captioned and sent out to our clients via satellite. On this job, pictures were dropping with our clients within three minutes of the trophy lift, which even by these standards is incredibly quick, and goes with Reuters’ reputation for moving world-breaking pictures with speed and accuracy.

It was a great night, everything went to plan, and we finished it off by knocking a few beers into the back of the net.

 

The Reuters photographers after photographing the 2014 World Cup Final, pose for a picture at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014. (Top L-R) Michael Dalder, Leonhard Foeger, Dylan Martinez, Sergio Moraes, Kai Pfaffenbach, Damir Sagolj and Paulo Whitaker. (Bottom L-R) Darren Staples, David Gray, Eddie Keogh and Ricardo Moraes. In a project titled ?On The Sidelines?, Reuters award-winning photographers are sharing pictures showing their own quirky and creative view of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Their images offer an insight behind the scenes of the tournament, revealing the photographers? experiences as they live in and travel around Brazil. REUTERS/Paul Robinson (BRAZIL - Tags: MEDIA SOCIETY SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP) - RTR3YWJL

The Reuters photographers. (Top L-R) Michael Dalder, Leonhard Foeger, Dylan Martinez, Sergio Moraes, Kai Pfaffenbach, Damir Sagolj and Paulo Whitaker. (Bottom L-R) Darren Staples, David Gray, Eddie Keogh and Ricardo Moraes. REUTERS/Paul Robinson 

 

Eddie Keogh is a professional sports photographer. View his portfolio at his website, eddiekeogh.com

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