Darren Gatcum is an Essex photographer, I first met him when he attended one of my photography workshops. Although a semi-pro photographer at the moment Darren has gone from strength to strength in a short period of time. He has photographed football, golf, ice hockey and many other sports, plus many music events.

Below is one of his photographs and the story behind it.

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World © Darren Gatcum- All rights reserved

Valiant FC was in the West Essex Sunday Charity Cup Final against CFC Flamengo. I was asked by Valiant FC to photograph the cup final at Thurrock FC’s stadium.

I positioned myself near the goal as that is where the action tends to be in football and I was not disappointed on this occasion.

I like this photo because it captures the action and the determination of the players. You have the number 2 defender from Valiant FC sliding into tackle the striker from Flamengo CFC with the dirt flying up from the ground. The sheer determination of the striker can be seen in his face as he leaps over the number 2 defender.

I was shooting with a Canon 5D3. To fill the frame you need a long lens so I was using a 300mm f/2.8 lens. I used manual mode because I like to have full control over all my camera settings. In order to isolate the players from the background I was shooting at f/2.8 which is the standard aperture for shooting football. To freeze the players I set my shutter speed at 1/1000 which is the minimum shutter speed for shooting football. The match was under stadium lights which were awful. As a result, I had to increase my ISO to 8000 to get the correct exposure. High ISOs are no longer a problem with modern DSLRs.

The final score was 2-2 and the match was decided 7-6 on penalties with Valiant FC coming out the winners.

You can contact Darren via his Twitter account at @DarrenGatcum.

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