I was asked if I could make the trip down to Gothenburg to work and cover the Women’s Champions League Final 2021. Naturally I jumped at the occasion. There was one stipulation though and that was that I would be working for Chelsea as one of their club photographers. The COVID restrictions put in place by UEFA meant their photographer, who had access to the players, might not be given pitch access where the ordinary press photographers were. Working for Chelsea meant I would be focusing strictly on taking photographs of them with only a small selection of those being released for use to the press.
As I made the trip down to Gothenburg and in the lead up to the match I really did not give much thought to how the match might go and who would win. I kind of took it for granted that things would work out and go the way I wanted. You can image what a punch to the gut it was when Barcelona took the lead through an own goal after just one minute. Twenty minutes into the game and it was already 3-0. By the end of the first half Barcelona made it 4-0 and I had absolutely no illusions about our prospects in the second half.
For myself personally the only silver lining in this job is that this was the last big test for the Canon R5 and it passed with flying colors. I’ve had two R5’s since last fall, and I have been using the R5 as my main football camera on my tele lens. The only thing I had yet to try was to be in a situation where I needed to transmit live images from the camera. I was a little concerned that maybe the R5 would not be up to the task. I even considered putting the trusty old 1D X Mark II back on my tele just for this match so I could go with something proven. In the end I went for it. Since there was no crowd I knew I would likely get great signal on my portable 4G router. So I went and ahead and used that pairing with the R5’s built-in WIFI to connect and transmit images over FTP. I sent out over a 100 images over the course of the game without any problems.