Fog Days

Photographer Steven Paston regales us with tales from his latest overseas trip.

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General view if Celtic goal keeps going out to warm up as the stadium is covered in fog. Photo Steven Paston

“My latest European adventure saw me travel to Romania, this time to cover FC Astra v Celtic in the Europa League. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I really enjoy visiting places that I would not normal travel to. However, this trip began with a 4am wake-up call, and a very cold drive to Gatwick airport!”

Here is link to a short video I made of my trip with my GoPro camera Bucharest 24hrs

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Celtic Manager Ronny Deila looks at the pitch as the stadium is covered in fog. Photo Steven Paston

“There are some advantages to taking early flights though, including a lack of traffic on the drive to the airport, and much shorter security queues waiting for hand luggage to be x-rayed. Every now and again on these trips my bags are selected for a secondary inspection, usually because they contain a 1DX, 400mm, laptop and a whole host of cables, hard drives, portable USB, and camera batteries! The main reason for this is that I don’t fully trust any airline not to lose my hold baggage en route…”

“On this trip I flew into Bucharest and collected my hire car as the game was taking place around 60 miles away to in Giurgiu, close to the border with Bulgaria. Luckily for me I was given a new mark 7 Volkswagen Golf to drive, which is exactly the same as the car I drive back home, so I didn’t have a repeat of an issue I have a few years ago, when I ended up calling a colleague back home to find out how to put the car into  reverse!”

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Referee Serhiy Boiko (far R) and is assistance looks at the weather condition before the game. Photo Steven Paston

“Finally after getting though Bucharest’s version of rush hour traffic I had a simple drive down south. On arrival at the stadium in Giurgiu the weather had closed in, there was a thick cloud of fog covering the entire pitch. Having collected my accreditation I headed down to pitch side to capture a few early pictures, just on the off chance that the match was postponed. You couldn’t see from one end of the pitch to the other, but the referee was happy and the game went ahead. In conditions like these you already know that the chances of shooting great action photos are fairly remote, however I tried to make the most of the opportunity to shoot something a little bit different.”

FC Astra v Celtic - UEFA Europa League Group Stage Matchday Four Group D
Football – FC Astra v Celtic – UEFA Europa League Group Stage Matchday Four Group D – Stadionul Marin Anastasovici, Giurgiu, Romania – 6/11/14 Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths has a shot at goal Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Steven Paston Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

“With the stadium wi-fi quite patchy, I resorted to using 3G on my dongle, and fortunately this enabled me to send directly from the back of the camera for Celtic’s goal, and for the disallowed goal that followed. Throughout the match Celtic’s travelling supporters provided a great backdrop with singing, chanting and even climbing up the wire fences.”

Celtic fans before the game Steven Paston keep
Travelling Celtic fans before the game. Photo Steven Paston

“With the match ending 1-1, it was time to pack up and drive back to my hotel in Bucharest, and it seemed as though the weather was following me. The whole return journey was made in thick fog, and I could only see about a car length in front of me at any given time. There were varying levels of street lighting, large pot holes and bends that came out of nowhere, but I managed to get back in one piece, including the car which may surprise some of my colleagues!”

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A general view of a fan before the game. Photo Steven Paston

“My next trip takes me to Germany for Vfl Wolfsburg v Everton, so I will need to watch my speed on the Autobahn!”

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Fog Days

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