In a football season where predominantly there have been no fans in attendance apart from a few games when it was possible but at much reduced amount. The season has been played behind close doors which has been an interesting experience having important element missing from the game.
One advantage that has come about is the ability to place remote cameras in positions that would not normally be practical or possible at football grounds. During the course of this season I have covered 11 Charlton Athletic games at The Valley in South London for the Press Association. As we covers all their home and away fixtures for the club match-day programs & online feeds and fulfil any requirements they need.
Traditionally remote cameras are normally place behind the goal nets but with an empty stadium the possibilities were endless. Over the course of 11 home games I’ve placed cameras in about 17 different positions around the stadium. Sometimes running anything from one camera up to 3 remote cameras at any given time. Using a combination of the PocketWizard Plus III, Manfrotto magic arm’s and 3 Legged Thing tripod placed around the ground.
A few of these positions I’ve have needed to get permission from the club to gain access such as the TV gantry positions in the East stand and in the Jimmy Seed Stand. The latter being one I needed to be escorted by the grounds safety officer, due to climbing up ladder and the low head head walking towards the placement of the remote camera above the goal. With the help from the press officer Olly Groome, who I’ve worked with for the past five seasons this has not been an issue to arrange considering I’m working on behalf of the club.
In a football season that has been very restrictive with the amount of COVID protocols that have been put in place. Where photographers are allowed to sit pitch-side or in the stands to avoid the red zone and keeping social distancing among other photographers. Games being played behind closed doors losing part of the atmosphere that the fans bring to the experience that feeds the players. One of the highlights is that we have been able to cover games in photo positions where normally you be in a supporter seat or in a gangway.
From these images that you have seen from Charlton Athletic ground at the Valley. I have put together a series of images during matches that potentially next season with fans returning in large numbers I will not have the opportunity to do again. There are a few positions such as TV gantry positions where I will fix remote cameras again and be able to show the difference with and without the fans. Once the stadium is full again as comparison during Covid and afterwards.
Finally if you’re interested here are a few behind the scenes images of where & how I placed the remotes cameras inside the Valley ground.