Capturing The 2014 World Cup: A Photographer’s Guide

Words and Photography by Ryu Voelkel

It’s been a while. So forgive me. Por favor. And this is a long one so I suggest you make some tea or coffee before digging in.

I thought I would talk about my experience as a professional freelance photographer shooting the World Cup. Not the ones who work for an agency or a newspaper. Basically, a backpacker’s guide to shooting the World Cup. Beleza.

Traveling

First of all, I was there to shoot as many matches as possible. I estimated 21 and fell 1 short and ended up with 20. Why? I got killed by the fog in Curitiba which grounded my plane until the match in Belo Horizonte started.

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More Than Just a Flag
The World Cup is often portrayed as an event that brings a diversity of countries together, but it’s not just the teams, so much as the diverse people who make up each of those countries.
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Regardless of color, creed, or orientation, we’re all fans, and we’re all family. [Posted by Nathen]

More Than Just a Flag

The World Cup is often portrayed as an event that brings a diversity of countries together, but it’s not just the teams, so much as the diverse people who make up each of those countries.

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Against All Odds: Atleti in the Camp Nou

Anthony Lopopolo was at the Camp Nou, camera in hand, to capture some of the scenes over the weekend.

A few seconds after Alexis Sanchez scored that first goal for Barcelona, an Atletico Madrid fan tucked underneath an overhang in Camp Nou held his head in his hands and couldn’t control the tears. He thought it was over.

Both Diego Costa and Arda Turan had gone off with injuries. It looked like Atletico were going to lose the league in the final game at Camp Nou. Then Diego Godin scored off a header, and the fan leapt. He was leading chants the rest of the game, a small section of Atletico supporters in the bottom corner of the stadium.

After the final whistle, signaling a the title-clinching draw for Atletico, a Barca fan turned around and shook his rival’s hands. Those remaining applauded Atletico. They know what it takes to win.

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Ryu x Rio - AFR Voice Ep. 41

Over the last few years, AFR has had the great fortune of sharing with you the work of Ryu Voelkel – professional football photographer and host of the Big Lens Fast Shutter podcast. Thank the football gods, he’ll be in Brazil this summer to capture the essence of the beautiful game in his unmistakable style – poetic, poignant and just plain beautiful to look at.

You can own a piece of the action too – Ryu has just embarked on a Kickstarter project. He’s raising funds to produce a photography book showcasing the very best of his snaps from the tournament – from the fruits of his exceptional access metres from the action to the beauty of the Brazilian nation bathing in the ultimate football festival, it’s going to be a stunning souvenir of the 2014 World Cup. Back his project here.

We spoke to Ryu to find out about the inspiration for the project, how funders can get their hands on the book and why the World Cup is the perfect sporting canvas for his talents.

This show also sees us highlight the major absentees and attendees of the World Cup, remember some of the greatest moments of the freshly retired Ryan Giggs and analyse the potential legacy of Arsenal finally ending their trophy drought with a thrilling FA Cup victory.

All that plus, a predictable but unabashed gushing of praise for La Liga victors Atletico Madrid. With such a low budget, small squad and monumental competitors, nothing could possibly overshadow their seismic against-all-odds achievement…except possibly Andrea Pirlo getting very drunk on an open top bus.

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The World’s Best Football Photographer and The World Cup: Ryu x Rio

We’ve featured the sublime photography of Ryu Voelkel on AFR for years, so - unless you’re remarkably new here - the man hardly needs an introduction. But he does need your help.

Ryu captures the game’s atmosphere and aesthetics in ways that no one else can, and he wants to tell a story unlike anything you’ll see around this summer’s World Cup. He has already been given the green light by FIFA to shoot matches, but he needs support to spend the month in Brazil, travel to the tournament’s biggest matches, and create an incredible book around the 2014 World Cup. If you appreciate great photography and support independent artists, get behind Ryu’s Kickstarter.

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A First Person Lens of Futebol in Brazil

If you want to see the biggest tournament in any sport, go to the World Cup. If you really want to explore the country hosting the World Cup, visit it before the tournament kicks off. Davis Paul took his GoPro to Rio and São Paulo, explored favelas, went to legendary stadiums, and played barefoot with some of the Selecão’s next generation.

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A Dispatch From The Milan Derby

Il Derby della Madonnina is not what it once was. It is still about the pride of Milan, but it is no longer the hottest city in world football. 

Still, AC Milan and Inter share a lot of history, and the rivalry never dies. They have played each other almost 300 times over the past 100 years. The latest match wasn’t a classic, a Nigel de Jong header winning the game for the Rossoneri, but you could still see the passion in the stands. [Photos and Words by Anthony Lopopolo, sent our way while sipping on an espresso]

Through Ryu’s Lens: Belgium’s biggest match (in Belgium)

Despite a population of just over 11 million and a history of little prestige in football on the world’s stage, Belgium are considered the darkhorse by many to win this summer’s World Cup. With Hazard, Kompany, Courtois, Lukaku, and Vertoghen (just to name a few) leading the Red Devils in Brazil, Belgium have shown that they’re united and have the quality to perform against any opponent.

But before millions support an underdog’s hopes to win it all, Ryu took his camera to Brussels to capture the biggest match within Belgium’s borders: Anderlecht vs Standard Liege.

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The Beautiful Game in Brasil: Photography by Christopher Pillitz

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