English Football Culture

England fans fight Marseille locals. ©Stewart Weir 1998

I did a story about England football fans for Esquire magazine back in June 1998. I was 5 years into my career and my first big shoot. My brief was to do a photo story about the fans as they followed England. This shot was taken the evening before the first match against Tunisia. I had literally jumped off the train from Paris about 20 minutes earlier. I heard police sirens at the train station, jumped in a taxi and asked the driver what was going on. He told me that there were lots of fans in the port area causing trouble so thats where I headed.

Decisive Moments

“the decisive moment, it is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression.” Henri Cartier-Bresson

A stormy wet August day and walking the beaches of Brighton I came across these two lovers kissing in the sea during a thunderstorm. Shooting on a Leica M6 and 35mm Summicron I got this one shot.. exposure 36. I changed the film quickly and got two more shots but this was the only one that captured the moment. I spoke to the couple briefly who were foreign students from Spain.

What I find interesting about this image apart from the emotion of the weather is his intensity verses her body language which looks reluctant because of her clenched left hand. Capturing the “decisive moment” is the essence of an image that tells a story with not one word needed. In my opinion there is a period of decisive moments and dependent on the moment you have just 125th of a second to capture it.

Guangzhou Sports School, China.. The image below is an example of a portrait that was enhanced by the runner in the middle who framed another runner in the distance. Its not as ‘decisive’ as I would have liked as the footballer isn’t looking into the camera… but then again maybe it is. What do you think?