Q is for quirky images…
Great images catch our eyes for a variety of reasons, but with more people increasingly taking football a bit too seriously, there’s something special about those quirky pictures that can raise a smile or befuddle the mind.
Sometimes they’re opportunistic shots that capture an unexpectedly surreal moment or some unintentional act of visual comedy. From the right angle, the sight of one of the game’s human cherry pickers strolling alongside or behind a player on the opposite end of the height scale can look entertainingly absurd.
A simple, innocuous action can be granted a whole slew of secondary meanings when frozen in the strange context of single photographic frame.
Picking up on the odd details of a match day can be a good source for some memorably weird and wonderful images too, whether its the sight of a funny banner, creative fans or something less obvious made funny by its surroundings.
Finding something funny in the midst of a football match often isn’t all that hard either. Games are strange. The spectacle and the build up that comes with them can be borderline bizarre at times, and even the most mild-mannered of clubs can usually attract a hardcore fraternity of fanatics who take great joy in painting their entire lives in the colours of their chosen team.
And that twilight zone factor that comes with a match day isn’t limited to the window dressing off the pitch. Within the high-speed, hurly-burly of a football game, there’s plenty of strangeness to be found out on the grass if you ready your lens to capture it. Those incidents that occur just off the ball and after the action are often the most interesting: in the aftermath of fouls, saves, goals or the in snatched seconds of down time when a player is able to have a moment to themselves.
The camera itself can provide some delightful, pictorial oddities due to irregular focusing or uncanny shooting angles.
At its heart, football is a game with a sense of humour in which giants tumble to plucky plodders and 22 men chase around a bag of leather for 90 minutes. It has to be otherwise it would have imploded long ago amongst the vast sums of money and time poured into it and the corresponding numbers with their long tails of zeros. Pictures are one of the best-suited mediums through which this other side of the sport can be explored, either by highlighting the strangeness that takes place or by manipulating the context of an image to send up the whole occasion.
Hopefully a few of the pictures above can act as a diversion to generate a chuckle or leave you scratching your head over your eyes’ first impressions. There’s sure to be plenty more thrown up this season as the forces of competition and the absurdity of its details clash across the ground of the Premier League once more.
Offside is the UK’s leading independent sports photography agency, home to an extensive collection of classic First Division and Premier League pictures as well as other images from across the world of sport. Explore Offside’s unique library at www.welloffside.com.
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