Offside’s Premier League A-Z: Q is for quirky images

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.

Mark Leech: Kyle Walker emerges from the West Stand at Stamford Bridge, mid-game.
Mark Leech: Kyle Walker emerges from the West Stand at Stamford Bridge, mid-game.

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.

Marc Atkins: Two Villa fans take one giant leap when it comes to lauding their star players.
Marc Atkins: Two Villa fans take one giant leap when it comes to lauding their star players.

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.

Mark Leeh: A bouncing ball in focus ahead of an out-of-focus Joe Cole.
Mark Leeh: A bouncing ball in focus ahead of an out-of-focus Joe Cole.
Simon Stacpoole: A shot from beneath a surfer at Blackpool's home game against Stoke City.
Simon Stacpoole: A shot from beneath a surfer at Blackpool’s home game against Stoke City.

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.

Simon Stacpoole: The match ball is delivered to the pitch by a shopping trolley in Bolton.
Simon Stacpoole: The match ball is delivered to the pitch by a shopping trolley in Bolton.

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.

Follow Offside on Twitter at @welloffside.

Advertisements

Author: gregianjohnson

Football writer for The Blizzard, FourFourTwo, The Mirror, Squawka and VICE amongst others. Follow me on Twitter at @gregianjohnson.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s