Review - Andrew Moss, "He Shoots, He Scores!", 12 Oct 2020

A review by Janine Scola - Andrew Moss, "He Shoots, He Scores!", 12 October 2020
If you thought you knew all about sport, then think again! Andrew is based in Beckenham, Kent where he has access to a wide variety of sporting venues from which to choose, particularly around London. He started his career in printing, and from a batch of ‘extra’ books sent in, one caught his eye on sports photography; that set his imagination going and the beginning of his journey into the world of sport.

In his early days, his first foray found him on the side lines of track cycling, where he honed his skills – and his style. From here he moved into other areas of sport, continuing to create his own style and graphic quality of sports photography. This eventually brought him to the Olympic Stadium in London – and the turning point in his career – when he took a series of images of the BMX Championships, which gave him entry into the Press fraternity. This also introduced him to the strict limitations of what could – and could not – be applied to an image and another set of rules if he wanted to progress! He did, along with the aid of a Press Pass.

Through a series of stunning sports images, Andrew then explained how he researched each event. Some sports were a known quantity, others a little ‘sketchy’; he would research not only the game, but also how other photographers submitted their images, not to copy but to inspire his own style ideas. A visit to the venue beforehand is invaluable, to get a feel of the best ‘spots’ to shoot the action and, importantly, with the least distractions in the background. Sometimes this can be unavoidable, but a good image can still be obtained by changing the point of the shot. A holiday trip to Southern France, found him in the Camargue and the bull ring – very different from that found in Spain! Here six young men, try to out-run the smaller young bulls of this area – you have to be very nippy on your feet and, for Andrew, equally fast to take the amazing shots of the near misses! His favourite point of view for his action images is certainly what is coming towards or above him – evidenced by his powerful portrayal of his amazingly different images.

As we are all well aware, sport action is instantaneous and hard to achieve the image we have in our mind’s eye. Andrew gave his tips on the best aperture, speed and ISO settings he generally uses – the latter from 25,000 to 32,000 – and yes there will be noise, but the best action shot will be gained. He recommended Topaz for Lightroom, a plug-in which magically performs well in noise reduction. Following on from the technical side, Andrew then talked us through some of his processing practices, highlighting images of the Fastnet Race (not for the faint hearted!) producing a full on dramatic head-on shot, to the London skyline at sunset by a change in white / colour balances.

In summary Andrew gave his tips – quite simply know your equipment and importantly your sport. Check where the sun is going to be and go wide and close! Watch your backgrounds and be critical. Get low or high for a different perspective and don’t be afraid to crop tight – simple really!

An interesting evening with a difference, covering a wide variety of sports and how to anticipate what may happen and being in the right place when it does - hopefully! Whilst we may not be able to meet physically, one of the benefits of such Zoom meetings, is being able to meet and listen to interesting speakers, who might otherwise not be able to venture to Dorset. A wonderful opportunity to meet and see Andrew’s images - a thoroughly fascinating evening and useful tips that everyone can apply in whatever genre they follow.

~ Janine Scola