His last match – and how I captured it

TSV Feucht A-Jugend 03
1/1000 sec @ f/4, ISO 640, 210 mm

I don’t shoot much sports, and of the more than 400 posts published on the “Streets of Nuremberg”, less than a handful were about sports photography. But yesterday was a kind of special day, as the Big Boy played his last career soccer match, and of course I needed to properly capture this on a sensor, as I did also with his very first match, exactly 4628 days ago. He went out in style, scoring a goal in the 2:1 win of his team that also secured promotion of the squad into the next higher league for next year’s team.

To see a few images from yesterday’s game, learn about my photographic approach to get a few decent sports photos plus a trip down memory lane to Big Boys’s first match 13 years ago, continue after the jump….

Big Boy’s first match took place on October 21st 2005 (documented in my photographic archives) in the “Bambini” team of SV Moosbach, him still being in Kindergarten. It was hilarious, the kids running all over the place and the coaches trying to direct them to some sort of order. I even have a little video from that match, and we all had a good laugh when we watched it yesterday before the game.

Since then I have driven my son to countless games and practices, have watched many good and many bad games, frozen stiff on the sidelines during winter, got sunburned in summer on shadowless sports grounds. The Significant Other and myself have done our share of baking and cooking and sold food and drinks at games and tournaments to help get funding for the team. Well, all the things that soccer parents do. Big Boy never had the ambition to pursue a soccer career, but he has played with and against kids who are now making their entries into the Germany pro teams. My son has decided to call it a career at the end of this season, so it was clear I had to drive him and document his last game (lately he has been driving himself).

TSV Feucht A-Jugend 05
1/1000 sec @ f/4, ISO 640, 210 mm


TSV Feucht A-Jugend 06
1/1000 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 640, 140 mm

The nice thing at those youth soccer games is that you can pretty much wander along the sidelines for best views of the action. Although the Big Boy was clearly uncomfortable that his dad was roaming around along the field with the big camera. Even though big is relative, as the E-M1 and the 40-150mm is a lot smaller than the full frame equivalent bodies and lenses of Nikon and Canon.

TSV Feucht A-Jugend 07
1/1000 sec @ f/5, ISO 640, 85 mm

This was Big Boy scoring his last goal, which was the 1:1 tie early into the second half.

TSV Feucht A-Jugend 08
1/500 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 800, 80 mm

This header of Big Boy I captured with the PEN-F from behind the goal. As the 12-100mm lens is only a constant F/4, I needed to crank up the ISO a bit to 800 and 1000 to freeze the action. Also here I shot in burst mode with AF-C continuous autofocus.

TSV Feucht A-Jugend 09
1/1250 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 1600, 100 mm
TSV Feucht A-Jugend 10
1/1600 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 1600, 47 mm

Actually, before the start of the match no-one was expecting the promotion into the higher league, as the second place team was playing the last team in the league and everyone was expecting them to win and secure second place in the table and the promotion. But just before the end of the match the news got out that the other match actually tied, so our team needed a win to move into second place. And sure enough, already in extra time, they netted the winning goal, and then it was all party.

TSV Feucht A-Jugend 11
1/640 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 640, 102 mm
TSV Feucht A-Jugend 12
1/1000 sec @ f/10, ISO 1600, 23 mm
TSV Feucht A-Jugend 13
1/1000 sec @ f/10, ISO 1600, 16 mm

Big Boy couldn’t have hoped for a better final match, and also for me it was a great last game as a soccer dad.

Then, later that evening, the party got even wilder when Team Germany also scored their winning goal in extra time to avoid early elimination from the World Cup. So the tournament continues. I will have a hard time watching the third game against South Korea, as I will be back in Portland with a big business meeting running in parallel.

Wish you all a great Sunday!


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17 thoughts on “His last match – and how I captured it

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  1. Congratulations to your son Marcus. That is so wonderful that you were able to be there to capture his final game. I can’t imagine what that day will be like. Miss Sunshine starts her U16 travel season next month and then will begin her high school career in the spring. Time sure flies!

    1. Thanks, Amy, so much appreciated, and I will pass it on to Big Boy. Occasionally he reads the posts and comments, but he is on a school trip to the Netherlands, they went sailing for a week. School holidays are still three weeks out. They grow up too fast! Wish Big Boy would play U16 again 😉 ! Best wishes to Miss Sunshine for the new season! Marcus

  2. Congratulations to your son, Marcus. What a talented athlete. Must have been exciting and bittersweet for proud father to photograph his last game.

  3. I coached my younger son in the Under-6 league for 2 years. What a riot. He and his best buddy playing defense–with their arms over each other’s shoulder having a great little 5-year old conversation, while the soccer ball whizzed by. Such great memories. Congrats to your son!

  4. What a splendid way to end his football career, you must be very proud. Reading about all the ferrying round, the baking, fundraising etc seems a familiar story the world over, not for football with our family but instead for tennis and sailing. But, like you I wouldn’t change a thing! Good news about both our teams in the World Cup too Marcus.

    1. Thanks, Marion, much appreciated! Good you experienced it yourself. I will miss it for sure. Good luck for Team England! They are young and hungry, I believe they will go far! Have a great weekend! Marcus

  5. I coached girls’ soccer at my school for over ten years. It’s one thing I miss about teaching. I’m hoping my granddaughter will take up the sport when she’s a bit older. I’ve always joked that I want to coach three year olds.

    1. You’d have fun coaching the very young ones. They are still so enthusiastic, not caring what the results are, just for the joy of the game. Cool you were a soccer coach!

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