Saturday, June 29, 2002

I've just finished Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football. The book made good on the promises by book reviewers that the book would use football to speak about Dutch politics, identity, city planning, architecture, art and as exerpted below, photography:

Van der Meer has taken memorable photographs of Ajax matches, too -- but never from the traditional photogaphers' vantage point at ground level behind the goal or on the sidelines. He prefers to work high in the stands, usually near the halfway line, from where he aims to capture what he calls 'the moment of tension'. His deep-focus, pin-sharp images freeze the game, the crowd, and the trees and clouds beyond the stadium.... "Football is a game of space. So why should you leave the space out?" he says. 'Every Monday in the newspapers you see the same stupid, boring close-ups taken from behind the goals with long telephoto lenses which distort the space. Those pictures should you football situations but you have no idea what they mean. Two players fight for the ball. So what? Where on the pitch are they? ...

'Newspaper picture editors always say it's much more dramatic to have a close-up. That is bullshit. The problem is basically they don't understand football, they don't know what they are looking at. Of course, yes, it is nice also to have close-ups, to see footballers looking like heroes. But you need both kinds of picture. What can be more dramatic than this? Four Italian attackers conversing on two Dutch defenders. It's a terrifying image.

Haven't decided to keep this particular line of curiousity going by reading The Low Sky: Understanding the Dutch.

On a related note:
The following is a provisional timetable of events:

December 2003 Draw for Preliminary Round Matches
May 2004 Schedule for World Cup Finals issued by FIFA
Late 2005 Tickets for World Cup Finals go on sale
December 2005 Draw for the World Cup Finals
09 June 2006 Opening match in Munich
09 July 2006 Final match in Berlin

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