Wednesday, July 16, 2014

10 of the best photos from Brazil WorldCup 2014

If I was to pick my favourite photograph from the World Cup, then, oddly, this might just be it. It's a shot of Mexico's coach Miguel Herrera celebrating with his goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa against Croatia at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife. Technically it's a country mile from being perfect: it's a tight crop of a much wider frame meaning the overall image-quality is poor, and the player behind Herrera is mildly distracting. But it doesn't matter. The child-like joy shown by Herrera overrides all of that, in my opinion. There's something comical about his facial expression and his hunched shoulders which elicits a smile every time I see it. I just think it's a brilliant moment and an apt reminder of a colourful World Cup Photograph:
This was the most sombre shot of an unforgettable night – it sums up the epic nature of Brazil's collapse against Germany in the semi-final. Several photographers shot the scoreboard at the end of the match for posterity, but Damir Sagolj opted for a wider angle lens than anyone else. In his image, above, the arcing lights draw you in to those improbable numbers: 1-7. But it's the framing that really makes this image work. The night's sky takes up a disproportionate amount of the image and, in doing so, Sagolj effectively suggests the result was bigger than just the events on the pitch. It was duly chosen as a front page image by several newspapers in Brazil the following morning Photograph:
This is another emotive shot, this time of James Rodríguez in tears, with David Luiz signalling that the player of the tournament was in need of counsel from his fans. It's the sort of thing you'd expect a big brother to do Photograph:
see more photos after the cut
Another stunning goal and thankfully this action photo does it justice. This time it's Robin van Persie of Holland scoring a diving header in their 5-1 rout of Spain. The timing of the shot is perfect, capturing the flight of both the player and ball close to their apexes, while the aerial vantage point affords the shot its overall simplicity. But what's quite critical here is a minor detail: the penalty spot in the bottom corner of the photograph. It hints at the outrageous distance from which Van Persie scored (similar shots by rival snappers lack that telling detail) Photograph:
David Luiz went berserk after scoring a fine free-kick against Colombia in the quarter-finals. There were plenty of great options to choose from and it was something of a gimme for our front page – and for pretty much every other newspaper's front/back page – the following morning. The Brazilian's facial expression was particularly demonic in this shot, and the fact that he is running straight at the camera makes it all the more impactful Photograph:
Nigeria's goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was beaten by a curling free-kick from Argentina's Lionel Messi during their group match. But I preferred this photograph of the pair sharing a joke because it's characterful Photograph:
Arjen Robben's histrionics against Mexico in their last-16 encounter would have you believe he's been whacked around the back of the head with a shovel. Behind him, Rafael Márquez pleads his innocence, but replays showed there was some contact between the two players. Enough for a penalty? Perhaps not. Either way, Robben's swan-dive is caught nicely in this photograph Photograph:
Using a fisheye lens, Julian Finney has created this very effective shot from the bowels of the reconstructed Maracanã stadium. The lighting in the venue is wonderful; it's there to be played with. The resulting image reminds me of a coronet Photograph:
Lionel Messi's second-half goal against Bosnia-Herzegovina in the group stages was a delight to watch. The calamity behind him in this photograph is the sole reason for selecting it, but that's reason enough in my book. It just sums up the goal perfectly and, more than that, is conveys Messi's ability to embarrass defenders Photograph:
Yacine Brahimi of Algeria was very nearly dispossessed of his shorts by Philipp Lahm of Germany during their last-16 match. I like the outrageous nature of the foul and the fact that all we can see of Lahm is his grasping hand. It smacks of desperation Photograph:


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