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The FA Cup Run, by Duncan Elliott

1 July 2022

Duncan Elliott is an award winning commercial and editorial photographer specialising in environmental portraiture with a love for photographing stories of people and subcultures. His clients include many international newspapers, magazines and advertising agencies.

As it was the 150th anniversary of The FA Cup, I took it upon myself to follow the winner of every round right up to the final, documenting it through a personal photographic project titled ‘The FA Cup Run’.

I started by documenting the people within the club; the players, managers, and staff, photographing them in their usual surroundings. As the competition went on and the clubs grew bigger I wanted to show how the money changes the surroundings but not necessarily the people. But by the time the first League clubs entered the fray, Covid restrictions had come back in. I was scheduled to be at Charlton Athletic's training ground but we had to cancel due to the Covid protocols placed on football clubs.

Without having the same access as in previous rounds of the competition I had to adapt the project to take on a fans view point of the cup; traveling to the game, pre-match build up, the passion in the stands and the action on the pitch. In a lot of ways it made the project a lot more fun... I hadn’t worked in this way, shooting reportage, for a long time but I really enjoyed getting amongst the fans and being part of the atmosphere, rather than just witnessing it. A lot of my photographic work is quite staged so it was really fun capturing pure moments. I was shooting all the pre-game reportage on my Fuji x100f. It's tiny so you can easily capture honest moments without drawing attention to yourself. Shooting the game was interesting... I work with the Fuji GFX100s which is closer to a medium format camera than a sports... with a shutter burst of about 4 images... It wasn't ideal, but again, it was fun and I think it captured some beautiful images. This image is one of those from the GFX100s, I love it; the flare smoke, the sun's rays on the celebrating Liverpool fans and the glum Manchester City fans in the foreground. It encapsulates so much about football.

See more work by Duncan Elliott

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