David Ashdown's Sports Picture Diary: Arsenal v Chelsea

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The Independent Football

The FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley means we're getting to the end of the football season, and for me it's a time to look forward to the summer sports and hopefully some nice warm weather.

I only went to the one semi-final, Arsenal v Chelsea on Saturday, and gave Sunday's game a miss (after all, I've got to have a day off sometimes!).

It was a late start, 5.15pm, a very bad time for the Sunday newspapers as the first editions go about 7pm, which means sending as many pictures at half time a possible.I have to hope something will have happened in the first 45 minutes worth sending, but that's not always the case.

Fortunately the way we photographer's send our pictures at Wembley is via ethernet cables that are so fast it takes about five seconds to send a snap to the newsroom. If you look away from the computer it's easy to think they've not been sent.

I sat at the side of the pitch just up from the goal line at one end. From there I could cover the near goal with a 300mm lens and the goal at the other end with a 500mm lens. I could also observe the managers on the bench.

There is an element of luck involved at any sporting event, both for the people participating and us photographers trying to capture everything that happens. Sometimes it all works perfectly; you pick the right end and the goals are in just the right place picture wise.

Chelsea scored a few minutes from the end of the match. Up until then it was looking like extra time, and I can tell you that was the last thing any of us wanted.

This picture of Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink was at the final whistle taken on a Nikon D3 camera at 500 second with a 500mm F4.0 lens and a 1.7 magnification tele-converter making the focal length 850mm. Using this converter also reduces the aperture of the lens to F6.7. For me it sums up his delight at reaching his first final with the club.