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Focus of The Week #004

The Nikitas Mesney Episode

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Tell us about yourself?

My name is Nik Mesney, I’m 34 and I was born in Chester but have lived most of my life just over the border in north Wales. My usual day job is as a self-employed web and graphic designer as well as a photographer.

What got you into photography?

The company I previously worked for, gap personnel, took over Connah’s Quay Nomads about 11-12 years ago and the previous photographer took a step back at the club, so the owner of gap gave me £500 to go and get an entry-level camera and get cracking so that we didn’t stop having regular match photos.

What type photography do you enjoy doing the most?

I love football photography as I used to play a lot when I was younger and ended up having to stop playing because I broke my ankle and have now got a steel plate and 6 screws in there, so I love to keep involved in football in any way that I can. I do also love shooting rally cars and just cars in general and have been to the Monaco WRC stage twice in the last 5 years to follow it.

What’s your favorite image you’ve ever taken and why?

The first time I went to the Monaco WRC in 2016, my friends and I had an amazing time and on the final day, it was the famous Col de Turini stage – winding snowy roads, thousands of fans and fast cars made for some great shots, but I have one specific shot of Andreas Mikkelsen’s VW Polo flying past me – I had to get into a pretty dangerous position to take it as I was basically at wheel level with the cars whilst hanging

on to the edge of a verge that had about a 60 foot drop below, so I had to make sure my footing was secure and that I could quickly dive out of the way if they lost control! It all just fell into place perfectly and I got what I still think is my favourite photo to date. There are a few that have gone close to it, but that’s definitely my favourite.

Andreas Mikkelsen in his VW Golf during the 2016 WRC Monte Carlo.

Andreas Mikkelsen in his VW Golf during the 2016 WRC Monte Carlo.

What's in your kit bag?

I currently have a Canon 5D MkIII as my main body of choice. I’ve got a 100-400mm MkII and a 24-105mm. My old 60D is my backup body but it’s seen better days so I could do with a new backup body realistically.

What's next on your 'to buy' list?

I’ve got a few things that I would like to get in an ideal world! I’m desperate for a 2.8 lens of some description – quite likely the Canon 70-200mm as I hate having to crank my ISO up so high due to my 100-400 being an F4 lens, it’s not ideal when photographing football at night. I’d love to have a 1DX of some description as well… really want that faster frames per second burst as sometimes I feel as though I miss out on some photos in the middle of the burst due to my 5D buffering which can be frustrating… especially during a goal celebration.

Connahs Quay vs TNS abandoned due to fog

Connahs Quay vs TNS abandoned due to fog

This photo was runner up in the UEFA This is Football competition in 2017.

What would you love to photograph more than anything?

As I’m the photographer for Connah’s Quay Nomads, my dream photo from a club perspective would be to photograph the club lifting the JD Cymru Premier title… it looked as though there was half a chance of that happening this season until the lockdown began and put an end to football for the time being… who knows… it could still happen, if and when football in Wales does return.

George Horan lifting the Welsh Premier League Play Off Trophy

George Horan lifting the Welsh Premier League Play Off Trophy

This won WPL photo of the year for the 2015/16.

Who’s your favourite photographer and why?

Teemu Sunninen at the 2020 WRC Monte Carlo.

Teemu Sunninen at the 2020 WRC Monte Carlo.

There’s a few photographers that I love following in Instagram, but my two favourites would probably be Ricardo Oliveira (ricardo.oliveira.photo on Instagram) – he’s a great motorsport photographer that I started following when I really started photographing the WRC as he’s one of the top WRC guys out there and he’s great to have a look at before I head to a rally for a bit of inspiration. I also have a huge interest in wrestling (as in WWE) and another photographer that I follow is a guy called James Musselwhite (y2jimbob 

on Instagram) who does some amazing promo photos for some of the top wrestlers in the industry – he captures amazing up close and intimate pics with crazy detailing and intensity that really make his pictures stand out to me… it’s something that has run through my mind a few times about potentially covering a wrestling show or contacting some local wrestlers to perhaps have a play around with something similar for them.

Final question, what's your favourite lockdown pass time?

I’ve been working out pretty much every day since the lockdown started. I used to represent Wales for the 100m and 200m so used to be mega-fit 10-15 years ago when I was training heavily for that, but I’ve not bothered as much over recent years so I feel like I’m at my fittest that I’ve 

been for the past 10 years to be honest! I’ve been following the exercises that the Connah’s Quay players have been set and also been doing Skype workouts with my athletics group so I’ve been really enjoying getting back to fitness.

All images on this page are copyrighted to Nikitas Mesney.


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