Focus of The Week - #001

The Matthew Lofthouse Episode

Welcome to the first EVER focus of the week. The aim of this blog is to get to know more photographers out there and to expand our every-amazing network whilst getting to know one another, so without further ado, let's get into it.

Untitled photo

Tell us about yourself...

I’m from a town called Stalybridge which is in Tameside near Manchester and I turn 26 in May. I’ve been living in Cardiff for the past few years whilst completing a BA in Photojournalism at the University of South Wales.

What got you into photography?

I used to take sunset/sunset photos on an old blackberry phone as a little hobby when I was out walking and sent a few off to my local newspaper The Tameside Reporter who used them in their “around the borough” feature. Then a friend of the family donated her second-hand bridge camera to me after she saw my pics in the paper. This gave me a lot of confidence and inspired me to make a career out of taking photos.

What type of photography do you enjoy doing the most?

After getting my first DSLR (a Canon 450d) and completing a level 1 night school course I became confident with shooting manual. Not long after that I injured my knee playing rugby and I decided to support my teammates by taking photos from the sidelines whilst I was injured... this gave me a taste of sports photography and I’ve been quite addicted to this type of photography ever since! I love the little buzz you feel inside when you get a good shot during the fast-paced and unpredictable action in sports.

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

My favourite photo I've taken was one of the Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan during a pitch invasion when his football team won promotion to the Premier League. It was towards the end of my first year of university when I'd been doing an internship with the club for a few months, Cardiff needed to win or draw against Reading. There was a special feeling of excitement around the stadium that day from the minute I arrived. I got photos of the fans walking in together from the city centre before getting photos of the match itself. 

Before full-time, I put my 70-200mm and 300mm lenses inside the

photographer's room at the suggestion of the club photographer who said a pitch invasion was expected. On full-time, the thousands of fans in attendance rushed the field and swarmed the team in celebration. I got as many shots as I could of the fans and players, before spotting the club's owner Tan amongst the crowd. I pushed through with my 24-70mm to get a photo of him as he was lifted above the crowd slightly so his head was clearly visible. I spread my elbows out to protect my camera and then used my 6 foot 4 height to get a shot of Tan who spotted me and looked straight at the lens to my delight.

Cardiff City v Reading Sky Bet Championship

What’s in your kit bag?

I take a backpack with space for my MacBook in the back and a notepad, pens, SD, card, gloves, hat, phone charger, spare batteries, MacBook cables, bungee cords and a thin waterproof coat in the front. My DSLR, camera charger, remote triggers, spare battery, flashgun and lenses (70-200mm; 24-105mm; 16-35mm) make up this middle section. Then a tripod or stool fit depending on what I’m shooting fits on the side. Altogether I’m sorted for capturing a variety of environments with the kit I carry.

What’s next on your ‘to buy’ list?

A 300/400mm so I can continue doing sports photography to a good standard after I've graduated from Uni.

What would you love to photograph more than anything?

My main goal since finding my calling in photography is getting to the Olympic Games so I can photograph the top sportspeople in the world and record some history through my lens. I am going to keep working towards achieving this even with the coronavirus pandemic hampering my progress and my final major project in Uni which was sports-based.

Who’s your favourite photographer and why?

This is hard to answer, I don't have a favourite photographer but the one I've learnt the most from is David Hurn. Listening to his advice, his talks and reading his book always make me feel inspired to go out and shoot. My favourite sports photographers are Marc Aspland, Tom Jenkins, Clive J Mason and Joel Marklund, these guys have been the ones I look to for inspiration in my sports photography.

Final question, what’s your lockdown pastime? (Keep it clean!)

I'm a big fan of strategy games and since learning that my MacBook is capable of handling the Total War series of video games I've been spending my spare time in lockdown conquering Europe, Napoleon style! This is filling up the hours nicely. Aha 🙂

All images on this page are copyrighted to Matthew Lofthouse.

Click below to see more Focus of The Week articles.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In