Good shot!: part V

©Tim Reder©Tim Reder

Local photographer Tim Reder is a football enthusiast and has in the past year published photographic studies of Leyton Orient and West Ham United. In the fifth of a series of articles, Tim explains that football isn't everything.

Shortly after completing my projects, making photographic documentary records of my local football clubs Leyton Orient, West Ham United and then Tottenham Hotspur, I became Orient's official club photographer. As well as taking pictures for club purposes, this allowed me to continue my historic recording of my favourite club. Additionally, I expanded taking football documentary photography to other clubs up and down the country, the highlight coming in 1997, when one weekend I photographed the last competitive games at both Roker Park, Sunderland and the Victoria Ground, Stoke City.

When I stopped being Orient photographer in 2001 my next stop was Verona, where I photographed the first season of minnows Chievo playing in serie A (the Italian equivalent of the Premier League), at the end of which the club published a book of the pictures to celebrate its achievements. One thing leading to another, I then spent many a weekend over the next five years travelling the length and breadth of Italy, recording the passion of football in that country. It was quite a thrill to be at the touchline at the great stadiums in Turin, Milan and Rome, photographing some of the best teams and players in the world, in front of wildly colourful and passionate supporters. I then selected the best photographs for a self-published book, Calcissimo – The Spectacle of Italian Football.

I photographed football not just as a historic record but also as a means of expression, so football was never going to be my only artistic outlet. From the outset, my subject matter was eclectic, being attracted to everything in which I found meaning, whether it be human, architectural, floral or fauna, figurative or abstract. Much of my earliest work was street photography, where I would look to capture a special moment or a striking architectural facet. These moments may be small or grand, but all could be given the same intensity and significance through the medium of photography. Most of this output was black and white film. I greatly enjoyed the process and became proficient at printing, which meant hundreds of hours in the darkroom breathing in unhealthy chemicals. As you can imagine, I became an advocate of digital photography as soon as cameras could obtain results commensurate with that of film. This transformed my work, enabling me to do so much more with a picture and at far greater speed. Not having to worry about film and developing costs has allowed photographers to be more experimental.

Film has left me one final task and I am now in the process of scanning my negatives. One subject in my archive of particular interest to Wansteadians will be my documenting of the M11 link road demonstrations. More recently, I have photographed top-level hockey and most particularly Surbiton Hockey Club, whose ladies' team have been national champions for the past three years and of whom three of its players were in the GB side that won Olympic gold in Rio.

Whatever direction photography leads me in next, I know it will be an exciting journey.

Come on you O's: Leyton Orient 1985–89 and The Hammers: a Photographic Study of West Ham United 1988–90 by Tim Reder are available for £15.99 each (plus £4 postage) from

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