by James Gunn Published 01/06/2013
Parking at Murrayfield is a big problem due to the lack of space and I'm fortunate to have a relative who gives me a lift and drops me off near the stadium. Having my heavy gear packed in a trolley case is a real boon when walking the half mile to the ground alongside the fans. I pack my Canon 7D and 40D along with my Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM II, Canon 300mm f4L USM, Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC and Sigma 10-22mm f3.5 EX DC HSM. I also carry a Canon 580EXII Speedlite, laptop, spare batteries/cards, two monopods, two rain covers, gloves, hat, scarf, weatherproofs and a folding tripod stool. As the temperature barely rose above five or six degrees for any of the games, I wore thermals and four other layers to keep the cold wind at bay.
My first task was to pick up my accreditation pass and press vest from the press office located next to the north gates. There are various differently coloured vests and each colour gives access to a certain area when the match is being played. If I want to swap ends at half-time, I have to swap vests with a photographer from the other end. With the foreign photographers, the language barrier is often overcome by lots of sign language gestures and big smiles!
I normally arrive two hours before kick-off and drop off my gear in the photographer's room before having a quick bite to eat in the busy press hospitality suite. The photographer's room is small and gets very crowded with everyone's gear strewn all over the limited floor space. Tea and coffee are always provided in this room and sometimes a selection of sandwiches appears at the end of the match. A match programme and the official team lines are also provided free of charge. The stadium is geared for the early arrival of fans and there are plenty of bars, fast-food stalls, rugby sports shops and live music entertainment.
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