PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : DECEMBER/JANUARY

Not a lot of football in December due to a number of factors, Linfield going out of the CIS Cup, not being arsed with travelling to Solitude on a Friday night, and weather related postponements.

Despite the snow that covered Northern Ireland throughout December, unfortunately, I was unable to get to Windsor Park to get a snow photo of the stadium, similar to the one I took in January 2010.

On the last day of the month, I headed to Suffolk Road for the first time, to watch Linfield take on Donegal Celtic, and put in an adject display which saw me sulk into the new year.

In January, I added Solitude to grounds I have visited, as I went there for the first time, watching Linfield win 4-2 in a game which was almost abandoned at half-time due to fog.

As a result of that, I had now visited every ground in the top flight of the Irish League, although Newry’s relegation and Carrick’s promotion means I have 11 out of 12 now, having never been to Taylor’s Avenue.

Despite the ground not being photo friendly, I did manage to get some good snaps which pleased me.

Donegal Celtic v Linfield

Cliftonville v Linfield

Linfield v Glenavon

THE FULL SET

By attending Linfield’s match at Solitude last night, it now meant that I had visited all the grounds of the clubs in the top flight of the Irish League.

Obviously, there are people who will have ‘achieved’ this feat before me, but it’s still a nice wee milestone.

Of course, i’ll have had my camera with me to these grounds, with varying results.

Ballymena Showgrounds – Ballymena United

Not great for amateur photography for away fans. The home stand looks as though it could be handy for amateur photography.

Minus points though for no stands behind the goal, meaning all photos are going to be side on.

Managed to get some good photos when I visited in March 2009, especially one of David Jeffrey barking out instructions on the touchline.

Haven’t had a chance to attaned a match in their new stand ofr away fans, so hopefully that will make it a more pleasurable excperiance for amateur photography.

Solitude – Cliftonville

Was there for the first time yesterday, and is absolutely horrible for amateur photography as an away fan, hence why the best I could get was pre-match portrait shots.

However, for home fans, it looks like you could get some good photos.

Coleraine Showgrounds – Coleraine

A long and enjoyable away trip, especially if you win, and also a fan friendly ground for photography.

Seaview – Crusaders

Nice and local, and always full when Linfield visit, Seaview is a great ground for getting amatuer photography.

Bonus points also for freedom of movement meaning you can stand behind whichever end your team is attacking.

Suffolk Road – Donegal Celtic

Like Ballymena, minus points for no access behind the goals.

The only time i’ve been there, Linfield didn’t create anything of note, meaning I was unable to find out if it was good for action photography.

Stangmore Park – Dungannon Swifts

Very much like Seaview, easy access to the heart of the action and no segregation.

Always manage to get some decent photos when here.

Mourneview Park – Glenavon

Absolutely love travelling to Mourneview. Easy to get to, and close to the pitch, making some excellent photos.

Managed to get free tickets for the 2009 CIS Cup Final and went snap happy. A full album can be found here.

The Oval – Glentoran

Always enjoy leaving here after a Linfield victory, be it a cup semi-final or a match against Glentoran.

Not that great for photos when a full crowd, but very good when the crowd is smaller.

Windsor Park – Linfield

Not that great at domestic games, excellent for internationals, as you can get closer access to the pitch.

It is good for portrait shots, be it from the Kop or South Stands, or from the Viewing Lounge.

Ballyskeagh – Lisburn Distillery

Horrible ground, that is officially impossible to get a good photo in.

Newry Showgrounds – Newry City

The new stand in recent years has improved the photographicability of this ground, especially when your team are attacking that end.

Shamrock Park – Portadown

Always enjoyable visiting here. Usually guaranteed an excellent view and photographing opportunity.