Around The Floodlit Grounds: Photographer Captures The Magic of Night Matches

Paul Sorene

8th, August 2015

2 Comments

Ian Hughes’ photographs of floodlights illuminating football stadia have an ethereal, magical quality. The luminous air fizzes with electricity and garlands of white-yellow energy. Life is split between the shadow evidencing the glorious light. Like a planet in the inky black solar system, the football pitch glistens in the darkness.

 

Crystal Palace 2 Leicester City 1 Selhurst Park 2009

Crystal Palace 2 Leicester City 1
Selhurst Park 2009

 

Hughes’ fascination with football and the intense beauty of an evening fixture was triggered by going to night games at Everton. He explains:

I like the way the light transforms the whole environment…

The sight of a floodlit football ground lighting up the surrounding streets at night – like a beacon drawing you in – is something that excites me. As photographers, we love to see the way that light falls on our subjects. A non-descript suburban cul-de-sac or a nearby farmer’s field can be transformed – lit up like Hollywood film sets – by the beams of artificial light spilling over from the local football ground. That’s why I enjoy photographing small local league grounds so much. Within 10 minutes of the ref blowing the final whistle, the lights go off one by one and everything is non-descript again (and quite dark).
This is an ongoing project in which I have photographed over 60 grounds mostly around South East England.

 

Arsenal 1 Newcastle United 0 Highbury 2005

Arsenal 1 Newcastle United 0
Highbury 2005

Worthing United 2 Selsey 1 The Robert Albon Memorial Ground 2008

Worthing United 2 Selsey 1
The Robert Albon Memorial Ground 2008

Arundel 3 Rye United 3 Mill Road 2011, Attendance 53

Arundel 3 Rye United 3
Mill Road 2011, Attendance 53

Bexhill United 3 Rye United 2 The Polegrove, Hastings Senior Cup Round One, Attendance 78.

Bexhill United 3 Rye United 2
The Polegrove, Hastings Senior Cup Round One, Attendance 78.

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Lewes 0 Bromley 0 The Dripping Pan 2011

Lewes 0 Bromley 0
The Dripping Pan 2011

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Eastbourne United AFC 1 Peacehaven & Telscombe 0 The Oval 2011, Sussex League Division One, Attendance 57.

Eastbourne United AFC 1 Peacehaven & Telscombe 0
The Oval 2011, Sussex League Division One, Attendance 57.

Sidley United 2 Peacehaven & Telscombe 2 Glovers Lane 2008

Sidley United 2 Peacehaven & Telscombe 2
Glovers Lane 2008

Eastbourne Borough 1 Eastleigh 1 Priory Lane 2014, Conference South, Attendance 454.

Eastbourne Borough 1 Eastleigh 1
Priory Lane 2014, Conference South, Attendance 454.

Havant & Waterlooville 4 Swansea City 2 West Leigh Park 2008

Havant & Waterlooville 4 Swansea City 2
West Leigh Park 2008

Woking 1 Chelmsford City 1 Kingfield Stadium 2011, Conference South, Attendance 1,558.

Woking 1 Chelmsford City 1
Kingfield Stadium 2011, Conference South, Attendance 1,558.

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Littlehampton Town 1 East Preston 2 St Flora Sportsfield 2011, Brighton Charity Cup Round One, Attendance 41.

Littlehampton Town 1 East Preston 2
St Flora Sportsfield 2011, Brighton Charity Cup Round One, Attendance 41.

Queens Park Rangers 1 Birmingham City 0 Loftus Road 2008

Queens Park Rangers 1 Birmingham City 0
Loftus Road 2008

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Mile Oak 1 St Francis Rangers 0 Mile Oak Rec Ground 2013, Attendance 41.

Mile Oak 1 St Francis Rangers 0
Mile Oak Rec Ground 2013, Attendance 41.

Mile Oak 1 St Francis Rangers 0 Mile Oak Rec Ground 2013, Attendance 41.

Mile Oak 1 St Francis Rangers 0
Mile Oak Rec Ground 2013, Attendance 41.

whu10_efc58

Queens Park Rangers 1 Birmingham City 0 Loftus Road 2008

Queens Park Rangers 1 Birmingham City 0
Loftus Road 2008

Littlehampton Town 1 East Preston 2 St Flora Sportsfield 2011, Brighton Charity Cup Round One, Attendance 41.

Littlehampton Town 1 East Preston 2
St Flora Sportsfield 2011, Brighton Charity Cup Round One, Attendance 41.

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Woking 1 Chelmsford City 1 Kingfield Stadium 2011, Conference South, Attendance 1,558.

Woking 1 Chelmsford City 1
Kingfield Stadium 2011, Conference South, Attendance 1,558.

Havant & Waterlooville 4 Swansea City 2 West Leigh Park 2008

Havant & Waterlooville 4 Swansea City 2
West Leigh Park 2008

Eastbourne Borough 1 Eastleigh 1 Priory Lane 2014, Conference South, Attendance 454.

Eastbourne Borough 1 Eastleigh 1
Priory Lane 2014, Conference South, Attendance 454.

Sidley United 2 Peacehaven & Telscombe 2 Glovers Lane 2008

Sidley United 2 Peacehaven & Telscombe 2
Glovers Lane 2008

Eastbourne United AFC 1 Peacehaven & Telscombe 0 The Oval 2011, Sussex League Division One, Attendance 57.

Eastbourne United AFC 1 Peacehaven & Telscombe 0
The Oval 2011, Sussex League Division One, Attendance 57.

worthfc09_cor2

Lewes 0 Bromley 0 The Dripping Pan 2011

Lewes 0 Bromley 0
The Dripping Pan 2011

charlton08_cov2

Bexhill United 3 Rye United 2 The Polegrove, Hastings Senior Cup Round One, Attendance 78.

Bexhill United 3 Rye United 2
The Polegrove, Hastings Senior Cup Round One, Attendance 78.

Arundel 3 Rye United 3 Mill Road 2011, Attendance 53

Arundel 3 Rye United 3
Mill Road 2011, Attendance 53

Worthing United 2 Selsey 1 The Robert Albon Memorial Ground 2008

Worthing United 2 Selsey 1
The Robert Albon Memorial Ground 2008

Arsenal 1 Newcastle United 0 Highbury 2005

Arsenal 1 Newcastle United 0
Highbury 2005

Crystal Palace 2 Leicester City 1 Selhurst Park 2009

Crystal Palace 2 Leicester City 1
Selhurst Park 2009

You can buy Ian’s book here.

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