through-ryu's-lens

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Neymar inspires a nation

Brazil wanted to stomp its foot down as a global power in the game once again. Neymar was striving for greatness. The opportunity presented itself perfectly: outplay the best in the world. Greatness comes with beating the best, and the 3-0 scoreline barely captures the whole story. It was a performance for the ages. It was an incredible way to truly reopen the Maracanã and usher in a new era. Now, naturally, all eyes are on 2014 to do it again. [You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his FlickrPosted by Eric]

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Özil, the calm conquerer

One player certainly can’t make a team great by himself, but he can help push his teammates to new heights. Enter Mesut Özil. It’s hard to call him a revelation because we all knew he was world class, but Arsenal have found the key that unlocks all kinds of possibilities on the pitch. Ryu was at the Emirates to see the German suck all the spirit out of Napoli to make North London explode. [You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and find more on his FlickrPosted by Eric]

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The World’s Best Football Photographer and The World Cup: Ryu x Rio

We’ve featured the sublime photography of Ryu Voelkel on AFR for years, so - unless you’re remarkably new here - the man hardly needs an introduction. But he does need your help.

Ryu captures the game’s atmosphere and aesthetics in ways that no one else can, and he wants to tell a story unlike anything you’ll see around this summer’s World Cup. He has already been given the green light by FIFA to shoot matches, but he needs support to spend the month in Brazil, travel to the tournament’s biggest matches, and create an incredible book around the 2014 World Cup. If you appreciate great photography and support independent artists, get behind Ryu’s Kickstarter.

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Capturing The 2014 World Cup: A Photographer’s Guide

Words and Photography by Ryu Voelkel

It’s been a while. So forgive me. Por favor. And this is a long one so I suggest you make some tea or coffee before digging in.

I thought I would talk about my experience as a professional freelance photographer shooting the World Cup. Not the ones who work for an agency or a newspaper. Basically, a backpacker’s guide to shooting the World Cup. Beleza.

Traveling

First of all, I was there to shoot as many matches as possible. I estimated 21 and fell 1 short and ended up with 20. Why? I got killed by the fog in Curitiba which grounded my plane until the match in Belo Horizonte started.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Anything you can do…

There’s only one person more disappointed that Zlatan won’t be in Brazil than Zlatan, and that is Ryu Voelkel. The big man deceives, acting and performing in a way that makes him seem to be more than just that. Camera in hand, Ryu was in Stockholm to witness a  battle between two greats.

Just when Portugal were comfortable, Ibrahimovic put them on the back foot. Just when Sweden were full of hope, Ronaldo silenced the stadium. The Swede did all he could, but could only watch as his counterpart did more.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: The Champions League welcomes back Didier

The last time Didier Drogba kicked a ball in the Champions League, it was a cool penalty that allowed Chelsea to win the competition for the first time in the club’s history. So when Drogba landed in Turkey after an extremely lucrative and tumultuous 8 month trip to Shanghai, excitement was in the air as he could continue his already legendary career with Galatasaray. The Turkish giants welcomed Schalke in the round of 16, and Ryu was in town to capture the Ivorian making his return on the continent’s greatest stage.

Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Old Trafford dreams trump FA Cup magic

The Theatre of Dreams was as vibrant as ever, and Ryu almost forgot just how incredible of a venue it is. Manchester United welcomed Fulham, but acted rudely to their guests with a display of pure demolition. Rooney, Chicharito, and Ryan Giggs led the way forward into the 5th round of the FA Cup, leaving Fulham with only a consolation goal for their trip back to Craven Cottage.

Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Blues in Black

It was a bright and sunny day in London. A rarity for Chelsea faithful. Matchday was made even better when Mourinho’s men stole 3 points in the dying minutes of the match against Everton. Nevertheless, Ryu brought out his camera and turned the lights down low at Stamford Bridge.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Zlatan, Zlatan, Zlatan

Oh, the Champions League was going on too? We were taken aback by the Zlatan Show™, and rightfully so. The Swede is the man of the moment, and watching Ibrahimovic in his element at the Parc des Princes in Paris was a sight to see, even if PSG vs. Porto was not a particularly memorable match. Ryu had his camera in hand in “Par-eeee” and did a little portrait of one of the game’s greatest characters.

Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Madrid rises in Manchester

Hours after the man who led Chelsea to hoisting the Champions League was tossed out onto the streets in London, Roberto Mancini had the small task of saving Manchester City from crashing out of the Champions League trophy with a win against Real Madrid. The win never came, nor did it deserve to. Casillas may have conceded on a questionable penalty, but beyond that San Iker’s doors were slammed shut. And Ryu was pitchside with camera in hand, watching the drama all unravel.

Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Japan’s quick trip to Brazil

Japan already qualified for the 2014 World Cup, but first they flew to Brazil to represent Asia at this summer’s Confederations Cup. They brought style and quick-passing (aka Tokyo Taka) to the tournament, including an unbelievable match against Italy, which they somehow lost 4-3. They’re also on their way back to Japan already because there’s still plenty of work to be done, and Ryu was on hand for Japan-Mexico to witness what needs to be improved over the next year.

[You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his FlickrPosted by Eric]

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Pep.

Ryu Voelkel hopped on a train for 8 hours. The destination: Freiburg. Why? Because it’s a beautiful little city known for exemplary sustainable urbanism, but more importantly Bayern Munich were in town. While Bayern are a force, Germany’s biggest and most stylish arrival has been Pep Guardiola. And Pep was the man (usually) in focus for Ryu throughout the match. It ended 1-1, but we’re obviously the real winners here. Warning: photos may inspire you to spend your savings on a 10,000 euro suit.

[You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and find more on his FlickrPosted by Eric]

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Messi lifts Barça, PSG bows out

Fingernails were bitten, but the Camp Nou crowd saw their side edge another excellent performance from PSG. Barça were second best until Lionel Messi came on and despite playing at 60% or so due to an injury, the Argentine led the Catalans into the back of the net. Ryu was in Barcelona to see the mighty Zlatan go silent as Pedro stole the show.

[You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.]

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Through Ryu’s Lens: 9 Goals at Stamford Bridge

It’s difficult to describe watching a 5-4 match between Manchester United and Chelsea only to think, “That was almost as good as the match I saw yesterday.” Sometimes we’re spoiled as football fans, and this week the goals have been raining down. Chelsea were after revenge against Fergie’s squad, and - after 120+ minutes of end to end action - that’s exactly what they got. Ryu was at Stamford Bridge to capture defenders pretending to be ghosts for Halloween.

You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. [Posted by Eric]

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Belgium’s biggest match (in Belgium)

Despite a population of just over 11 million and a history of little prestige in football on the world’s stage, Belgium are considered the darkhorse by many to win this summer’s World Cup. With Hazard, Kompany, Courtois, Lukaku, and Vertoghen (just to name a few) leading the Red Devils in Brazil, Belgium have shown that they’re united and have the quality to perform against any opponent.

But before millions support an underdog’s hopes to win it all, Ryu took his camera to Brussels to capture the biggest match within Belgium’s borders: Anderlecht vs Standard Liege.

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