As we shared last week, being a sports photographer at the Olympics is a difficult task: battling a round-the-clock schedule and a sea of competing photographers, hauling around a boatload of gear from venue to venue is just the least of your concerns.
Here’s a video that offers a peek into the life of a Reuters photographer covering the Olympics. It features photographers and editors on the Reuters team talking about the joys and challenges of shooting the biggest sporting event in the world. Read more…
Reuters photographer Luke MacGregor doesn’t know much about astronomy, but he had the idea recently of photographing the full moon rising up into the Olympic Rings found on London’s Tower Bridge. Armed with a phone app that informed him of moonrise times, he spent two evenings trying and failing to create the photo. Finally, on the third evening, he succeeded:
I readied myself at the predicted angle to the rings. The moon would be rising at 8:50pm and would hit the rings by about 9pm. As the moon had been rising later each evening it had become darker than the previous evenings. I wished I had my tripod. Nonetheless, using the Canon 5D MkIII meant I could push the ISO a little further than I would normally have chosen for a late evening shot. Exactly on time the moon began to show itself over the horizon, a lovely peachy color. I had to keep an eye on a changing exposure, balancing the brightness of the moon with a rapidly darkening sky. As it rose I had to keep moving along, mercilessly pushing tourists out of the way who had stopped to look, in order to keep the moon in line with the rings. Finally, after three days, I had the picture I had been trying to achieve.
Sports photographers sitting close to the action occasionally take a beating when athletes leave their field of play. This happened yesterday to Reuters photographer Mike Segar while he was shooting the Olympic basketball game between Spain and Australia. While trying to dive for a loose ball, Spain’s Rudy Fernandez slammed into Segar and injured his head. Segar has written up an interesting post on what it was like to suddenly find the cameras pointed at him:
As the smoke cleared and I looked up, Fernandez was basically lying in my lap head down eyes closed. He rolled forward slightly, moved his hands to his head, moaned loudly and stopped moving. He was in my lap, clearly injured on his head. I could see blood on his fingers on top of his head and apparently he was now unconscious for a few seconds, or nearly so. At this point I was not a photographer. I suppose I just kind of instinctively rubbed his arm and shoulder, kept my hands on his back and held him a bit and said “stay still, stay still man… You’re all right.” I didn’t actually know if he WAS all right at all, but all I could do was to try to comfort him for the 20 or 30 seconds it took the Spain trainers, players and staff to rush to his aid. Anyone would do the same for anyone else injured in their lap, right?
I looked up and realized that fellow photographers and TV crews were shooting the incident from all possible angles. I was in the center of this wreckage but I was not really hurt. A camera with a wide angle lens was somewhere in the strewn mess of my equipment at my side and for a moment I thought to try to find it and take pictures, but with Fernandez lying bleeding on my feet and me the only one trying to help a bit, that wasn’t going to happen.
Here’s a brief video in which Reuters shows off the special underwater camera it created to shoot swimming competitions at the London Olympics. The design was derived from the cameras used during the BP oil spill back in 2010.
World class athletes eat huge meals to provide their bodies with fuel during training (you might have heard that swimmer Michael Phelps gobbles down 12,000 caloriesevery day while training). Reuters photographer Umit Bektas recently decided to do a photo project exploring this fact by shooting studio portraits of Turkish Olympic athletes posing next to tables laden with their daily meal intakes. Read more…
When firefighter Joseba Etxaburu isn’t putting out flames, he works as a photo stringer for Reuters, and for the past 12-years he’s been attending the San Fermin festival in Spain, more commonly known as the “running of the bulls”. This year, however, while covering the release of wild cows into the bullring, he got a little bit more personal with one of his subjects than even he was comfortable with:
I think the cow had spotted me from the start and didn’t like the look of what she saw. She had a crooked horn and maybe she was self-conscious about being photographed. She kept her eye on me and started advancing. I tried to back away using a circular motion. It’s never a good idea to run to or from bulls or cows in a straight line. They are faster than you and will catch you. It’s better to move in a curve. They have less ability to turn than we do and there’s a chance you can out-turn her. On this day though that didn’t happen. She came at me and while I was trying to dodge, I slipped.
I grabbed onto her horn to stop her tossing me. It worked but she stepped on my elbow, which is the biggest scratch I got that day. With my other hand I held onto my camera. Those things aren’t cheap.
The whole altercation, Wild Cow vs Photog, was caught on camera by Reuters photographer Susan Vera: Read more…
Sports photographers use a variety of techniques and gear to shoot from different angles that are less accessible to the photographers during action: wirelessly triggered cameras mounted behind backboards, perched on overhead catwalks, clamped on the ground. Reuters photographers Fabrizio Bensch and Pawel Kopczynski decided to take the technology of remote photography to another level for the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics with robotic cameras. Read more…
Reuters is reporting that US-based investment firm TPG Capital has expressed interest in pouring $1 billion into Olympus in a joint deal, and has notified other possible suitors including Sony, Canon, Fujifilm, and Panasonic.
Nearly all of Olympus’ profits are generated from its dominant 70 percent share of the global market for flexible diagnostic endoscopes. The steady cash flow from that business has allowed it to prop up its digital camera business, which is on course to lose money for a second straight year.
TPG would consider taking over the other less desirable parts of the firm to facilitate a deal. This could include the digital camera operation, which is in need of a major overhaul, including job cuts, the person said.
It’s interesting that the camera division is one of the “less desirable parts” of Olympus, since that’s what most consumers know the company for.
News photo agencies EPA, AFP, and Reuters have all issued kill orders for a photo of Kim Jong-il’s funeral procession released by the Korean Central News Agency, the state news agency of North Korea. The photo (above at bottom) raised red flags after a comparison with a Kyodo News photo taken just seconds earlier revealed that a number of people had vanished from the scene. The New York Times writes,
A side-by-side comparison of the full images does point to a possibly banal explanation: totalitarian aesthetics. With the men straggling around the sidelines, a certain martial perfection is lost. Without the men, the tight black bands of the crowd on either side look railroad straight.
Perhaps it was a simple matter of one person gilding the lily.