This behind-the-scenes video by the Associated Press gives a neat look at the various robotic cameras the agency will use at the London Olympic Games (earlier this month we shared some of Reuters’ rigs). Fancy remote-controlled rigs will allow for many photographic firsts, as cameras will be found in locations that were previously inaccessible. Wired writes that despite their usefulness, robotic cameras are causing some human photogs to sweat:
“We are essentially able to put cameras and photographers where they’ve never been before, capturing images in ways they’ve never been captured,” [Fabrizio] Bensch said. “For example, I’ve installed a robotic camera unit on a truss, 30 meters high — in a position where no photographer has been in a previous Olympics.”
For [Mark] Reblias, those are positions you just can’t compete against. With the traditional remote-control cameras, if the subject showed untethered joy five feet out of frame, you were out of luck. Now if Reuters is able to get that shot, “well, there’s nothing I can do,” he said. “Maybe I’ll have to upgrade my gear and make a robotic system. It’d be expensive, it might be a cost I have to take on.”
Every year, ESPN releases a special Body Issue in which athletes pose nude — an edgy, artful response to Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue that focuses instead on the power and form of athletes’ bodies. Last summer, a sports writer stripped down for an interview with two NHL players, a turning of the tables on sometimes awkward locker room interviews. This year, ESPN columnist and senior writer Jim Caple stripped down for his own body images by sports photographer Rod Mar. Caple poses as nude Lance Armstrong, a doughnut and press pass version of Michael Phelps, plus some other memorable sports photographs. 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…
Want to know what it’s like to cover a football game as the chief photographer of a school’s athletic department? Photographer Joel Hawksley created this day-in-the-life time-lapse video after being assigned to cover a football game between Ohio University and Temple University. It starts early in the morning when he pulls out of his driveway, and ends at night when he pulls in. In between we see everything from setting up, shooting, post-processing, and uploading/emailing photographs. Hawksley used a Nikon D700 and D300 to photograph the game, and a Canon G9 to capture the time-lapse images throughout the day.
“The Catch” is one of the most famous plays in American football history, and Walter Iooss Jr.’s photograph of Dwight Clark leaping into the air is one of the game’s iconic images. Paul Lukas of Uni Watch has published an interesting analysis of the photograph and why it “works”:
I’ve been fascinated by the famous photo of the Catch for years and have always thought it to be the greatest photo ever of NFL action, and possibly the greatest sports photo, period. The photo has always been very visually pleasing to me, so I recently decided to find out why.
Out of curiosity I applied the golden ratio, the rule of thirds, and perspective to the photo, and I was completely blown away by the results. Now I know why this photo has always been so visually stunning to me: Compositionally, it is divine. I’ve prepared a series of exhibits to support my points.
If you aren’t familiar with these two rules of composition, check out this article.
In this video, commercial photographer Jay P. Morgan walks through how he went about shooting a composite sports photograph of Mexican soccer player Rafael Márquez.
We were going to shoot several shots that would need to freeze him in mid air as he kicked the ball. We had limited time with him so it was necessary that things were planed out and ready to go when he arrived. We took two Hensel speed max heads that have the fastest flash duration of any mono block head available. The goal was to use them as our key lights and freeze his action in mid air. We shot background plates the day before at the ruins outside of Mexico City for him to be retouched into. The idea being famous soccer players in action shots at different iconic sites of Mexico. [#]
Here’s a neat little behind-the-scenes video in which Michael Ivins, the official photographer of the Boston Red Sox, talks about his experiences with shooting baseball. He offers some good tips that apply to other sports as well (e.g. try and anticipate).
German sports photographer Peter Langenhahn has an interesting way of documenting the important moments in a sporting event. Instead of showing them each in a separate photograph, he shoots events from a distant perspective and combines the important moments into a single image afterward. For example, one of his panoramas shows every single foul called throughout the course of a soccer match. After shooting up to 3,000 photos during an event, he spends up to 2-3 months combining them into a photo thats 100 GB in size and takes 6 hours just to save.
If you want to know the ins and outs of shooting a college basketball game, check out this awesome behind-the-scenes video with pro sports photographer Miguel Olivella. In it, he walks us through things like where to be, what gear to use, camera settings, and various tricks he has under his sleeve that help him get the perfect shot.