This fascinating behind-the-scenes video shows what it’s like to work as a sports photographer for the New York Times. It follows around Barton Silverman, a photographer who has been working at the Times since March of 1962. Over the past 50 years, he has covered many a championship game and has photographed many a legendary athlete. The New York Times writes,
When he started at The New York Times 50 years ago, [Silverman] worked as a lab assistant, a title he would hold for four years. But he wanted to be a photographer. So he volunteered to carry Larry Morris‘s camera bag to Madison Square Garden.
“As I was taking notes,” he said, “I basically figured out how to shoot a hockey game.”
In the meantime, he volunteered to shoot for the team, earning the program credit “Photos by Barton.”
Here’s a short interview he gave after photographing his 39th Super Bowl back in 2010. Also, be sure to check out this New York Times Lens piece that sheds some more like on the epic photograph of a leaping Joe Namath mentioned in the video.
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…
We’ve seen some very heavy-duty gear lugged out to cover the Olympic games in London this year: some robotic rigs, an 800mm lens that could easily weigh more than the average lady gymnast, and of course, the usual suspects in a packed camera bag. But Guardian photojournalist Dan Chung is traveling light: he’s covering the games with a simple iPhone setup.
Using different combinations of an iPhone 4s, a clip-on Schneider lens and a pair of Canon binoculars, Chung has been live-blogging all aspects of the games. His photos yield surprisingly crisp results, indoors, outdoors and even underwater through a viewing window — which again reinforces the old photographer’s adage that the best camera is the one that’s with you.
Chung uses the Snapseed app to do in-camera/phone edits. You can check out more of Chung’s work on his Guardian blog.
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.
Researchers at the University of Tokyo recently developed a new system that they can use to track superfast moving objects in real time. Although high-speed tracking isn’t anything new, where their system differs is that instead of moving the camera itself they move two separate mirrors. One mirror controls the horizontal-axis of the image, the other the vertical.
The camera itself stays stationary, and it’s because of this that the system they’ve built can track an object with millisecond precision. Using the system they’re able to capture full HD video quality without missing so much as a beat… or even a tenth of a beat. No more missing that big play in the tennis or ping-pong match. In fact, in the future, your camera may not even have to shift on its tripod to follow the action.
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…
You may or may not know this, but Getty Images is actually the official photo agency of the 2012 London Olympics, and they plan on making this one of the most innovatively captured events in the history of photography. To do this they’ve enlisted as many new technologies as they can get their hands on: be it 3D, time lapse, 360-degree, or even helicam aerial photography/video, Getty intends on giving the people at home as immersive an experience of the Summer Olympic Games as possible.
Check out the video above for more info on both the how and the why behind Getty’s plans, plus a cool peek at the kinds of helicam shots we can expect to see in about a month and a half’s time.
In this short video, courtesy of Red Bull, Swiss photographer Romina Amato is asked to elaborate on what makes a great sports/news photographer. She offers some great insights, ranging from what gear/settings she uses to the makings of a phenomenal news shot and how important it is to get your photos out there quickly. Plus, even if you’re not interested in becoming a news or sports photographer, some of her shots are pretty amazing.
A month ago, quite a bit of controversy was stirred up when Amateur Photographer pointed out some stringent and seemingly unenforceable restrictions included in the London 2012 Ticker Holder Agreement. Initially it seemed that attendees might have been prevented from posting images to social networks (an assumption which was later refuted). But even though attendees will be allowed to post images to Facebook to their heart’s content, amateurs and non-media who wanted to get some commercial-grade pictures of the Olympic events are still out of luck. Read more…