Shooting the Olympics is undoubtedly the biggest job for a sports photographer—so much so that it’s almost like competing in the games themselves. While bobsledders are racing down the track in under a minute and skiers are leaping into the sky, the photographers with AP and Getty images are capturing the moment and publishing in three minutes flat. So, how do they do it?
Gizmodo talked to both photography organizations to find out exactly how the Olympic photographers tackle such a feat. It’s a process that involves teams of people, plans that started four years ago and technicians connecting all 11 event locations with Ethernet cables.
Here’s how Gizmodo described the feat:
“The second a photographer fires the shutter on a camera, the resulting image—a high quality JPEG, not an uncompressed RAW file—is transported by Ethernet to Getty’s central editing office in about 1.5 seconds. There, a team of three editors processes the photo. The first selects the best image and crops it for composition; the second editor color corrects; and the third adds metadata. The whole editing process is done in 30-40 seconds.”
It’s a far cry from the days of film, where with today’s shooting style, both Getty and AP would go throughout 28,000 rolls—each. With the need for a fast burst speed, the photographers are using the top-of-the-line cameras, mainly either the Canon EOS 1DX or Nikon D4S and a slew of lenses.
To check out more details behind the shots from Sochi, read Gizmodo’s excellent piece, The Inside Story of How Olympic Photographers Get Such Stunning Images.
Image: AP (Andy Wong) and Getty (Cameron Spencer)