Changing China

Giant on the move

Beijing Games: picture of the day

August 10, 2008


Rickey Rogers writes: Alessandro Bianchi created this wonderful image as he searched for a new angle from which to photograph the second day of the fencing competition.

Sports like fencing, boxing and judo are very repetitive for a photographer, and it takes a curious eye to find new angles. The picture is aesthetically pleasing with enough movement to give the reader an idea of what the sport is about, and its multi-layered composition invokes mystery.

The caption reads: Sturia Torkildsen of Norway (back) competes against Matteo Tagliariol of Italy (not pictured) during their epee bout in the men’s individual fencing competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, August 10, 2008. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Rickey Rogers is Reuters News Pictures Editor, Latin America. For a selection of other great Reuters pix from the Games click here. For the previous day’s chosen picture click here.


Interesting image.
Can you tell us how many different spots for still photographers are usually allowed?


Thanks for your question. For the Olympic “glamour” sports — athletics, gymnastics and swimming — we usually staff with between four and 12 photographers. For the other sports the usual is one photographer for a preliminary and two for a medal, but if there’s particular interest in a match or a participant we may send three.

Posted by David Schlesinger | Report as abusive

Thank you David for what you said, it was interesting. how many different positions (I mean spots, places) can you shoot? I mean, I know there are only some positions where photographers can stay, right? and how many?


Very nice composition, and certainly an interesting angle.

I suppose the ‘weightlifting’ tag wasn’t really intended, though :-)


Ah yes, quite right, Stephen. Fencing would have been a slightly better choice of tag. It was down to a last-minute change in our choice of pic of the day. We originally had a (very fine) shot from the weightlifting but after another nomination came in from one of our ideas I made a quick change (too quick).

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

Marco – to your question on positions, it all depends on the venue. This is where so much of the planning work comes in. Photo editors from the main agencies work with organizers long in advance to try to get good positions set aside; then each news organization has its own plan of attack as to where to shoot from.

In the Olympic Sports Center Stadium, for example, there are eight possible photo positions. There are nine in the National Aquatic Center (but in truth there’s only one preferred one!)And there are four in the Fencing Hall.

Posted by David Schlesinger | Report as abusive

This image appears to be a composite of two images (I noticed when looking at the foreground person’s left leg and the background person’s right elbow). I was wondering whether that influenced your decision to select this as the pic of the day.

Posted by EG | Report as abusive

Hi EG. I put this to Rickey Rogers, who edited the picture. Here is what he has to say:

EG – The fact that it appears to be a composite of two images, due to its multi-layered composition, is one of the main attractions of this image.

But it is a single photograph. Alessandro took advantage of the two simultaneous bouts taking place and shot through the legs of one to achieve a repetition of elements, in this case the fencers’ legs, that makes for so many wonderful photographs.

The fact that he achieved a single-frame image so complex that it seems to be a composite one, is a tribute to his creativity.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

what a rubbish pic

Posted by abc | Report as abusive

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