Changing China

Giant on the move

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Beijing’s favourite Olympic happy snap


Holding the torchRemember those jolly tourist pictures you took of yourself in Italy where you were pretending to prop up the leaning tower of Pisa? Here’s the Beijing equivalent.

You stand in front of the Bird’s Nest stadium, hold up your hand and by a miracle of foreshortening appear to grip the vast cornetto-shaped torch burning on the roof of the athletics venue.

It is the most popular picture for visitors to take, judging by the streams of foreign and Chinese tourists posing with their arms in the air.

Of course, the vast roof-top cauldron is shaped like the Olympic torch used in the pre-Games global relay that was hit by anti-China protests.

Beijing Games: picture of the day



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.

Just 5% make it — or, more how the sausage gets made


090829b.JPGTo bring you the stunning choreography of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, Reuters photographers and photo editors do a complex dance of their own — and then a brutal Darwinian whittling down to select just the best and most iconic images to send to subscribers.The team shot a staggering 18,000 frames during the four hours of the ceremony. Only about 850 shots made it to the “wire” — our file of photos to customers. That’s just five percent. Less than a 10th of those were selected for our web slideshow and a typical newspaper subscriber might only print one two or three shots from the selection.

In a brutally competitive world like this, nothing can be left to chance.

One of our most experienced Olympic photographers and editors, Gary Hershorn, attended rehearsals of the opening ceremony in order to plot out key moments that simply had to be captured.