Changing China

Giant on the move

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Lucy in the sky with diamonds

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Lucy1Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was my nickname yesterday.

My Olympic opening ceremony endurance test began with an 8am call to be on the roof of the Bird’s Nest stadium for a meeting of photographers. I began my first of three climbs through the maze of steep, narrow catwalks with IOC pool photographers from AP, Getty, AFP and Xinhua. On either side of the path were sheets of glass through which the colored lights of the stadium are projected.

We were told to wear fireproof suits, helmets and climbing harnesses over our clothes. The Chinese fireworks technicians on the roof had sensibly chosen to wear t-shirts and shorts.

It was 90-something degrees Fahrenheit and humid on the ground, but felt a lot hotter on the roof — especially after lugging three camera bodies, five lenses, a bag of magic arms and 50 meters of remote cable up there.

Lucy5The door to the catacombs of the roof was barred by Chinese police who confiscated any water, food, cigarettes and cell phones.

Beijing Games: picture of the day

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Picture of the day

Russell Boyce writes: Reuters staff photographer Darren Whiteside has captured a moment of quiet and tense preparation at the rowing venue. Silhouetting the Russian women’s Quadruple Sculls team by exposing for the hazy highlights, most of the colour is removed from the image.

By using the light in this way a sense of the tension starting to rise is created as rowlocks are tightened, boats polished and blades checked and double checked.

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