Photographers' Blog

Paralympic spirit

By Nir Elias

When the idea to photograph Israeli athletes for the London 2012 Paralympic games came to mind, the second athlete I met was Pascale Berkovitch.

Pascale, 44, lost her legs in a train accident in the suburbs of Paris when she was 17 years old. She now lives with her partner and two daughters in Tel Aviv and is part of the Israeli Paralympic staff for the 2012 games in the field of Hand Biking.

During my first meeting with Pascale, I was struck by the expression ‘sport spirit’. The more time I spent with her while training in the park, at home with her partner or while wandering around her neighborhood with her little girl, the more I felt this was an understatement.

Pascale, like many other Paralympians, has a very optimistic character. I could feel that in her case, this character expands to become something outstanding. Pascale gives the impression that she has no self pity over her physical condition and the way she lives with her disability is totally ordinary.

I witnessed Pascale going up three stairs at the playground with her child. She jumped off her wheelchair, pulled her body over the stairs and then with a powerful lift carried the wheelchair and jumped back on it in an impressive acrobatic move. She commented “I am like a little monkey jumping, going up and down and moving myself from place to place – I’m really a little monkey.”

Stretching the Olympic portrait limits

By Lucas Jackson

Over the course of three days Reuters, along with several other prominent outlets, was given a space and (almost) guaranteed time with every member of Team USA that was able to attend a media summit in Dallas this past May, in order to take portraits of the team members. It was a win-win situation for all involved. The athletes were able to take care of a great deal of their media availability in one weekend and members of the media were not required to travel all over the US in order to get portraits of these elite athletes before they head off to London for the 2012 Olympics. As the photographer from Reuters assigned to this portrait marathon there was only one issue; how to take a single space along with extremely limited time with each athlete to make unique, interesting, and ideally self-explanatory images of dozens and dozens of athletes.

It was a daunting task to say the least but I started with a simple lighting setup that played off of several portrait collections I had seen, including Douglas Kirkland’s, and work that tends to appear in either men’s health or sporting magazines. I finally settled on a dual setup where my first setup would use a simple grey background and light to enhance the muscle tone of the athletes. My second setup was to use a large American flag (given to me by my brother as I arrived in Jalalabad, Afghanistan) to take photos of the athletes who were involved with sports that did not lend themselves to the flexing of muscles or shedding of clothing. I wanted to use ProFoto lights as they have a remote controller and trigger called the “Air Remote” that I could put on my camera to control the light’s power output from the controller mounted on top of the camera. This would save me precious time as I wouldn’t have to physically go to each of the four lights to change their outputs depending on whether I was shooting on the grey seamless backdrop or the flag.



FULL FOCUS GALLERY: TEAM USA

I cannot think of a single athlete who was not gracious and accommodating in the time we were given. Some of the times were shorter than others. The uber-popular yet incredibly bouncy gymnasts gave us between 30 seconds to one minute. Overall, everyone was up for whatever pose or idea that you could come up with. Some of the competitors brought the tools that accompany their sport like racquets, rifles, bows or fencing swords.

The Olympic Games: Much more than the stars

By Denis Balibouse

“The important thing in life is not victory, but the fight; the main thing is not to have won, but to have fought well.” Baron Pierre de Coubertin

I have always been addicted to sports, any kind of sports. My father was a sports reporter in Switzerland. As a child I would follow him onto soccer pitches, motocross grounds and ice hockey rinks. Whenever I travel somewhere I try to follow the local sports. I even attempted to understand cricket (I’m married to an Australian), although I have to confess, I have so far failed with this one.

Now that the Euro Championship is over, my attention will turn to the “road slaves” of the Tour de France, which, in my eyes, is the toughest sporting event in the world. And then there’s the Olympic Games in London, regarded by many athletes as the pinnacle of physical prowess.

Olympic Dreams

By Lucy Nicholson

Sweaty burly men in photographers’ vests that haven’t been washed for days. Packed together, jostling for position. Tempers flaring in many tongues, monopods and lenses bumping against bodies – photographing Olympic athletes can be less than glamorous.


REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

It’s an enviable front row seat to the largest sporting spectacle on earth, but there’s not much opportunity for photographers to chat to athletes, or to find many unique shooting vantage points.

So when the opportunity came to photograph Olympic athletes training in and around LA last week as part of our coverage of the build-up to the 2012 Games in London, I jumped right in, literally.

Self-made Bionic Man

Bob Radocy of TRS Inc. lost his his left hand when he fell asleep at the wheel and side swiped a semi-trailer truck. He now designs and builds prosthetic attachments that allow amputee athletes to participate in multiple sports. Bob tells photographer Rick Wilking about his motivations in this multimedia piece.