Photographers' Blog

Lucy in the sky with diamonds

Lucy 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.

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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.

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It was 90-something degrees Fahrenheit and humid on the ground, but felt a lot hotter on the roof. — especially after lugging 3 camera bodies, 5 lenses, a bag of magic arms and 50 meters of remote cable up there.

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

Getting your point across

With the Olympics now only a month away the search for scene-setting images to tempt the visual palate has begun in earnest. From the Beijing file Henry Lee gives us this to kick start the week - Wei Shengchu, 58, a supporter of traditional Chinese medicine, poses for photos in front of Beijing Railway Station with his head covered with acupuncture needles depicting 205 national flags and an Olympic torch, 7, 2008. Local media reported that Wei wanted to express his good wishes for the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games as well as to promote traditional Chinese medicine. 

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And it is all his own work, all 205 and something more substantial representing the Olympic flame, painstakingly inserted into his head to the obvious entertainment of passersby. 

China 1 

Even in this low resolution the Stars and Stripes, the Swiss, French, Canadian, Brazilian and a host of other national flags, are fairly easily spotted but not the Union Jack. 

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