Photographers' Blog

The Cuban gazelle

By Desmond Boylan

A mixture of gazelle and human is the impression Dayron gave me when he took off from where I was standing on the training grounds and jumped the first hurdle. He became tiny in the lens very fast, and when he was running towards me there wasn’t much time to shoot until he filled the frame.

Dayron Robles is the main sporting figure of the moment in Cuba. In his specialty event of the men’s 110m hurdles, he won gold at the Beijing Olympics and is the current world record-holder.

You would not think this when you speak to him. He is humble, reserved, down-to-earth, gentle, agreeable and easygoing, but at the same time there is a distant look in his eyes.

On May 6, he spoke to a Reuters TV crew and clearly announced his plan to retire after the 2012 London Olympics.  His trainer Santiago Antunez also plans to retire. When asked why, he answered that there are a lot of factors involved, like injuries combined with disappointments over several issues. He doesn’t care if those issues are resolved anymore because he is definitely retiring. He did not want to go into specifics.

For a 25-year-old at the height of his career, all this sounds a bit strange.

Dayron said he will attempt to run the 110m hurdles in close to 13 seconds when he trains in Spain for his London build-up, and at his first athletics meetings in the United States in June. His standing world record is 12.87.

London: A great city because of its people

By Stefan Wermuth

In my view, London is a great city because of its cosmopolitan people who live and work there every day. I wanted to know what they think about this big event called Olympics, which will take place for two weeks in their city.


Laim Carter, a 19 year-old guardsman who has lived in London for two month, poses for a picture in Chelsea. When asked what he felt about London hosting the Olympics, Carter said: “It’s good.”

I went with my camera and a basic voice recorder to the streets of Balham, Westminster, The City of London, Brixton, Wandsworth, Shoreditch, Battersea, Lambeth and Chelsea and met all kind of different people.

At home with Hercules

By Peter Andrews

When asked which Polish athlete has a chance at the London Olympics I immediately thought of the shot put champion Tomasz Majewski.

For those who have never seen Tomasz in real life, it can be a bit intimidating. I have always considered myself tall at 192cm (6 feet, 3 inches), but when I first met Tomasz I suddenly felt very small. With a height of 2.4 meters (7 feet 10 inches) and weighing 140 kg (308 pounds), Tomasz is overpowering. He reminded me of Hercules with his long dark hair up in a pony tail. He also has a nice warm smile he puts on easily, so being around him is relaxed and easy right from the first handshake.

I wanted to photograph Tomasz training for the Olympics and he was kind enough to let me just be around him during his daily training and routines. So for the next few weeks I was watching him shot putting, running, jumping, lifting weights and preparing for the biggest sporting event, held every four years. With just one arm he lifted more than I could bench press with all my strength.

Ghosts of Olympics past

By Toby Melville

The United Kingdom, London in particular, is cranking up the momentum with just over two months to go until the 2012 Summer Olympics begin. In the last few months myriads of sporting, political and business photocalls have taken place around the gleaming and glittering new venues in east London with many test events being held therein.

The last time London hosted the Olympics was in 1948, three years after the Second World War and because of that global conflict, it was the first Olympics in 12 years, since Berlin in 1936. The competition was labelled the Austerity Games, because of the post-war rationing and the economic climate of the time. With the 2012 Games also set against a backdrop of global financial and economic crisis, comparisons with the previous time London played host are easy to make.

In 2012, over nine billion pounds sterling (approximately US$13billion) has so far been channeled into building brand new stadia, with a whole new Olympic Park complex in east London. But in 1948, only existing venues and facilities were used, nor was there an athletes village. The total cost of the games then was £760 000 (approx £131 million, $210 million, in 2012). In 1948, British athletes had to buy their own kit and make their own way to events by public transport. Some of the venues used in 1948 are still in existence, so I thought it would make an interesting journey to track down and photograph them nearly 65 years later…

London’s pub culture

By Eddie Keogh

“There’s an old fashioned East End welcome waiting for you.” There’s a good chance you’ll read that quote on the pre-Olympic hype about London. But only those with a sense of adventure will really see and feel it.

Most spectators visiting the Games will enter the park via the shiny new Westfield shopping center. There you can take time out in Starbucks, Costa Coffee, McDonald’s, Nando’s, Pizza Express or even TGI Friday’s. Now I’d put good money on most of our visitors knowing these brands from whichever corner of the world they’re from. But will they have experienced The King Edward VII, The Lord Cardigan.

The Cart and Horses, The Adam and Eve or even The Bow Bells. Now that’s visiting London and the landlord’s and ladies and the people inside those pubs are the real Eastenders.

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.

Secret London

By Stefan Wermuth

A walk from the Olympic side to ‘Little Venice’ along the Hertford Union canal and the Regents Canal.

I started my journey at the Overground station Hackney Wick. You will not find Hackney Wick in a travel guide under ‘highlights’ or ‘things to do’ but it has his own charm and its own ‘highlights’.

One of the ‘Highlights’ is also my culinary tip. Half-way between the station and the access to the Hertford Union canal is the cafe “The Griddlers”, located next to a car conversion shop. It’s a breakfast point for workers around the Olympic construction side. There is no Goût Mieux plate at the door but it’s authentic and the people are very friendly. The food is honest and cheap. I tried meal number 6 – scrambled eggs, baked beans, sausages and buttered toast. While eating number 6, I enjoyed looking at replicas of Paul Fischer’s ‘Girls bathing” and Jack Vettriano’s ‘Mad Dogs’.

Photographing the Beijing Olympics

Lucy Nicholson presents a multimedia blog on Reuters’ coverage of the Beijing Olympics.

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. 

 China 2

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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