To add to the blog entry (http://blogs.reuters.com/photo/2007/11/07/my-second-pair-of-eyes-ii/) by my colleague Jerry Lampen, more often than we realise we depend on somebody else to enable us to do our job. Generally we think of this profession as individualistic but repeatedly we use the help or the goodwill of others – press and communication managers, security agents, helicopter pilots and drivers.
I would like to make a brief tribute to Olivier Thetaz with whom I take pictured here in action. He is a professional driving instructor training the likes of police or ambulance drivers. He is also a retired amateur race driver and sometimes I think he still has a bit of racing in his blood. I have been sitting on the back of his motorbike on and off for the last 15 years covering cycling, running, triathlon and bikes races.
The pictures I take are a result of our special relationship. As the races we cover are not too busy compared to those of the Tour de France or Giro d’Italia we are a bit less pressured but I still need to be fast in making a decision to ask him to stop on the side of the road.
I have to look forward and backwards, take into account the sun, the background and the possibility to quickly jump back on the bike to stay ahead of the riders as it is quite difficult to overtake. We try to prepare his position on the road before so we can make the best of the little time we have.
He also needs to be quick and precise. He has to place the bike in position in front of the riders - we are generally only allowed to shoot for a few seconds and then leave our position on a rotational basis.