By Mike Segar
For any photojournalist, when you cover events of any kind, be it sports or news or daily life, you really never want to be part of the story. Your assignment; to be present to make the best possible images of the events unfolding in front of you is a privilege, and ideally your only mark on the event itself is to come away with as compelling a visual record of what happened as you can under the byline REUTERS/Mike Segar…
However, sometimes… you just can’t get out of the way.
My assignment at the London 2012 Olympics along with my colleague Sergio Perez from Madrid, is basketball; 15 days of basketball games, 6 games a day, as nations compete for the Olympic Gold medal. Even for basketball lovers, that’s a lot of basketball.
This is my first time covering an Olympic basketball tournament. I have been fortunate enough in my career at Reuters to have covered many NBA Championships and NCAA championships. I love basketball as a sport that I play, love to watch and love to photograph. Action at the feet of the world’s best players is exciting and fun. My close friend and colleague at Reuters Shannon Stapleton and I spend many hours talking about the game. I always look forward to being on the court, close to the action of the NBA, NCAA and in this case the Olympics where many NBA stars are competing.
On day four of competition one of the world’s best teams, Spain, faced Australia in a second round match-up. The Olympics set up for photographers is somewhat different than for an NBA game. There are cardboard “A-boards,” a short angled wall bearing the Olympic rings and London 2012 logo, between us and the floor along the baseline. In an NBA arena photographers are slightly closer to the court and sit in one row with nothing between us and the court as we sit at the feet of the fans in the front row. At the Olympics, there are padded seats on the floor for us and then a bench behind us for a second row of photographers.
My editor for this tournament is Jeff Haynes, a veteran sports photographer and editor based in Chicago who was editing my pictures from Chicago through Reuters’ Paneikon remote picture editing system. In addition to my cameras and lenses, a laptop connected to our network was also placed behind my seat to ingest images from my cameras.