Photographers' Blog

Shooting through the Olympic flame

By Max Rossi

In one word: a nightmare!

From my top position above the flame I have to fight with it every day and the results are both frustrating and exciting. Frustrating when a nice celebration or action are completely blurred by the heat, exciting when the heat and the composition of the picture work well together.

The best results are produced on sunny mornings as the light difference between the track and the flame is minimal so you can have the correct exposure. During the night the difference is larger so you have an overexposed flame as the track is still dark. But the funny thing about this kind of picture is that you can have a sort of tilt lens effect without even using one.

The javelin throw is a good example of this kind of picture as you can have sharp focus on the head as the rest of the image is totally blurred. Another issue is the focusing: shooting exactly through the flame you obviously have the athlete blurred so you can decide to either have the flame in focus or the blurred image in focus. Depending on which lens you use, you will have different results, both of them interesting.

Anyway shooting through the flame is a different picture and the flame is the symbol of the Olympics so I’m having fun!

Multiple exposure’s digital era

By Mike Blake

The ability to take a number of pictures all on the same frame was simple in the days of film cameras.

You would find a situation where the background would drop off enough to accommodate a number of exposures on the same frame of film. After that, it was a matter of how many exposures and how do they all fit next to each other on the same frame.


We have never been able to do that with the Canon camera system until the release of their new DX camera. And of course, being at the Olympics, what better place to use this new technology? Paired with the world’s best gymnasts and a camera that can take 14 pictures a second, it’s amazing.

A star that shined for me

By Ueslei Marcelino

It’s always a challenge to photograph nature, and the moon is certainly a part of that. Everyone at some time has looked at that giant orb shining in the sky.

In recent months I felt the urge to try my hand at photographing it. The simplest way is to record the moon up there alone, suspended in the dark. The hardest is to capture it with something in the foreground that can cause more visual impact.

This July 3 I had already identified a place where the moon would appear, so all I needed was that interesting foreground object. My chosen place was at the Pantheon of the Fatherland monument, in the political center of Brasilia between the Planalto presidential palace, the Supreme Court and Parliament.

Robo-cams go for Olympic gold

By Fabrizio Bensch

Is it possible to get 11 photographers into a box and put them in a position where you could never place a photographer? Normally, it would be absolutely impossible. But nothing is impossible when it comes to the Olympic games.

The London Olympic summer games will produce huge emotions, records and we as the Reuters photographers team will catch it from any extraordinary angle. When athletes from around the world compete against each other for the glory of an Olympic medal, hundreds of photographers try to capture the one and only moment which makes the Olympic games so unique.

On any sports event where there isn’t a place for a photographer or there is a need to freeze a moment from different perspectives we use remote technology – cameras triggered by cable wire or with a wireless transmitter. We wanted to make impossible things possible; just like the athletes at the Olympic games.

Capturing the covert nature of WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson poses for a photograph before a briefing at the Frontline club in London, December 1, 2010.  REUTERS/Paul Hackett  I had an assignment at the Frontline club in Paddington to photograph WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson speaking during a debate at the club. I was fortunate enough to be quite early for the assignment and within minutes Kristinn had arrived and was being interviewed ahead of the main debate. There were no other stills photographers there at that time.

I approached it in the usual way and made sure I had a couple of clear head shots of him talking. I walked around the scene a few times and noticed that I could see Kristinn through the reporters spectacles. I was shooting with available light which was the light from the TV camera set up. I was shooting wide open as that was really all the light that was available to me. I didn’t want to use flash because it would have killed the feel of the picture.

This is a picture that has been done many times before but I thought that given the covert nature of the WikiLeaks story that it was good way to take what is essentially a head shot.

Behind the glass: The secret of the remote camera

Often people I know are impressed by amazing pictures of basketball players fighting for a rebound or trying to score a basket, taken from behind the glass. They always ask me from where are these pictures shot because they didn’t see a photographer in the area. The answer is always the same: a remote camera!

Turkey's Ersan Ilyasova (behind) battles Slovenia's Gasper Vidmar during their FIBA Basketball World Championship game in Istanbul September 8, 2010.          REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Probably everybody in the business knows how to set up this type of camera, but for people outside the industry, it can be a mystery. The first thing to know is the equipment required: aside from a camera and a wide lens, other items needed are two magic arms, a piece of black paper to avoid reflections, a pair of radio transmitters and steel cable to secure the elements.

To get the best pictures, the most important thing is to choose the right place to set up the camera which is usually the lowest and closest area next to the rim. After choosing the camera position, you have to strongly secure both magic arms: one of them holding the camera and the other holding the first magic arm. This is a key step in order to avoid the camera falling during the game as a result of the vibrations produced when the players or the ball touch the glass. After that you can set up the camera at the correct angle while looking through the viewfinder and imagine where the players and the ball will be during the game.

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