Photographers' Blog

Inside my London 2012 camera bag

By Tim Wimborne

A couple of weeks back I was listening to a radio station when a school teacher rang in to share her story of being tasked back in the early 1980s with leading a new subject called Leisure Studies. The pretext for this cutting edge course was that imminent computer technology meant the 25 hour work week was inevitable and a bounty of recreation time assured. Of course we’re all experts in how this flash of history unfolded.

Not too long after this, about the time my career as a photographer began, this misjudgement was mirrored when society’s zeitgeist shamans and marketing gurus told us the great leap forward into digital photography and associated new technologies would revolutionize our working day. It did of course. Just not in the way most ‘experts’ foresaw. Instead of the time spent hunched over enlargers etc. the main result is a dramatic increase in productivity. Where once a pocket full of batteries was all that was needed to power all equipment I might carry on even an extended assignment I now take with me a small shop’s worth of cables and adapters, chargers, hard drives and power supplies, audio and video devices and of course an ever larger range of batteries.

Of course Reuters’ photographers no longer lug mobile darkrooms around the globe, converting hotel bathrooms into dark, stinking laboratories. But they do produce a range and quality of images never before possible. Clients receive pictures moments after they are shot, photographers are now in contact with colleagues, editors and clients at all times of the working day.

You need to keep your head above the ever rising tide of technology pouring into the industry to survive but to really prosper means more than treading water. It means reinventing how you work repeatedly and rapidly.

Traveling on assignment has never been less simple.

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On Instagram

By Peter Andrews

Instagram is mainly a tool for young people to take pictures and catch up on things; situations that they missed out on, either because they weren’t yet born or because they just weren’t there.

It is a fascinating tool, however it’s not real photography, it’s an illusion. Listening to an explanation on what Instagram is, it appears that anyone can become Ansel Adams (who I studied at the Fine Arts faculty 30 years ago). Just with a touch of technology one can skip all the creativity that we had to develop or study for and just pick up an iPhone and become an artist. One may look at it as the end of photography (and most photographers who make a living by taking pictures would say that). But if you look at it from a different point of view, it is the beginning of a new era in photography and photojournalism as this global tool turns image-taking and sharing into a worldwide diary of everyday life.

Myself, as a professional photographer who has made a living by taking images for 28 years, I have a tear in my eye when I look back at the romance that film photography was able to give me, in the same manner that a painter who lived at the beginning of the nineteenth century would say about his passion and profession. I recall taking pictures, followed by developing film by hand, breathing fumes in the darkroom, spending evenings making prints as perfect as possible and then sometimes a few hours later looking at a product with satisfaction.

Robo-cams take an Olympic dive

By Wolfgang Rattay

Reuters robotic cameras will not only be hung high up at the Olympics venues but will also go underwater.

We have developed a remote-controlled “underwater photographer” that can hold its breath for the duration of the Olympic Aquatic competitions at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Let me tell you briefly about the history of Reuters underwater news photography.

Less is more

A long, long time ago I was a gear fiend. I had to have all the toys and they had to be dragged around with me on every assignment. A backpack the size of a refrigerator stuffed with lenses, filters, tripods and gadgets that would never see the light of day…. All just in case.

The older I get, the lighter I travel. The older I get, the less stuff I need in my life. My wife and I even disposed of our dining table and chairs in favor of simple floor cushions. No clothes drier, no air-conditioner, no TV. This approach applies to my professional life, be it an assignment 10 minutes walk from the Reuters office in Sydney or a several week-long assignment in Afghanistan. Now I’m more likely to shoot with prime lenses, not use flash (I never really got the hang of speed lights anyway) and not take any fancy add-ons. If it doesn’t fit in two or three small pouches on my belt, chances are it gets left behind. My check-in bag is rarely full. Media scrums at news conferences are less painful. In and out of taxis/elevators/armored trucks is easier. Running with your kit is faster. Working becomes simpler and I really don’t miss all those bits and pieces that no longer weigh me down.

That means there is less to break, less to clean, less to remember, less back strain and less of a struggle through airports. Oh, and to keep your boss happy, less expense.

Self-made Bionic Man

Bob Radocy of TRS Inc. lost his his left hand when he fell asleep at the wheel and side swiped a semi-trailer truck. He now designs and builds prosthetic attachments that allow amputee athletes to participate in multiple sports. Bob tells photographer Rick Wilking about his motivations in this multimedia piece.