Thursday, August 4, 2016

****** PHOTOGRAPHERS AT THE OLYMPICS ******

PHOTOGRAPHERS AT THE OLYMPICS !


THE 2016 SUMMER OLYMPICS BEGINS AUGUST 5TH.
WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE TO BE A PHOTOGRAPHER AT THE OLYMPICS?
TODAY !  I TAKE AN INSIDE LOOK AT WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO BE A PHOTOGRAPHER AT THE OLYMPICS !


Brazil striker Neymar reacts to a missed opportunity against South Africa on Thursday. (Celso Junior / Getty Images)

THE GAMES HAVE ALREADY BEGUN.  ONE OF THE LEADING PHOTOGRAPHY COMPANIES IS GETTY IMAGES. 

Getty Images, Inc. is an American stock photo agency, based in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is a supplier of stock images for business and consumers with an archive of 80 million still images and illustrations and more than 50,000 hours of stock film footage. It targets three markets—creative professionals (advertising and graphic design), the media (print and online publishing), and corporate (in-house design, marketing and communication departments).
Getty has distribution offices around the world and capitalizes on the Internet and CD-ROM collections for distribution. As Getty has acquired other older photo agencies and archives, it has digitized their collections, enabling online distribution. Getty Images now operates a large commercial website which allows clients to search and browse for images, purchase usage rights and download images. Costs of images vary according to the chosen resolution and type of rights associated with each image. The company also offers custom photo services for corporate clients.

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)

BRASILIA -- Brazil started its quest for an Olympic gold medal in men's soccer with a disappointing 0-0 draw against South Africa, a result that prompted loud jeers by some of the home fans. 
Despite an attack led by Barcelona striker Neymar Jr. and talented youngsters Gabriel Jesus and Gabigol, Brazil was not able to find the net at the packed Mane Garrincha Stadium. 
Gabriel Jesus, newly signed by Manchester City, had the game's best chance in the 69th minute but missed an open net with a close-range shot that struck the post. 
“I have the obligation to score that goal,” he said. “I'm not used to missing those chances. I'm disappointed. I won't be able to sleep tonight because of that one.” 
Neymar and Gabigol threatened a few times but also couldn't score. 
“We had the best chances but the ball didn't go in,” Brazil Coach Rogerio Micale said. “And we also have to give credit to South Africa, which has a very determined team and made it difficult for us to impose our game.”

U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky in training on July 16. (Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)


The cavernous Olympic Aquatics Stadium -- holding about 15,000 spectators in a temporary building that resembles an aircraft hanger -- seems to be an appropriate size to house the expectations that follow Katie Ledecky into the Olympics.
She’s just 19 years old, the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic swimming team, but already holds three individual world records and is a heavy favorite to win multiple gold medals. But don’t expect Ledecky to feel the pressure.
“I mean this in a positive way, but she doesn’t care,” her coach, Bruce Gemmell, said at the stadium Thursday. “She doesn’t care it’s the Olympics any more than she cares if it’s a championship meet at home, any more than she cares if it’s her high school championship. She gets excited about all of them.”
Ledecky, who won gold in the 800-meter freestyle at the London Olympics, isn’t one to get caught up in the circuslike atmosphere or the talk of history.
“I think that absolutely allows her to compete at the level that she does and do so consistently,” Gemmell said.
They’ve been working toward this meet for years. There is one simple, overriding aim.
“The focus was always to swim fast here,” Gemmell said.
Ledecky's first individual race is the 400-meter freestyle on Sunday.

CANON IS SENDING 78 TECHNICIANS TO SUPPORT ALL THE PHOTOGRAPHERS AT THE RIO OLYMPICS.

The Olympics provide a grueling test for the world’s top athletes, but they also test the world’s best sports photojournalists. Canon Professional Services (CPS) recently announced it will provide nearly 1,600 loaner lenses and 78 staff members to support photographers and broadcasters covering the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is in addition to the gear and support personnel that news agencies will bring on their own.
Canon’s commitment to the Olympics may be impressive, but it shouldn’t come as any surprise. Photography and television play a crucial role in sharing the stories of the Olympic games with audiences all around the world, and the majority of U.S.-based news photographers at the Games shoot Canon cameras, according to the company. If a piece of equipment fails, it’s imperative — both to the user and Canon’s reputation — that it be fixed on location as quickly as possible.
“Photographing large sporting events for thousands of news outlets and an audience of billions requires meticulous planning and technical resilience,” said Kevin Coombs, editor-in-chief for Reuters, in a statement released by Canon.




As news outlets try to push the limits of what’s possible in how they cover the Games, Rio will present new technical challenges for photographers. Getty Images, for examples, will rely on remote-controlled robotic camera platforms to capture new perspectives. Specifically, the stock agency will use Canon’s ultra-wide angle zoom lens, the EF 11-24mm f/4L, in underwater robotic rigs. Mounted on the flagship Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, photographers will have a fully networked solution for instant image saving and sharing.

That’s a lot of moving parts, but Getty and Canon are confident that everything will work. Getty personnel have been in Rio since July, building and testing various robotic systems. “We recently used the new underwater system and the images were remarkable,” Said Ken Mainardis, vice president of Sport at Getty. “We’re looking forward to using our Canon gear to capture more fantastic underwater imagery.”
With the amount of gear, talent, and technical firsts on hand in Rio, viewers will have unprecedented access to the Games. While living conditions may leave something to be desired for athletes and members of the press attending the event, this year’s Olympics should at least be one of the best to watch from the comfort of your living room. The opening ceremony kicks off Friday, August 5.




Immerse yourself in Rio (minus the Zika) with Google’s new Olympics features

The modern Olympics are a relatively recent invention, believe it or not — French baron Pierre de Coubertin is credited with reviving the ancient Greek tradition in 1896. Much about the games has changed since then, needless to say, not least of which the breadth of coverage around it.
At this year’s games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, you won’t have wait for tomorrow’s paper to find out how Team USA performed in cycling, volleyball, or badminton — tens of thousands of collective television channels, social media networks, live-streams, and live blogs will break the news as it happens. It’s information overload, quite frankly, but luckily, benevolent search giant Google wants to help make sense of it all. On Monday, it took the wraps off Olympic-centric features that’ll help you stay abreast of the game’s most newsworthy moments.
First up, Google is making it easier to surface the very latest from Rio within search. Type a query about an Olympic event in Google and you’ll see a truncated card organized by schedule, athlete, medals, and country. A “sports” tab lists details about the games’ 42 distinct disciplines –that is to say, upcoming events, previously awarded medals by team and athlete, and a list of countries scheduled to compete.
The “Schedule” section, meanwhile, comprises an exhaustive calendar of the Olympics’ 306 individual meets, sessions, and matches. “Medals” shows every participating region’s Olympic standing, and the accompanying “countries” tab reveals more: which athletes from each are competing, the best-performing competitors thus far, and participants experiencing more Google search volume than usual.


THE INSIDE STORY OF HOW PHOTOGRAPHERS GET THEIR IMAGES:

The need for speed:

Everything about the Olympics is fast, and the photographic games going on behind the scenes are no different. "It's all about speed," says the AP's Paquin. "It's really important to get images out almost as quickly as you would see them on TV."

That mandate's a tall order for photo agencies. The AP says it's filing some 2000 Sochi photos per day to its wire, and Getty Images and Reuters told me that each agency's photographers will shoot a combined 1 million frames over the course of the games.


Technician Clement Caplain from Getty Images France tests the internet in
the Adler Arena in Sochi, Russia.

Dealing with the huge volume of photos involves setting up totally new infrastructure, which is planned long in advance of the games. For Getty, the technical planning started in a meeting with Olympics officials four years ago, during the winter games in Vancouver. The AP toured the Sochi grounds scouting for shooting positions a full two years ago. Both agencies had teams on the ground over a month ago laying ethernet cable.
For its part, Getty set up a single network connecting the 11 Olympic venues. Mainardis estimates that Getty lay down some 22 kilometers of ethernet cable so that most of its 37 photographers could be directly wired in, assuming they're in what Mainardis calls "safe" positions. In a few trickier "gamble" shooting positions, such as some on the Alpine course, the spots are too remote to run cable all the way down the mountain, in which case the photographers are connected wirelessly to a nearby base station that's plugged into the network.

It's worth taking a moment to admire the hardcore Olympic photographers who wake up long before sunrise in some cases to ski out to their locations. The standard kit for a Getty photographer includes four camera bodies each outfitted with different lenses: 16-35mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8mm lens, f/300mm F2.8 lens. As you can see in the image below, Getty photogs travel with a mixture of Canon and Nikon cameras bodies, while the AP is an entirely Canon shop. Without fail, these photographers are using either Canon 1Ds or Nikon D4s. Unlike most disciplines where you could get away with something other than flagship DSLRs, sports photography requires the 10-15 fps speed that you get at the top of the line. That's a lot of gear.
The second a photographer fires the shutter on a camera, the resulting image—a high quality JPEG, not an uncompressed RAW file—is transported by ethernet to Getty's central editing office in about 1.5 seconds. There, a team of three editors processes the photo. The first selects the best image and crops it for composition; the second editor color corrects; and the third adds metadata. The whole editing process is done in 30-40 seconds. Once the last editor is done, the image is blasted to the world. It takes about 90 seconds for the images to travel over redundant 100 Mbit/s dedicated lines to Getty's data servers in the the United States.

Getty Images' Lars Baron is a specialist in Ski Jumping and Biathlon. Here we see his rig with two Canon and Nikon bodies. The action happens too fast for photographers to switch lenses so every necessary focal length is ready to go with its own body.



Take any two photos from the AP and Getty in the middle of the competition, and they'll looks fairly similar. Everybody is a pro, so when Shaun White botches his landing, everybody gets the photo. "It's a technical shot," says Paquin, "But there's nothing special about it."
Still, while agencies like the AP and Getty are competitors in name, they're serving different clientele, and that plays out in how they shoot the games. The former is primarily serving news outlets all over the world, and according to Paquin, the goal is to ensure that it can provide customers in each country with a usable image of each of its local superstars. Getty Images, on the other hand, isn't just serving editorial customers, but also commercial clients. Its biggest client of all is the International Olympic Committee, for which it's the official agency. Getty is charged with documenting every last moment of the Olympics with sleek work advancing the goals of the IOC, which are of course, making the Olympics look a really cool spectacle that's worth the money

Magnus Hovdal of Norway on the runway before a jump. Photographers at the Olympics are the best in the world. Julian Finney/ Getty Images.

In other words, while both the AP and Getty are using similar technology to shoot and process photos—from ceiling-mounted robotic rigs to editing software—they're actually getting very different results when you drill down into them.
Getty's photos tend to have the gloss you might expect from a photo that would be used in a full-page magazine advertisement. A skier flying down the mountain will be cropped so that there's very little in the way of distracting outside elements. Additionally, Getty's editing teams are working behind-the-scenes to create flashy, post-produced work, like photos that show the full process of a snowboarder's trick in the air. The company will even be producing nearly infinitely zoomable gigapixel images for its clients.
"We're more interested in telling stories," says the AP's Paquin. The news agency doesn't put up quite as many photos as Getty, but it certainly does get the coverage it needs to serve its clients—no matter where those clients happen to be. Browsing the wire, you notice that the AP's photos also have a grittier, newsier look about them. They tend not to be as closely cropped so that you can see spectators. It's a look that's both big picture and unflinching; you're more likely to see the imperfection of a skier's form or the strain in figure skater's face than you are from the polished photos produced by Getty.

ROOM FOR CREATIVITY?

Danny Davis of the United States competes in the Snowboard Men's Halfpipe Finals. This image was spliced together from size exposures in post production. Mike Ehrmann/ Getty Images.


There are thousands of moments like Shaun White's collision in every Olympics. Each lasts a fraction of a second, so there's almost no time for the photographers to take their eyes off the action at hand. Still, both Paquin and Mainardis say that they're constantly hoping to get that shot that says what all of the canned photos can't.
Mainardis says they count on his team to get the moments of peak action on clean backgrounds, but that's just the bare minimum. "I'm pushing my photographers to innovate," he says, "And they've never let me down yet."

THE RIO OLYMPICS WILL HAVE SOME OF THE SMARTEST SPORTS CAMERAS EVER !

Image:  Christian Petersen / Getty images

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

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.

Reuters photographer Pawel Kopczynski and I have been developing since the 2009 athletics World Championships in Berlin a new technology, which enables Reuters sports photography to shoot pictures from unusual angles and make them available to our customers around the world in minutes. We tested the technology at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea and at the world indoor athletics championships in Istanbul.

At the upcoming Olympics for the first time we are using robotic cameras made specifically for the high elevated roof positions that can only be covered by a remote camera and not by a photographer.

The robotic camera can be released by a photographer over wireless transmitters or externally triggered by a cable. All images are directly transferred into our Paneikon remote editing system and from there can be transmitted on the wire.

Moreover, the movement of the camera can be controlled along each axis and the camera operator can control the zoom lens remotely with a joystick.


A REAL LOOK AROUND BRAZIL BY A PHOTOGRAPHER:

Christopher Kamrani | Salt Lake Tribune Brazilian security members surround a group of four young boys on the famed sidewalk of Copacabana Beach on Aug. 4, 2016. The two older boys to the right sat in handcuffs.

Rio de Janeiro • Dusk hits this city differently. The massive tropical hills rise out of the earth just as quickly as they subside. Some block out the setting sun a couple hours early. On my first visit to Copacabana beach Thursday afternoon, the light of these soon-to-be Olympics shined.
Extensive sandcastles popped up every couple of minutes. Pure tourist traps. One featured a Christ the Redeemer imitation. The artist wore a Messi jersey. (Seriously, Brazil?) Another featured a bikini-clad group of characters with the "Rio2016' slogan across the parts you'd expect. The last I saw had Copacabana spelled out in all-capital letters at the base. These timely pieces of skill showed up a few minutes away from the Olympic Rings, near the start of the beach's sidewalk.
A young Brazilian woman named Amanda introduced herself to Tribune photographer Rick Egan and asked if she could take a selfie with him because he was American. But while there was light, a reminder materialized on my walk back to the media shuttle bus stop between Copacabana and Ipanema.
Four Brazilian security officials — they did not look like most of the armed forces or police I've seen in my 36 hours here — surrounded four boys. The two older boys sat on the curb, arms behind their backs, handcuffed. They were on the right. The two boys on the left were much younger but not cuffed. They looked up and asked questions to the officials on the left. The officials responded cordially. It's not clear what this group did, but on the surface it was something enough to get caught, then cuffed.
A few feet away, three Brazilian women spoke emotionally of the scene before them. Were they upset at seeing four young boys surrounded by as many grown men with batons? Were they the victims of a petty crime? Whatever the scenario, it played out relatively quietly in a paradise setting on the eve of the Opening Ceremony. Within shouting distance, two Brazilian beachgoers in bikinis happily obliged a photographer when he asked them to hoist an Australian flag and pose for a photo.
Maybe it's just the tourist in me. Maybe I was fazed when I shouldn't have been. I just can't remember seeing kids in handcuffs who didn't look old enough to drive a car. In Brazil, it's 18. These kids looked 15 or 16.
That started the end to an interesting Day 2 in Rio. It truly started when an Olympic volunteer unlocked our apartment door Thursday morning and asked if she could come in. She was already in, but that's hindsight. She asked if she could tape messages above the toilets in the apartment.

A volunteer has now advised us to not flush toilet paper down the toilet. "You can put it in the garbage."


Please do not Throw Toilet paper in the toilet," it now reads in the two bathrooms.
The shower works now, but it only spits out frigid water. I imagine it will stay this way for a while. Last night, in search of bottled water — they ran out in the media village and have advised us not to drink the tap water — I overheard a man in the reception center describing how his room has been flooded for nearly 24 hours. So, cold showers? Good enough for us.
The shuttle ride to the Copacabana area took a modest 40 minutes from the Main Press Center across the street from the Olympic Village. We caught some experts playing frescobol, where two athletes with paddles just smack a racquetball back and forth in the sand at Ipanema. On our walk to the beach, we stopped to listen to an elderly Brazilian man play the saxophone. After studying his sheet music, he started playing "New York, New York."
Yeah, the official opening to the Olympics is less than 24 hours away.
That was preceded by an older gentleman shuffling to the beach, carrying his surfboard to Ipanema, while whistling "Walking in a Winter Wonderland." It is winter down here, after all.


Whatever the case may be:  Please enjoy the 2016 Rio Olympics, and think about taking photos yourself, at the Olympics.






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