gill moore photography

Tag Archive for 'china'

Olympic Games – a shot of the photographers (and their expensive gear) in Bejing to capture the action

The Olympic Games is certainly generating lots of stories, drama and images at the moment. There are 1,100 Official photographers covering the event for a worldwide audience, I found this great shot on the gizmodo website which shows a sample of the press area covering the athletics in the Birds Nest Stadium.

olympics_togs_gizmodo_com

Just for a laugh gizmodo have worked out that in this one seemingly innocuous image there is probably a quarter of a million dollars worth of equipment on show. Going a stage further, if one was to include the fact that most photographers travelling to China to cover the Games will take at the very mimimum a second back-up camera body and at least 2 other lenses, then that is something like 22 million dollars-worth of professional camera gear in attendance throughout the event!

For many years Canon was the manufacturer of choice for the discerning sports photographer, but this picture shows that Nikon is now making great strides into this specialist market. The white lens is the Canon L-Series, I count 23 lenses on view and only 7 Canons. Also it looks like 16 fella’s and only 2 lady ‘togs …. not quite equality there yet!

Over on the caborian.com site there is a much wider view of the Press Pen, it seems Canon have a slightly better showing here but they are still in the minority. Most of the sports photographers are using a telephoto which will enable them to zoom in close on the action and the individual; they’ll probably be using anything from a 400 right through to an 800mm. Though the guy on the bottom row with the yellow cap looks like he’s sneaked in there armed only with his cameraphone !!

olympics_togs_caborian_com

Footnote. The beige shooting jackets on show are standard issue from the International Olympic Committee for all accredited photographers, I wonder if they come with a laptop hidden in one of the pockets?

UPDATE.  Feb 2010.  Nice link to the photography gear being used by Getty photographers for the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 over at PetaPixel.

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The fight to protect everyone’s right to take photographs continues ….

One of my most popular posts has been regarding photographer’s rights in the UK : “Photography rights grabs, erosion of freedom, the fightback begins and blogging helps.” This topic is moving so fast I think it is worthy of a follow-up post. The Pro-Imaging website now has a separate page dealing with good and bad photography competions. This now makes it incredibly easy to check on which photo competions are just rights-grabs lurking behind the banner of a prize. Pro-Imaging are having good success with raising awareness and making information freely available, often getting some organizations to actually change their Terms and Conditions to something more palatable.

Sadly it is not all good news. The farce that was the “Olympic Torch Relay” took place in London at the start of the month. Inevitably the event was crashed by protestors wanting to focus attention on China and the situation in Tibet. We then saw a heavily guarded Olympic flame; a symbol of peace and unity, being protected by a massive security operation involving 2,000 members of the Metropolitan Police Force bolstered by Chinese security officers.
Regular members of the public and press photographers tried to record the event in pictures and reported some of the most heavy-handed policing seen in the UK for many a year. Quite brutal incidents of physical assaults, some on horseback, sent out quite a sobering picture of how easily rights can be waved aside when the time demands.
This comes on the back of a number of highly reported incidents involving community support officers and the police both seemingly unaware of UK law and challenging people’s legal right to photograph in public places. Austin Mitchell MP for Grimbsy has taken up the baton and tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons condemning police action against lawful photography in public spaces and has urged the Home Office to agree a “photography code” to be drawn up and used by police officers and UK citizens as a guide to what is and isn’t possible for street photography. Click here for a link to the EDM wording in full. The link also lists every MP who has signed the petition, if your local MP hasn’t, then find your local MP and send them an email here.
If you want to show your support for this cause then you can sign a petition on the 10 Downing Street website.
For some links to some of the recent problems affecting members of the public trying to take photographs in public places, then Amateur Photographer has some good links.
And on the EPUK site they have a list of incidents affecting press photographers. Another one here @ photorights.org.
UPDATE : Further discussion on BBC Radio 4 blog on the current confusion regarding the law and photography, also on the Manchester Flickr group regarding contacting their MP’s.

UPDATE : Sept 08. Click here for a link to an excellent online video made by the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) UK regarding the erosion of civil liberties and media freedoms in Britain.
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