It’s amazing how many people get excited, amped, and stressed over a race that last under 10 seconds. If you accidentally change the channel, or go to the bathroom, you could miss the entire thing. From a photographic standpoint, it really is quite boring. You got action shots, maybe a pan shot form the side, head on from moat when they cross, around the bend for jubo, and about 200 remote cameras at the finish line and in tribune (half of which are Bill Frakes from SI). Their are photographers that get there four hours before, stress over setting up multiple remotes and marking off their spots, and there are some that turn up right before the race and try to shoot with one camera in any spot they can find. There are snappers who are highstrung and nightmares to be around, and others who are as cool as the otherside of the pillow and a pleasure to be around. No matter what type of photog you are, we all have the same problem, that is the 100M and the entire Olympics for that matter, has become a TV show. The minute the athletes cross the line they have 3-5 handheld OBS Cameras descend on the athletes with wide angle lenses about an inch from their faces, completely blocking all other cameras from an angle. Even if you don’t have a spot reserved in the field moat for a head on shot and you go upstairs, one of the many gigantic telescoping booms on the field will swing out and get in your shot. Photographers are an afterthought on this TV stage, and even though Head Photo Marshall Bob Martin has done an absolutely fantastic job securing the best positions for us, with the cleanest backdrops or landmarks, TV is king and they pay the big money to have the throne at the Olympics.
Here are some of my pics from the “set” of the 100M Final, as well as the much more enjoyable Women’s Marathon in the morning. It’s all downhill at the Olympics after tonight!!!