Journalist spotlight: An inside look at capturing images at the Sochi Olympics

Competitors shoot during men's biathlon 15 km mass start event at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Earlier this month, the 2014 Winter Olympics officially kicked off in Sochi, with some 2,500 athletes representing 88 nations in 98 events at the Games. Reuters text journalists, photographers and videographers are on site delivering a wide variety of coverage – not only of every event at every venue, but also political and business angles and color pieces on the fans and the atmosphere. In a Reuters Best: Journalist Spotlight Q&A, Pawel Kopczynski, EMEA pictures editor, offers an inside look at how the photo team is covering the games.

Q. How is the photo team covering the Games?

A. For the 2014 Games, Reuters has dozens of experienced photographers who are divided between the coastal and mountain clusters, supported by a team of dozens of editors and processors working from different locations around the world. Remote editing of our photos is possible using a software developed exclusively by Reuters. We expect the final number of pictures shot by all the photographers during the Olympics to be close to one million, with tens of thousands of edited pictures sent to clients from all the competitions. We also have a number of remote and robotic cameras installed on the catwalks to provide different angles. For example, at the Bolshoy ice hockey stadium we have five roof cameras activated by the photographers shooting the games. We used two robotic cameras hanging on the Fisht stadium during the opening ceremony. All the cameras are accessible by the editor, who can adjust exposure and focus.

Q. How do Reuters photographers make our coverage stand apart from the rest?

A. Photographers are often limited to dedicated spots, but we are always looking for new angles. We are also using the newest technology to quickly deliver pictures to clients, which is especially important for our online subscribers. And we are looking beyond sport coverage, finding interesting news angles on the Olympics, such as problems with accommodations.

Q. What is the most challenging part of covering the Sochi Games for a photographer?

Pawel KopczynskiA. Our photographers must not only take excellent pictures but also have very good technical skills. A lot depends on the technology we use: the network, servers, wireless pictures transmitters. In fact, the technical support plays a very important role during big events like the Olympics. Often our technicians work hand-in-hand with the photographers in the field, making sure our technology is working smoothly.

Q. What makes you passionate about photojournalism?

A. Digital cameras and photography have been one of the fastest growing industries in the 21st century and we as photojournalists are a part of it, which is a fantastic experience! Almost everyone these days has a camera on their mobile phone, but being a photojournalist is so much more than having a camera. When you have a passion for photography, you will find stories and angles that nobody else has and shoot pictures in a different way than even a person standing right next to you.

Q. Anything else you’d like to share?

A. Our work is certainly a big team effort and a team success.

For the latest from Pawel Kopczynski, click here.

This post originally ran on Reuters Best

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