Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/08/19

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Subject: [Leica] Conformity in Athens NOW BEING A SHOOTER!
From: bdcolen at (B. D. Colen)
Date: Thu Aug 19 09:10:37 2004

Ted - This is, as usual, a priceless commentary. Tell it like it is!

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Ted Grant
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2004 11:59 AM
To: Leica Users Group
Subject: [Leica] Conformity in Athens NOW BEING A SHOOTER!

Olympic Photographers:

Hey wait a minute you guys before you start ragging on these Olympic
shooters! Particularly if you have never been ass to breakfast jammed
into a " Photo position" not of your liking where you have absolutely no
choice of where it is or who selected the position. "Here's the position
like it or leave! "

And no you don't wander around like you own the place as every position
is locked down for the mob other than a few very choice shooters in the
"photo pool" who have some limited movement.  Like may 4 - 5 guys out of
hundreds during final events.

Where you arrive 5 or 6 hours before the event starts and in the case of
swimming you are in the position before dawn to wait for the
preliminaries at 10 a.m that finish at about noon. Wait, your day isn't

You now stay there and hold your spot so you'll be able to shoot the
finals at 6 p.m. when the push and shove gets worse with every available
inch of space is squeezed to use.

While you're standing there, the guys in this picture are lucky as they
look like they've got a seat, usually it's 2 or 3 hundred shooters
packed behind a barrier along pool side on a riser.... that is if
there's room for such a position.

Then surrounded by police or soldiers so those... quote" God damn
photographers will stay in their place!  And if any one of them has a
foot over the line kick them back !" From the official training course!

You can be standing there with a 600mm lens over your right and left
shoulders from shooters behind you, there's a guy who hasn't had a
shower for 5 days so close you're gagging from his body smell, the guy
on your right had a massive garlic lunch and now you're close to puking
your guts out! And you know what?

You keep you eye glued to whatever camera or lens you're working with,
and another thing you may have not noticed! Not a tripod in sight! It's
all hand held or monopod.and you shoot the best damn pictures you're
capable of because back in the press centre the photo editors' " DO NOT

So some of you "Olympic arm chair shooters who've never been there might
think twice before you start making comments" because most of the guys
there "MUST HAVE THE LONGEST GLASS THEY CAN BUY" Because the security
people know these long lenses are available and keep pushing us back
farther and farther. Hell in many cases your "normal lens" is a 300mm
and a 2X extender in your pocket! After that you go big!

Never mind looking at the athletes on TV , look at the photographers as
they're the Olympic un-sung heroes that bring you those magnificent
pictures to your newspapers and magazines!

Oh and for some of the folk on the list. My comments come from the
experience of covering all Olympics summer and winter since 1968 to
1992! And in between those, the "Worlds, Commonwealth Games and Pan
American Games." Hey, but incredible and wonderful experiences all.
Would I go again regardless of the above conditions? Damn in a heart
beat! As it's as much an Olympic event to be chosen to make the cut to
cover it as it is for the athletes.


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In reply to: Message from tedgrant at (Ted Grant) ([Leica] Conformity in Athens NOW BEING A SHOOTER!)