There’s a big difference between taking a great picture, and taking a great picture of the game. In sports, the outcome is all that matters, and no matter how pretty a shot you took, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t affect the game.
You’re probably sick of me linking to stories about David Burnett.
Tough, here’s another one from Film Is Not Dead. And, aside from a massively wrong word choice in the second graf (arrogation in place of inauguration), it’s pretty good as it has Burnett talk about his experience covering the Olympics.
Loved this quote:
The one worry of the Olympics is that you end up at the Finish line with 50 or 100 of the worlds best sports photographers.. so you have to be rigid in trying to tell yourself.. “go somewhere else…. do something else… take a chance…” I was lucky .. when I did that I ended up in front of the place where Mary Decker and Zola Budd collided, and with that, I was “officially” a sports photographer.
When I switched from stringing for the Associated Press to Agence France-Presse, that same advice was given to me: Don’t stand with the other shooters, go someplace else. I’ve tried to be someplace else for nearly 20 years now.
Reuters produced the video below to give us an idea of how they covered track and field at the Olympics. Think about this: for the 100 meter final, that lasted 9.63 seconds, they had 15 photojournalists covering it. The race started at 9:52 and they had their first photo on the wire at 9:55.