Burnett at the Olympics

I will never deny that I find something magical in David Burnett’s work. After more than 40 years in the business, he is continually pushing to find new ways to tell stories. The early work was straightforward documentary work – this happened, this is why it’s important.

His later work, as he’s experimented with older cameras and techniques, has been much more about evoking the emotions than the moments. At its best, these images do both – giving you a sense of place and moment along with an emotional connection.

At long last, he has published work from the 2012 London Olympics and there are some real gems in there. (That Dressage at Greenich image is, to me, just awesome. And this frame of Alistair Brownlee winning the Men’s Triathlon is another great frame.

Some of the others in the set, though … well … I’m not so sure about. There are enough enticing frames in the gallery to keep me clicking, and I’m not sure I have the stature in the industry to edit Burnett, but I think a tighter edit would have helped here.

Still … he’s my hero.

Mark E. Johnson

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