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Olympic double-take: From reporter to spectator

Wednesday 8 August 2012 - Eye witness

Supporters of the Netherlands men's field hockey team at the Riverside Stadium during the London Olympics. The Netherlands defeated New Zealand 5-1 in a first-round match.

"After covering three successive summer Olympics for AFP, I find myself in unfamiliar territory: viewing the Games for the first time as a paying spectator rather than a journalist," says AFP's Andrew Newby, a multi-media reporter based in London. "I could never have imagined that the two experiences would be so different. Or that cheering in the stands is a bigger thrill than reporting the results of a race or match from a press box or at the edge of a pitch." (AFP Photo / Andrew Newby)

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Olympic photos: do it with robots

Tuesday 31 July 2012 - Behind the image

TOPSHOTS-OLY-2012-JUDO-MEN-73KG-ROBOTIC
AFP Photo/Antonin Thuillier

Olympic photos: do it with robots


AFP is a pioneer in the use of robotics photography at world class sporting events, whether looking up from the bottom of an Olympic pool or peering down from the rafters of a stadium. Here’s a modest sampling of shots taken by AFP photographers using remotely-controlled cameras.  

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Robot cameras: bird’s eye view of Games

Monday 23 July 2012 - Behind the image

Aerial view of the 2008 Olympics closing ceremony
AFP Photo

Robotic cameras have bird’s eye view of Games


Photo coverage of the Summer Olympics is simply incomplete without those sweeping aerial shots that capture the scope and grandeur of the Games. But the rules for London have changed: no longer can photographers be harnessed and hoisted up to stadium roofs to get those panoramic views. Why? “Security,” AFP was told by the organizers. But where there’s a will, there’s a way: robots.

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Voyage to the bottom of the pool

Wednesday 4 July 2012 - Behind the image

AFP Photo/Francois-Xavier Marit

Voyage to the bottom of the pool


Francois-Xavier Marit has probably spent more time on the bottom of water-filled, Olympic-sized pools that just about anyone alive. He’s not hunting for treasures lost by weekend swimmers or inspecting for cracks and fissures. Francois-Xavier is, in fact, a journalist in AFP’s technical support service who has over the last decade pioneered the use of underwater cameras for shooting top-level swimming competitions, including the Olympics. The photo above, taken at the world championships in Shanghai in July 2011,  earned Francois-Xavier an honourable mention in the category “Sports – Action” at the Best of Photojournalism competition organized last May in the United States by the National Press Photographers Association. It all started in 2004, when Nikon was looking to test a prototype for a waterproof case for a camera that could, looking skyward through water, capture images of swimmers on the surface...

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