Covering the Olympics photographically is no easy feat (there’s a great Digital Photo Magazine interview of Sacramento photographer Paul Kitagaki who’s covered 10 Olympics, including the just ended 2020 Tokyo Games, on what it takes to cover such an event).
Photographers put in long hours shooting events that are often back to back in different venues. They have download, edit and caption their photos and then transmit them to their respective photo agencies. Over the 2 weeks of the Games photographers work long and hard with very little sleep. The last thing they need to worry about is their equipment.
Photographers not only bring backup to their normal gear, but they often bring backups for their backups. Still, things can go wrong and gear can break down. But shooters have resources that they can turn to. For the 2020 Olympics, as it has for many Olympiads prior, Canon offered it’s camera repair and loan facility. Photographers could get their gear repaired by a full staff of technicians within a 24-hour period. Nikon and Sony had similar services for photographers using their brands.
In addition, the facility also stocked a massive arsenal of equipment of all kinds for loan to the photographers. Shelves were stocked with top of the line cameras and lenses for the thousands of photographers at the Games. It’s a gearhead’s dream to see rows and rows of exotic and expensive lenses sitting on stacks of shelves waiting to be used.
Canon and the other companies also use the Olympics as a testing ground for new or prototype equipment. Chosen photographers are allowed use of the new gear to see how they will perform and hold up under the stressful, real-life conditions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Games were held a year later than originally scheduled and without regular spectators. This likely made news/sports photography of the Games even more important than ever. Photographers worked long, grueling hours to bring indelible images of the thrill of Olympic victory and the agony of defeat to the world. The camera manufacturers made sure of having their backs by providing world class service and support.
Record photographer Clifford Oto has photographed Stockton and San Joaquin County for more than 36 years. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Instagram @Recordnet. Follow his blog at recordnet.com/otoblog. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow