The Inside Story of How Olympic Photographers Get Such Stunning Images

18 Feb 2014: As I write the Winter Olympics are in full swing at Sochi in Russia and there are Wanaka locals competing, the son and daughter of a good friend [Lyndon Sheehan for NZ and Amy Sheehan for Aust.], and quite a few acquaintances I catch up each austral winter at the nearby Snow Farm nordic ski area.

As a local at the Snow Farm and a photographer I’m able to often get in good positions to get images of the athletes, but I’ve found it a very demanding task with a steep learning curve, as they move so fast and it’s so bright.

Justyna Kowalczyk at NZ's Snow Farm in 2013

It is pretty easy getting a notable shot at the start line. In the center is Justyna Kowalczyk from Poland and to the left her teammate Maciej Kreczmer. Justyna is currently the world’s fastest woman on cross country skis. Beside her on the right is my good friend Ron Carmichael a very good Canadian skier who now lives in New Zealand. He was pretty rapt I got this photo as it’s a rare thing to get so close to the rock stars of the northern hemisphere nordic ski scene, and he has made it his FaceBook cover photo!

Justyna Kowalczyk at NZ's Snow Farm in 2013

Here Justyna blitzes the competition at NZ’s Snow Farm in 2013. By being slightly elevated and at a tangental angle to her [high speed] path I got an image that has been requested by a few for use in news articles on the web

Russian and Canadian nordic ski racers at the Snow Farm NZ 2013

As these Russian and Canadian [Devon Kershaw] athletes cross the finish line at the Snow Farm, each striving to get a foot ahead, again I’m fortunate enough to be able to be so close to them. I would have liked something like a little blurring to portray the speed, but on the other hand again it’s a shot that drew a few requests for use on the Salomon Nordic FaceBook page.

As mentioned above getting these images is not easy, and therefore I’ve taken quite an interest in this article below that outlines the process right from being near the action right through to how the image is then published within seconds, and it is going on right now in Sochi >>

Every single moment of the Sochi Olympics is documented in minute detail. Here’s how the AP and Getty Images, two of the biggest photo agencies on the scene, get their incredible photos from the Olympics to the United States, faster than you can microwave a bag of popcorn.

This past Tuesday in Sochi, Shaun White attempted…

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