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…

More via >> The Inside Story of How Olympic Photographers Get Such Stunning Images.

Blog Central Otago Conservation Hawea Lindis Pass Wanaka

The story behind this first blog post – a story of conservation, skinks and old cottages to photograph

Hi, especially if you’re new here! It’s the first blog post on this new photography stock image nz library shop.

During the week I uploaded a couple images of some old historic buildings I’m quite happy about. It all came about because I regularly do conservation volunteer work with New Zealand’s Dept of Conservation, and on this occasion the task was to check trapping lines put in place to protect colonies of very rare [and endangered] species of Grand and Otago Skinks.

Both species are unique to Otago, and are two of New Zealand’s rarest reptiles and are “Nationally Critically Endangered” and could be extinct within 10 years unless something is done like predator proof fences further to the east of where I live in Wanaka. Pockets exist in Otago from near the east coast to Lakes Hawea and Wanaka, and in the Lindis Pass area to the north, which is where we went to a known colony.

Donald Lousley in the Grandview Range NZ
We tend to do our tasks [trapping lines] alone for efficiency, and we carry radios for mainly safety reasons and to know where/when to meet up for lunch and transport etc. This is a self portrait and as the ground was steep it was hard to get into a natural looking position.
Grandview Range skink habitat
They live in very specific habitats – secure, sheltered crevices in large outcrops of schist, known as tors, or in the likes of this bluff system. My line was to the right.
DOC 200 predator trap
Skinks are exceptionally well adapted to the cold upland, tussock and tor landscape they belong to. Here is a trap known as a “DOC 200” on quite steep terrain. Finding each one is a skill to be learnt and involves sight, maps, GPS, pink marking tape, and an experienced “eye” regards where to walk, traverse a contour, or climb down too. Then on arrival as well as clearing dead predators and re-baiting, sometimes repairs are needed too…
Timms possum trap
The Timms trap is one of New Zealand’s most popular possum traps and has National Animal Welfare Approval. It is made of tough polyethylene plastic, is very light, compact, and safe/easy to set.
Grandview Range skink habitat
Even when there’s snow on this sort of terrain as is normal in the winter, if the sun is out, the skinks will bask on the rock ledges and still be able to feed on insects etc…
St Bathans Range and the Lindis Valley
A view of the St Bathans Range and the Lindis Valley from the top of my second line.
Toyota in the Grandview Range
Job done and we assemble ready to drive out.
Stone Cottage - Grandview Range
On the way in I’d noticed a couple of old cottages – worthy subjects for my camera, so on our return I asked if we could stop. We did anyway, and I was lucky to get a good go taking these images, while the others talked to the farmer/owner of the property we were on. He was very interested to know what we’d found on our travels, as its in his best interest farming to have as much knowledge as possible. Image available in the eShop >>
Mud Brick and whitewash Cottage - Grandview Range
Image available in the eShop >>
mud brick cottage white wash wall
Photographically speaking I’ve always found a whitewash finish on the likes of mud brick, or brick wall makes for a great textured background. It’s just a pity that this was not a briar covered in red berries.


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Donald Lousley portrait
Hi, I’m Donald and has been a long time project and
dream to share a few images and thoughts.

I like to write, but then again photography adds another dimension
and to be honest when I’m a bit tired it’s easier to publish a picture or two,
and well… a picture is worth a thousand words.

Glenmary being climbed by Donald Lousley
By inclination I’m a mountaineer, tramper and ski tourer – all passions that engender carrying a camera. And so I do, and publish a lot on the Internet to not only share the way I “see” the world, but with the aim of raising awareness of our landscapes. If we are all more aware it might help look after them a bit more! At other times I’m an Apple centric computer support/trainer person, and web site builder.

Bob McKerrow, Brian Millar, Donald Lousley
Here I am on the right with two old friends. Bob McKerrow on the left inspires me with his lifetime of humanitarian disaster relief work for Red Cross in the places in the world where people need help the most often, and mountaineering exploits. And Brian Millar in the center with his special day-to-day friendship and inspiration in the field of book publishing [] and photography.
As of Feb 2014 this site is very new and I’m still working through optimising it.
I’ve built the functionality into it to handle images from other people and can have names listed in
menus etc. so a particular author’s work can be found.

Maybe send me an email to so we can discuss it further if you’re keen to
display/sell work thanks