Monday 8 August 2016

Editing the Gymnastics & Archery at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

I am lucky enough to be part of the Reuters team covering the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. My role is to lead the edit team and edit the Gymnastics and the Archery. It's hard work but the pictures are amazing. I thought that occasionally I'd share some thoughts, pictures and inside information during the tournament.

Here is the team, eight editors who chose the images from the photographers and nine processors who add the caption details and publish to clients. I am well hidden at the back.

In short the photographers stream their picture directly from their cameras at the venues to our edit system, the editor chooses the best frame and then sends it the processor. He or she checks it for quality, captions it and then sends it to Reuters global networks.

For the opening ceremony we had a sweep to guess the number of pictures we moved to the wire. The sweep was $170 won with a bet of 2555 pictures that was nearest to the total.

I will try to update this daily. Here is a catch-up from day one and two.

Spent the day looking at thousands of great pictures from the team of Dylan, Mike, Damir and Athit. The obvious picture to share is Samir's broken leg after his fall at the vault (yuk) or the bent double Swiss athlete Hegi, but I have gone for the smoking hands of japan's Kohei Uchimura as he falls from the Horizontal bar by Dylan Martinez. It reminded me of my processors Darrelle and Gary's hands as they rush the pictures out.

It was great, the next day to see it being well used.

August 9, 2016

Here is my view today waiting for the start of the men's finals.

It would be hard not to include Dylan's picture of the Japanese team celebrating their gold win as my favorite tonight. Love the upward motion of the shape of the picture and the sheer joy on their faces. Add the Japanese flag coming in from the left and the small detail of the Olympic rings on the bottom right we have a great image. Would be nice if the cameraman on the right was not there but life is just not perfect.

Second placed Russian's is always hard one one to illustrate. Needless to say the team are happy they have won silver, who wouldn't be, but it must have the slight bitter taste of not winning the gold. How do you illustrate that? My view is that Mike's picture of the team with the logo on the right in the pace sums it all up, team spirit.

August 10, 2016 - See the latest pictures from Rio 2016 Olympic Games

We have just been talking about the viral picture of the North and south Korean girls posing for a selfie. Dylan's wonderful image of two girls enjoying the global event has taken on its own dynamic in the face of the global politics of the North and South Korea divide. Publications headlines range from Rio Olympics breaking down borders, heart warming unity and The Independent even running an editorial on Dylan's picture. I wonder what impact this image will have on the girls once they are at home?

Lee Eun-Ju of South Korea takes a selfie picture with Hong Un Jon of North Korea

If it's archery it's a sport that South Korea dominate. A visual challenge for Leonhard trying to get a different picture when archery is about the Art of Repetition.

Xhang Hye-Jin of South Korea in the Women's Individual eliminations.

A quick lunch just before we start testing lines from gym, hot dog with BBQ sauce, tomatoes and lettuce.

One of the greatest rewards of editing is when a photographer goes out of their way to say thanks for cropping an image of theirs to make it special. Mike's pictures of the USA women's gymnastic team celebrating winning gold are great especially when you know just how many photographers are fighting to get it. The first picture is full frame, the second is another frame from the sequence with the middle cropped tight. This only works with the right moment and it has to be pin sharp. I love it!!  

Simone Biles of the USA celebrates with her team mates following her floor routine during the Women's team final.

Had it not been for Mike's word of thanks I would have led with Damir's beautifully seen picture of Simone waiting for her turn. The red, white and blue leading your eye from hers to the gold in the top left corner.

....and a quick dinner before bed

And more pictures from all the sports at the Rio 2016 Olympics  here

August 10

Dylan is off to the dentist for root canal work today (yikes) so he is replaced by Alessandro. Kai is also joining the team for tonight's action. No prizes for guessing who this is.... yep Kai.

A quandary for me tonight at the Men's Individual All-round Final. Two pictures of winner Japan's Kohei Uchimura with his gold medal shot from above by Kai. The first picture the medal is sharp, the second the face is sharp. Which one to chose? A new angle on a medal picture so I moved both. Not an easy decision to make risking messing it all up to try to do something very different like this during a medal ceremony. Potentially you could miss everything, but Kai got two cracking pictures.

Last offering from the gymnastics tonight is a picture by Alessandro of an athlete who is very happy. Placed 17th in the final but did Arthur Mariano of Brazil have a great time! The simple shape of the X with the clean background makes this picture an obvious edit. The slightly pigeon toed stance also gives it a sense of real affection too; maybe that only exists in my mind'e eye. I think in every frame I looked of him he was smiling. And why not, he was playing to a home crowd.

Arthur Mariano of Brazil waves after competing on the floor exercise of the Men's Individual All-round Final.

What you can almost be certain of as an editor is that you wont be working in the rain. That cannot be said of photographers at many Olympic events, especially those who are covering the archery.  I really like the effect the water on the lens adds to Leonhard's picture and how this changes the visual structure of what is actually quite a detailed, complex and confusing image. The rain circles draw the eye back from the storm clouds and the central flood lights to the soaked archers on the left. The reds and the white of their clothing holding the eye long enough to enable you to understand what is happening. The dark clouds top right keeping your eye to the left. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the water on the lens might also be a plea for sympathy from Leonhard - "it's raining and I am all wet". No sympathy here, done it, been there.

Robin Rameakers of Belgium and Juan Ignacio Rodriguez of Spain compete in the Men's Individual 1/16 Eliminations 

See the latest pictures from Rio 2016 Olympic Games here

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