Exploring the production and consumption of media content, this set of photographs show the screens on the back of digital cameras operated by official accredited sports photographers at the 2012 London Olympics. Roberts captured the screens whilst the photographers were browsing, editing, deleting and, in some cases, transmitting images direct from their cameras.
Technology has come a long way since the last Olympics in London in 1948, broadcast in black and white. According to Getty Images, the official Photographic Agency to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), their photographers took more than one million images at the London Games and uploaded more than 3,000 per day to the Getty Images website. It also installed 100 kilometers of fiber optic cables to connect all the venues to the Getty Images office in the event’s press center.
“From the moment an athlete crosses a finishing line, a photograph will arrive at a newspaper as far away as Australia in about 180 seconds.” (Ken Mainardis, vice president of Sport Imagery and Services, Getty Images).
The Reuters agency sent a total of 55 photographers, 17 picture editors, and 25 picture processors to London. It’s estimated that Reuters’ 17 editors looked over a 1.5 million photographs during the course of the Olympics. That’s 88,235 photos per editor.