Lessons learned from Sports photography at the Olympics



Reported by Tom Hayes

Jeff Cable is the director of marketing for Lexar Media by day — and a skilled, multi-talented photographer in his spare time. Jeff shared his insights and techniques with an interested group of his peers during an educational session at the SPAA conference at PMA@CES.

First, Jeff shared his secrets for producing instant slide shows of an event while the event is still in progress — and added this method has him booked through 2017 as a high-end Bar/Bat Mitzvah photographer.

But his true passion is photographing many different sporting event venues. His favorites: the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver, and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Jeff provided his audience with myriad methods and tactics to apply if we were ever fortunate enough to be at such prestigious assignments ourselves, from “catching the key moments” by shooting 12 frames per second, to tips regarding many of the logistical challenges in dealing with the massive venues at the Olympic Games. Other challenges Jeff provided insight on ran the gamut from knowing and understanding the sport you were capturing, to planning details such as credentials, gear, packing properly and much more.

Another highlight of Jeff’s session:  his discussion on trying to “see things differently” while doing your best to “tell the story” of the event you are attempting to capture.

Everyone in attendance enjoyed Jeff’s presentation, and left knowing a great deal more about the intricacies and scope of such challenging assignments. Jeff closed by citing the multiple advantages gained by tackling these jobs, and saying “you are participating in an historical event, photographing the best athletes in the world and getting the best views possible.”

You can see his work on Facebook by visiting Jeff Cable Photography’s home page.