Londond-2012-Olympics-Pawel-Zagrodnik-Masashi-Ebinuma-Judo-Ian-Walton-Getty-Images-149483037

Olympic judo: Capturing exhaustion from above (without a catwalk)

July 30, 2012 | By Ian Walton | Olympics, Photography, Photojournalism, Sport, Technology

I was shooting the judo for eight hours on Sunday 29th July at the London ExCeL venue. The robotic camera I am working with has been set up for the wrestling events, but we are also using it to capture the judo competitions.

The robotic cameras are great, as we get in places that with a static camera we couldn’t have before – and we can get the robotic camera in the position we need it to be, whilst changing the angle as we shoot. One of the challenges working with a robotic is you have to almost pre-determine where the picture will be and know what type of picture you want and where the athletes will come into frame – so unlike a regular camera, you cannot follow the athletes.

On Sunday, I watched the Japanese and Polish judo players battle it out, and the Japanese judo player,  Masashi Ebinuma, pushed the Polish competitor, Pawel Zagrodnik, out of the yellow circle to win the match. It was an intense competition and they then both laid down in exhaustion after the match, having given their all.  I was moving the robotic head of the camera as the action unfolded and captured these images. I like this image as it enabled me to get an angle that’s quite unique — in many of the venues there aren’t catwalks, and so to be able to capture this type of content is really exciting.

 

London-2012-Olympics-Pawel-Zagrodnik-Masashi-Ebinuma-Judo-Ian-Walton-Getty-Images-149483035

Pawel Zagrodnik of Poland (white) and Masashi Ebinuma of Japan lay on the mat after their match in the Men’s -66 kg Judo on Day two of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

 

London-2012-Olympics-Pawel-Zagrodnik-Masashi-Ebinuma-Judo-Ian-Walton-Getty-Images-149483033

Pawel Zagrodnik of Poland (white) and Masashi Ebinuma of Japan lay on the mat after their match in the Men’s -66 kg Judo on Day two of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

London-2012-Olympics-Pawel-Zagrodnik-Masashi-Ebinuma-Judo-Ian-Walton-Getty-Images-149483037

Pawel Zagrodnik of Poland (white) and Masashi Ebinuma of Japan lay on the mat after their match in the Men’s -66 kg Judo on Day two of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

 

Technical details:

  • Canon EOS 1D X
  • 24-105 lens
  • ISO Film Speed: 2500
  • Aperture f/4.5

 

Editor’s note: Ian Walton is a Getty Images photographer based in the UK covering the London 2012 Olympic Games. You can follow him on Twitter: @UK_photobooth.

More posts by this author

Comments are closed.