Magazine Article


How to Shoot World-Class Swimming Events
What it takes to capture the magic

Al Bello

Al Bello

Unlike today's professional digital cameras with fast motor drives that enable endless rapid-fire exposures, this 1950s relic captures one frame at a time with a manually loaded sheet of film. It requires patience to get into the rhythm of this format, but I've found it to be a valuable exercise; working with a range of equipment and techniques keeps me engaged.

As exciting as it is to witness iconic moments in sport history from a front-row seat, the real thrill of this profession is imagining the shot in my mind and executing it with my camera. It's the force that inspires me to dive headfirst into each new adventure.

As chief sports photographer at Getty Images, Al Bello ( and has spent his career capturing images of the world's greatest athletes in action. He also applies his distinctive award-winning style to portraiture and editorial assignments.