Magazine Article


Covering the Olympics

Another tip: Tiedemann recommends finding a shooting area outside the "Photographers Area" that you like, as long as it doesn't block the view of a paying spectator. Avoid asking permission to shoot from that location and be told "no." Just go quietly and do it. "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission," he says.

Tiedemann says one difficulty he faced was not having the "pool photo positions" that an Associated Press or Sports Illustrated photographer might receive. To solve this problem, "just find something different," he advises.

RULE #5: Watch your weight

For most of his shoots, Tiedemann carried a Tenba P261 Photo Backpack full of equipment, which included the Hasselblad 503CW body, 30, 40, 50 and 350mm lenses, 1.4x extender, and the P 25 back. He also carried a Lowepro Sideline Shooter belt pack full of CF cards and short Nikkor lenses, plus a Nikkor 400 f/2.8 lens on a monopod with a D2H, and another D2H with a Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR lens. For specific locations, he used a Gitzo tripod, bringing the combined weight of everything to over 60 pounds. Tiedemann says: "I normally would not carry two different camera systems, but this was a special opportunity and it was worth the extra effort."

He used nine- and 14-inch Domke Velcro Protective Wraps to protect his lenses and bodies in the backpack. But regardless of the padding used, footing is always vital. "If you fall, you may not only damage your equipment, but your back as well," says Tiedemann. "Don't assume you have good footing. Make sure you have good footing. Err on the side of caution."

Summing up his Olympic experience with the P 25, Tiedemann notes, "I looked to get 15 good pictures and as far as I'm concerned, I got considerably more than that. Shortly after, I solicited the help of Sports Illustrated's Imaging Director, Geoffrey Michaud, who said 'If you did a side-by-side comparison, the overall detail was noticeably different from what we were seeing in 35mm files. The P 25 was clearly better.'"

Photo Notes: All images shot with the Hasselblad 503CW and Phase One P 25.

George Tiedemann's P 25 Workflow Photo by Kirk McCoy/LA Times. ©George Tiedemann/ZUMA Press

Here's how George Tiedemann's images progressed from RAW file captures to media outlets across the globe.

  1. RAW images were captured on 1GB Lexar and SanDisk CF cards and were then downloaded to a Presario 1500 laptop via a Delkin Devices CardBus 32. He used four cards with the P 25 and each one held 37 or 38 lossless 22-megapixel compressed images in Phase One's IIQ RAW format.
  2. RAW files were then viewed and edited in Phase One's Capture One PRO 3.5.1 software. Selects were made, and little to no sharpening was added. Files were then processed to RGB 8-bit hi-quality JPGs.
  3. Images were captioned using Photoshop's File<File info dialog, then copied to a Maxtor External 250GB hard drive for backup.
  4. Selects were then uploaded to ZUMA Press using Bulletproof FTP. Tiedemann transmitted at the Olympics' Main Press Centre and he used both hard-wired and wireless technology to send data.

George Tiedemann with the P 25 digital back, Hasselblad 503CW and CFE 350mm lens at the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremonies. Tiedemann used a Hasselblad PM5 Prism Viewfinder and taped his monopod down to get optimum stability. Later, he changed to the CFi 30mm lens and shot from the same location to capture our cover image.