“There’s nothing better to me than having an idea in my head and then implementing it into my work.”
With the Rio Olympics just a few weeks away, Getty Images’ all-star photography team is gearing up for the big event. Years of hard work and planning go into ensuring that our photographers are prepared when the pressure is on and the games begin.
Award-winning photographers Al Bello, Clive Rose and Adam Pretty will be covering the swimming competitions. Bello recently traveled to Rio to shoot the Aquece Rio Test Event in order to get an idea of the conditions they will be shooting during the Olympics.
“I was able to come up with some pictures that I think are representative of what Rio will look like,” Bello said. “We’re just working hard on doing the best we can to be prepared.”
During this trip he took the opportunity to experiment with his technique, trying out some inventive creative shots.
“What has always intrigued me about shooting underwater is you’re showing what’s not visible to the eye. I thought, let’s bring both worlds together and show the competition from what goes on outside the pool and what goes on underneath the water — and what better way to do that than to split the screen?” he said. “There’s nothing better to me than having an idea in my head and then implementing it into my work.”
One of the new technologies they will be using during the Olympics is a robotic camera housing that holds a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II inside, which will allow their underwater shots to be of even better quality. The housing took about six months to build and can rotate, pivot and refocus the camera with the use of a remote control.
“You have to put the camera in hours before the competition starts, so you have to try and visualize what’s going to be happening in the pool. It’s like when a painter has the white canvas before they paint — you have to figure out in your mind what’s going to happen during the race and then place the camera in what you think is the best spot,” Bello said. “The good thing about these housings is if it’s not exactly what you envisioned, you can adjust the camera from the pool deck where we will be sitting without having to jump in the water and fix it.”
With this new technology at their disposal, the team will have the ability to let their creativity run wild.
“I’m hoping to be as creative as I possibly can be, as will Adam Pretty and Clive Rose,” Bello said. “Our staff is so talented and full of experienced, creative, wonderful photographers; I think it’s impossible not to produce a very different looking Olympics.”See more of Al Bello’s inventive sports imagery at Getty Images and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat for live Olympic updates