I was shooting the 2012 Olympic judo competition for eight hours at the London ExCeL venue. The robotic camera I was working with had been set up for the wrestling events, but we were also using it to capture the judo competitions.
The robotic cameras are great, as we get in places that we couldn’t have before with a static camera – 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 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. 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 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. Using the robotic camera enabled me to get an angle that’s quite unique — in many of the venues there aren’t catwalks, so to be able to capture this type of content is really exciting.