July 11, 2012 at 4:31 PM ET
Professional photographers will call the shots at the Summer Olympics, but “robotic” technology will lend a helping hand, according to the games’ official photographic agency.
The biggest help will come from cameras stashed in floodlights, rafters and scaffolding in and around Olympic venues to provide imagery from places inaccessible to human photographers due to space or security reasons.
The cameras have swiveling robotic heads to offer 360-degree views from their lofty perches. They are controlled remotely by a photographer on safer ground, according to Getty Images, the official agency of the International Olympic Committee.
“Currently … there is no purely automated function,” Ken Mainardis, director of editorial services for Getty Images, told me in emailed statement.
Lack of automation aside, this is the first time fully remotely-controllable stills cameras have been used at an Olympic Games. Similar technology has previously been used by broadcasters.
In addition to the remote-controlled technology, photographers will expand the use of 3-D imagery better suited for today’s digital media environment. An overview is provided in the video below.
After the Olympics, the remote control and 3-D technologies may find applications in other hard-to-reach places, such as steep mountainsides where wildlife photographers seek images of goats and birds.
Via New York Times