Getty Images photographers are present at the world's biggest sporting events using the latest technology to capture iconic moments. Here, Julian Finney gives a day to day account of what it's like to capture the IAAF World Championships 2013 in Moscow as appeared on the Canon Professional Network Photo Blogs.
Aug 9th: Late Night Lock In
We arrived on Monday for previews for the World Athletics Championships in Moscow and venue set up. Canon's arrival of a truck-load of equipment is always a good sight. With a day to go our set up is almost complete. As the athletes go through their final training sessions the media have their own preparations to make. At these Championships we have decided to attach five cameras to the roof as remotes. With a course in heights achieved we were harnessed up and ready to attach the Canon cameras from the roof. This has taken up most of my week and hopefully the cameras are lined up and working safely. As we crawled our way down safely tonight we found the roof had been locked, leaving me and my colleague stranded. After a few phone calls we were directed to find another exit; this was a darkened stairway down the old Olympic Stadium to our safety and then off to bed.
175861294. MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 08: A general view ahead of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at the Luzhniki Sports Complex on August 8, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Aug 10th: MO-scow
Mo Farah of Great Britain did the 'Mobot' again after he won the Men's 10,000m. His dominance in this event saw him cross the line first and repeat his celebration from the London Olympics. With all our camera remotes set up over the last few days it was a relief to see them all fire. After great coverage from Day One there was barely anytime to eat. Another five hours of sleep ahead of me... and back in nice and early tomorrow.
175925390. MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 10: Mo Farah of Great Britain crosses the line to win gold in the Men's 10000 metres final during Day One of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 10, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Aug 11th: Thunder and Lightning Bolt
Another early start to Day Two, needing to replace the Pocket Wizard remote batteries meant a quick climb to the top of the stadium and checking all was set. Having to do this before any punters entered the stadium for safety reasons. Some early 110m Hurdles heats made for an interesting photograph with shadows of the athletes jumping the first hurdle. I experimented with an 8-15mm Canon lens for the first time today and made for a great general view of the stadium. After a long day we arrived at the 100m final around 9.50pm and a very dark cloud formed over the stadium. Rain, thunder and lightning had arrived just in time for the 'Lightning Bolt' show.
175964104. MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 11: (top to bottom) Ingmar Vos of the Netherlands, Keisuke Ushiro of Japan, Kame Ali of Madagascar, Thomas van der Plaetsen of Belgium, Marcus Nilsson of Sweden, Eduard Mikhan of Belarus and Maicel Uibo of Estonia compete in the Men's Decathlon 110 metres hurdles during Day Two of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 11, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Aug 12th: Hammer Time
Today I was assigned in-field position and I had to cover the Shot Put and the Hammer events. My main objective was to survive the dangers of in-field. With many heavy objects flying around you really need to be aware of any misthrown ones. Shot puts don't travel too far so they are easier to keep an eye on, but the hammer is a bit more random. The best way to cover this event is by remote from the back of the cage and you hope the competitor doesn't clear out your camera in the process. This does make for good pictures as the ball on the end of the chain swings close to the camera lens. But 'You can't touch this' comes to mind and all is safe and well.
176418721. MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 12: Pawel Fajdek of Poland competes in the Men's Hammer final during Day Three of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 12, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Aug 14th: Isinbayeva’s Reach
During Yelena Isinbayeva's spectacular win in front of her home crowd in the Women's Pole Vault Final on Day Four chaos unfolded amongst many photographers. With this being the biggest event so far at the World Championships you get carried away with the excitement. As the night came to its conclusion so did the Pole Vault Final with Isinbayeva first of all successful in winning, and celebrating with her coach in the crowd, followed by a World Record attempt. She failed to reach the World Record but won another gold medal.
With nearly all of the accredited photographers around this part of the stadium it was hard to find space to even capture the jubilation of her win. As the crowd went crazy so did Isinbayeva and the mass of photographers tried to get the best shot of this moment. It's at these times that you need to be ready for any reaction and fortunately I was right underneath her when she came to celebrate with the crowd, resulting in this interesting shot of her reaching over me as she gave out autographs to fans. Positioned in the moat I was at a low angle and I thought she might fall on top of me at one point, but all was fine. I shot this on a Canon 24-70mm lens, which gave me a wide enough shot.
176465366. MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 13: Elena Isinbaeva of Russia celebrates winning gold in the Women's pole vault final during Day Four of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 13, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Aug 16th: Heffernan & the Sparrow
My next assignment was the medals area and I was quite restricted as to what I could shoot action-wise. My main responsibility was to cover the medal ceremony. Robert Heffernan of Ireland had won the 50km Race Walk and he was up to receive his medal. When the IAAF World Athletics Mascot (a Sparrow) turned up to give Heffernan a hug, I shot it tight on a Canon 400mm f/2.8L lens to lose the background and focus on the happy Irishman and the big-eyed sparrow. It made for a fun picture that was different to the usual head-shot of the gold medal winner.
176552945. MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 15: Gold medalist Robert Heffernan of Ireland on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's 50km race walk during Day Six of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 15, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Aug 17th: Soft Landing
Our rotation system amongst my colleagues at Getty Images continued to give each of the photographers a variety of angles to shoot from at this event. The remote cameras which we set up in the preview week were giving us some unique angles and it was well worth the extra work. With the huge stadium towering over the sand pit for the long jump and triple jump an overhead shot could be achieved. Getting some graphic shapes as the jumpers landed in the sand was the goal for the day. My favourite was the Italian Fabrizio Schembri who landed bottom first and created a shape around his soft landing, then flicked up a spray of sand. Using a Canon 300mm f/4L lens clamped to the roof, covering an area of about five metres, meant it was very hit or miss... so I was lucky to get a few nice frames.
176597764. MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 16: Fabrizio Schembri of Italy competes in the Men's Triple Jump qualification during Day Seven of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium at Luzhniki Stadium on August 16, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Aug 17th: ‘Canon’s Red Square’
The Men's Marathon was up next and my position for this was at the bottom of Red Square with a view of the famous Saint Basil's Cathedral. It was an amazing view and one you had to arrive early for. This being a popular spot with photographers I arrived a few hours early to make sure I got this position. After a patient wait the runners were on their way to us. As they approached us, and turned the tight bend, it resulted in a shot of the athletes with the views behind. I shot this on my most used lens, the EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM; a great lens for the many sports I cover throughout the year. Another thing I noticed whilst shooting this picture was a board with the word 'Canon'; now I couldn't crop that out... could I? For a week at least it was known as 'Canon's Red Square'.
176680453. MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 17: Tadese Tola of Eritrea leads the pack in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral in the Men's Marathon on August 17, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Aug 18th: Cool Runnings
The last day at the World Athletics Championships was full of great races to finish the week. With heats and then finals of the 4x100m Relays it was all going on. Positioned around the bend beyond the finish line I was hoping for some reactions. A Jamaican domination in sprinting has continued throughout this event. My favourite frame was of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica celebrating over the line as she and her team won in a World Record time. I shot this on a 400mm f/2.8L lens and focus followed every frame... a very sharp lens which has a great hit rate. See you next time!
176736471. MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 18: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica crosses the line to win gold the Women's 4x100 metres final during Day Nine of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 18, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
About Julian Finney
Julian Finney began photography at the age of 14. Whilst active in many sports in his youth he combined his two passions. He studied photography at school and then college before attending the Nottingham Trent University where he graduated with a BA Photography degree. Julian enjoys shooting a wide range of sports. In his time he has covered events such as the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing and London, the Rugby World Cup in France, The Commonwealth Games in India, The Asian Games in Qatar, all four Tennis Grand Slams, International and Club Football, World Athletics, International Cricket and Formula One. His career in Sports Photography began in 2004 for Getty Winter Sports.
Julian has worked closely with many clients and organisations including the Men’s and Women’s Professional Tennis Tours, LTA, FIFA, UEFA and many more. Tennis and Football being his favorite sports, he has travelled all over covering various events. Julian has also enjoyed working in travel, portrait and commercial photography.
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