Vancouver Olympics, day 3: Changing Technology and Social Media

Janne Ahonen in Salt Lake City 2002

I started to think yesterday about the previous Olympics I have done, especially about the technology aspect of this profession. And it is amazing how much it has changed.

In Salt Lake City – which was very much like these games, as the time difference was against us (if I remember correctly, also ten hours as it is here) – I was using one Canon 1D (one D30 as a back-up) producing 3.9 megapixel files resulting an final image of 11mb. And I thought this was about as hightech as it ever would be. And it was jpg’s only. Nobody complained about the cameras, lack of pixels, focusing problems. Well, I remember discussions about CCD’s vs. CMOS, but that’s about it.

I edited with a Toshiba PC, with a mass memory of luxurious 8gbs. And I don’t even remember having problems with the memory running out. Photoshop and fotostation, that was all you needed.

Well, presently my 1Dmk4’s produce something like 48mb files and my  5dmk2’s  c. 60mb files. I carry a 17″ MacBookPro and over a 1TB of memory with me on external drives.  Yes, that is over thousand gigabytes. Over hundred times more than what I had in Salt Lake City.

Now I shoot RAW exclusively. Use the DSLRs also for producing video (btw, here are samples, done yesterday night of Janne Ahonen and Anssi Koivuranta, shot with Canon 1Dmk4). Use digital recorders (ZOOM or ProTrack) to capture audio. In addition to Photoshop, it is Photomechanic, Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack and countless number of other computerprograms.

In Salt Lake my images ended up on a printed page – on paper. The main communication method home was email. Here, it is a quite different. Yes, they still produce printed papers out of my images. But my images are used more and more in the net. I edit images, I edit video, I edit sound, I code webpages, I build multimedias, rebuild them, etc. It is realtime – and real fast.  I still communicate with cellphone and email, but a lot also thru company’s noticeboard in the web (due to the timedifference) – and thru facebook, twitter, even my blog….

And actually, these so called social medias constitute an essential part of the work. For instance, we have a twitterlist set up – not by me – but by my client. And it has already gained a regular, steadily increasing following. See the Vancouver page of Aamulehti, it is right on top of the opening page. And right this moment, as I am writing this, my friend and colleague Elina Paasonen is reporting real time from the WADA info she is attending in Vancouver City – using Twitter.

And are we the only ones doing this? I don’t think so: see how BBC is dealing with the social media issue.

Last night I walked home from the WMC (Whistler Media Center) and in the bar across the street Bob Dylan was blasting out of the loudspeakers. It was the “Hurricane”  – a great classic, btw – but it reminded me of another hit of his, “The times they are a-changing”.

How right he was.

1 Comment

  1. There was Something Wrong With Finnish Athletes… « Helsinki According to PPusa
    February 28, 2010

    […] he is certainly not dismissing the possibilities of new technology. He is a firm believer that times are changing – hopefully also in Finnish sports as well. Possibly related posts: (automatically […]


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