Vancouver Olympics, day 3: Changing Technology and Social Media

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.

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