Technology and Photography at the Olympics

  • FJP: The New York Times interviews staff photographer Doug Mills who's covering his fifth Olympics. Here he talks about how technology is changing the production process. The full interview, and slide show, can be viewed here:
  • NYT: One thing that’s been different this time is our speed on the Web. You take a photo, and it’s on the home page of The Times in a minute or two.
  • Doug Mills: Oh my gosh, this system that we have, that Josh Haner and Ben Koski put together, is a game-changer for us. It’s made us competitive with the wires, and frankly, we are not only competitive, we’re getting pictures out and on the Web site before anyone. My laptop has two card readers, a modem attached to it, and I have Ethernet cords attached to my cameras, both of them, that go through a router. The router goes into the laptop and through the high-speed connection that we have here at the Olympics.
  • NYT: When you started shooting the Olympics, you were shooting film.
  • Doug Mills: It’s come so far, now we’re taking a picture of a race, and it can be on the Internet by the time the person finishes it. It makes it so much more exciting to be here, to be able to compete.
  • NYT: Has the technology changed the way you shoot?
  • Doug Mills: It has completely changed the way we take pictures. I have to shoot a little tighter for the Web, because there is no cropping afterwards. We’re going straight from the camera, to my editor Becky Lebowitz’s laptop, and then to the Web. So I have to shoot a little tighter, and I have to be really conscious of my exposures. The disadvantage is that your mobility is cut down because you’re tethered. You only have a foot or two, to move. You can’t get up and run. We’re so packed in there you couldn’t do that anyway.
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