At Olympics, the line between photo and painting can blur

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Ted Anthony

February 14, 2022 GMT

Beijing (AP) — Photographs are not paintings. Paintings are not photographs. But in the right circumstances, with the right hands, the two can approach each other, and in the best of circumstances, they appear to merge.

On top of that, the constant scenes of dynamic movements offered by the Olympics — dramatic backgrounds, unexpected movements, impossible fits to the body performing with high abilities — and you’re news and aesthetics, photography and art. I have a recipe to stop the collision of.

That is, true magic can occur through the eyes and lenses of an Associated Press photographer training his eyes at the Beijing Games stadium.

“Some of these pictures can’t get around it. They look like paintings,” says Dennis Pakin, who you’ll know. He has overseen AP’s Olympic Photo Report for over a decade and has viewed thousands of images in the last two weeks.

Photographs are sometimes called “drawing with light.” In these images, it’s more true than usual.

So slow yourself down. Take a look at these five images of the Beijing Winter Olympics and hear from the photojournalist who created them. Then think about what art is, what news is, and what happens to a photo when taken at the most thoughtful level.

Full coverage: photography

Silhouette snowboarding by Gregory Bull

What it shows: China’s Su Yiming competing in the men’s slopestyle final last Monday.

Why it grabs you: Creates a dreamlike relationship between a sharply focused snowboarder and a blurry mesh barrier. It has an elemental feel like a 19th century tintype photograph. It is a world that looks dark through the glass.

Bull was thinking, “It took a while to create that frame. I relied on a very standard configuration for most of the day. Nice equipment for the slopestyle course. I used it to leave a place for athletes to play against the backdrop of the Great Wall of China and the house, so for this photo I wanted to dismantle, so I disassembled the planned composition. Used the sun to make a hole in the middle of the photo and let the snowboarder tear the line of composition. With our camera, autofocus is great, but it follows the line, so switch to manual and snowboarder Had to pre-focus at the distance he jumped into the frame. I was lucky that the snowboarder also won the medal that day. This was also good. “

Ring skater by Ashley Landis

Description: Denmark’s Viktor Hald Thorpe warmed up at a light show before the men’s speed skating 5,000-meter race began on February 6.

Why it grabs you: The colors are so saturated and mottled with shadows and light. A dark groove along the ice. The presence of Holp was caught in the middle of the stride, hitting in the middle of the red ring, with his left foot in the air, his hand raised, and his fingers visible. Diagonal lines, straight horizontal lines, and circles that hold images together. And Beijing 2022 in the middle of it. The feeling that this photo is a substitute for the entire Winter Olympics.

Landis was thinking: “It’s a really beautiful venue, but the light is much more uniform, so it’s very difficult to get artistic images such as silhouettes, but before every session, There’s a light show of about 30 seconds, and for the first few days there were no skaters warming up on the ice during the light show, so “if someone could warm up and cross the logo across the ring. Wouldn’t it be great? 』So, hoping that someone would be on the warming up ice, we went to the highest point where we could go see the light show. Someone was, And they went through the ring at the perfect time. “

Luge Blur, by Pavel Golovkin

Description: Natalie Maag of Switzerland who skated in the Luge Women’s Singles last Monday.

Why it fascinates you: First of all, scales, sharply focused, brightly colored athletes move through the vast equipment. Complementary curves that create a pleasant sense of movement in conjunction with color contrast and blurring.

Golovkin was thinking: “Athletes need to create more than just a simple photo of steering a track. One idea is to use a long shutter speed. The focus is only on the movement effect. It’s nice to have it separated from the background by contrast as well. The brightly colored suit of Natalie Mark helps with this. “

Flock of hockey, by Petr David Josek

Description: Canadian players are flocking to the women’s quarterfinal hockey match between Canada and Sweden on Friday.

Why it grabs you: Of course, a place with a good view. However, there are also pictorially nearly symmetrical ones fixed by the hockey net and increased by the red numbers and names of the black jersey. In addition, there is a contrast between a matte uniform, a shiny black helmet, and a single white helmet.

Josek was thinking: “Almost all teams get together before each match and take pictures using a remote overhead camera. It may or may not work. It’s a bit different from previous matches. I cropped this image tighter to get the frame. Also, this time the Canadian woman wore a black uniform, which, in contrast to the white ring and the white goalkeeper’s helmet. I think it really works. “

UPSIDE-DOWN SUN SEEKER, Francisco Seco

Description: Mark McMorris of Canada competing in the men’s slopestyle qualifying on February 6th.

Why it grabs you: Something gets sick (in the best way) because the athlete is upside down. The eyes are drawn back and forth from the sun to the silhouette, and the entire frame feels frozen over time. Even better than most photos. It feels like a moment that can last forever.

Seco was thinking: “I love silhouettes. I’ve been basically chasing this photo since I started covering snowboards. On that particular day, I took one photo of each rider. I shot the first round of qualifying from another position to secure it. Then I looked at the position of the sun and thought it was a good chance to try the silhouette. Immediately after the last jump, move to the right side of the track I walked around a bit before finding a suitable place to shoot. Then I shot a few riders during the second round. I was lucky with Mark McMorris (as our photo editor). I really want to say that one Seiichiro Sato did a great job editing it, so I would like to share the photo credits with him.) “

Motion machine by Matthias Schrader

What it shows: Matthew Soukup of Canada slowing down the hill during a men’s big hill training session on Thursday.

Why it grabs you: Diagonal. A red splash in the corner that complements the middle of Soukup’s outfit. Jagged debris around him, some sharp and some blurry. A sense of perfect trajectory that the entire image conveys.

What Schrader was thinking: “I first took this photo at the Ski Jump Tower. In addition to the action photos of the air and landing, I also need long exposures and features to split the photo gallery. At that moment, it was shot at 16-35mm, 1/10, f5.6. Everything is a bit blurry and can produce great effects. “

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Other AP Olympics: https: //apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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