The people behind the pictures

Arjen Robben running toward camera for the Dutch

I snapped a whole bunch of photos while at the Netherlands 2-1 victory over Slovakia in the Round of 16. My camera captured a lot of broadcast professionals at work. There are more than 13-thousand commentators, camera teams, and technicians here. Read on for some of my snaps.

Commentators from Slovakia TV

These commentators were hugging each other, and near tears when they listened to Slovakia’s national anthem prior to the start of the match. It’s not uncommon for announcers to express their emotions for their home country, often jumping and fist-pumping at successful moments.

Slovakian team while their anthem plays

When you watch the anthems before a match starts, you see close-ups of the players’ faces – thanks to a steadycam operator and his assistant. You see them here in their grey clothing. The steadycam is an amazing invention which permits stable images even as the camera operator moves. Here are a couple more shots of the steadycam operator who floats up and down the sideline when match play is on.

There are several camera operators stationed at the midfield position, one section up from field level. Each operator has a different assignment. One is always following the ball, and at least one is always isolated on a particular player. You’ll see in the next picture that an operator will often use a cheat sheet to make sure the right player is being followed — and that’s a great idea.

Another challenging position is the jib camera operator. He works with assistants as well, and his camera looks like it’s on the end of a long fishing pole, attached to some wheels. It provides some great moving swooping shots from above (usually near the sideline and the players’ bench).

Finally there are more than 210 countries from around the world broadcasting this event, which means there many different languages being used from the broadcast position. It’s a lot of fun to stroll past for a listen.

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One response to “The people behind the pictures

  1. With all these “eyes” on the field it is odd that FIFA is really against any video review for missed calls that have occurred thus far in the World Cup.
    You clearly have an all access pass to this event. What a great opportunity.

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