Behind the lens

Behind every image, there's a story. Our image-makers finding that angle no-one else has. Or getting the timing just right. Or simply capturing the action in all its beauty and power.

Streeter Lecka
  • Streeter Lecka

    Streeter is an accomplished sports photographer, having covered the Winter and Summer Olympic Games, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Super Bowl, Golf’s four Majors, the Major League Baseball Playoffs and many more. His work has featured in publications including Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, TIME Magazine, Newsweek and the New York Times to name but a few.

    "I shot this image during the men's 10,000m final at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. I was lucky enough to have access to a photo pit that was sunk below the track level, which gave a very different vantage point.

    This event is a long race so I had the time to explore with very slow shutter speeds which created a dynamic pan of the runners in action. The picture shows the graceful motion of the runners as well as the chaos of them all bunched together in the most important race of their lives."

Ezra Shaw
  • Ezra Shaw

    He’s worked on the Olympic Games, the Super Bowl, World Series, Tour de France and numerous other events. His pictures appear in publications around the world. He’s won awards in the World Press Photo, Best of Photojournalism Awards, Pictures of the Year International and the Sony World Photography Awards. And now, he tells the story behind one of his most striking Olympic images.

    "Michael Phelps was the biggest story of the Beijing Olympics, when he broke Spitz’s seven gold medal record. And I was lucky enough to get a shot of it from a very different angle as I was one of the few photographers allowed in the gantry right above the action.

    We were only allowed one lens with us at a time for safety reasons, so I went to exchange my 500mm lens for a wider 70-200mm. With the smaller lens in hand, I positioned myself above Phelps’ mother and two sisters - thinking he might wave to them from the pool side.

    When Phelps began his victory lap, he not only waved to his mother, but walked through a sea of photographers to hug her and that’s when I got the image."

Clive Brunskill
  • Clive Brunskill

    Over the years, Clive has covered four Summer Olympics, five Winter Olympics, two FIFA World Cup Finals and over 50 Grand Slam tennis events. His work has been published in over 50 countries and in major publications including Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated, in addition to international newspapers and global advertising.

    "This image is of the athlete, Azza Besbes of Tunisia, at Beijing 2008. For me, it sums up what the Olympics is all about; that one moment after all those years of hard work. And getting the Olympic rings in the picture is the icing on the cake!

    We had amazing up-top access which gave a unique angle of the fencing venue. The image itself came from the final qualifiers. I heard the crowd getting excited but it was hard to see the scoreboard from the cat walk. So I ran carefully across and put my camera through the iron girders of the roof. That’s how I got her, perfectly in frame, with the rings!"

Adam Pretty
  • Adam Pretty

    Adam began his career at The Sydney Morning Herald in 1997 as a news photographer. His desire to specialise in sport saw him move to Getty Images in 1998. Adam has photographed the last five Olympic games, and covered assignments around the globe for magazines including Sports Illustrated, Life Magazine, Time Magazine and Harpers Bazaar.

    "This image is from Athens 2004. I like it for the shapes and shadows because it makes you look twice. I was really nervous trying to do a slow pan of the swimming start which is a pretty low percentage picture.

    And then the Ian Thorpe and Pieter van Den Hoogenband race came on. They were massive rivals, so there was an incredible tension which you could really feel in the atmosphere of the venue. I’m so happy I managed to capture it. I got a real sharpness in the frame, making it a nice graphic picture."