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|| News Item: Posted 2000-05-30

Countdown to Sydney
By Joe Traver, SOCOG

Sports Shooter is wise! Recent columnists like Tim Clayton have the City of Sydney nailed and his publication group has a great coverage plan.

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First some background: for the first time in some years, there is both an international pool (IOPP) and a national pool (NOPP) at the Olympiad. The two major newspaper groups, News Limited and Fairfax compete in one of the globe's most classic newspaper wars... however they have been joined together by the Olympic rings to form the "National Pool" in an unprecedented cooperative effort. The normal players are brought together as AP, AFP and Reuters comprise the "IOPP" with Reuters' Singapore top man Rob Taggard in the neutral capacity as the IOPP coordinator.

The Main Press Center (MPC) is located in the center of Sydney Olympic Park (SOP) with 14 of 28 Olympic venues in an equally unprecedented cluster of intense location. I have been fortunate and have secured housing for myself in an apartment in Olympic Park, in one of two apartment complexes on site, overlooking the Northeast venues. The MPC is the largest in Olympic history, with much more square footage/meter space than the Atlanta '96 MPC.

Nearly 6000 print journalists and as many as 1200 photographers will be based there in a cluster of several "pavilions" named after geographical areas of Australia. Photo operations and the gigantic Eastman Kodak Imaging Facility will be housed in the far west of the pavilions called The "Outback"... how appropriate. The Kodak lab will be the largest on earth for three weeks, processing an estimated 250,000 rolls of film transported back by a motorcycle courier network of 60 Harley-Davidsons.

If you are coming "down under" be ready for lots of things:
* Great food
* Huge distances from East to West Sydney
* Avery large metropolitan city area that mimics a drive from Long Island to New Jersey
* Walking
* More walking
* Using the trains and relying on them
* Cool evenings and warm days (September is Spring)
* Drinking, lots of pubs

Gary Kemper, Jacinta Spry and I have been working to incorporate the best photographic working conditions possible into the operational plans of the multiple and complex array of venues. Kemper has been on board for two years and it will be no accident when things go smoothly and details for the still photographers prove to be even better that 1996!

You should expect:
*very good - to great - photo positions
*lockers at most venues
*a timely film (& disc) transport system
*an enthusiastic venue based photo management staff that will endeavor to address your needs and deadlines.

The Olympic Press Guide will include "rules for photographers" and we thought you might enjoy a sneak peak at the official SOCOG photo policies.

(Text for Olympic media guide as of May 20, 2000)
The requirements of accredited photographers covering the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games are a high priority of the Press Operations team.

A wide range of Photo Positions exists at every venue in an attempt to provide clear, unimpeded views close to the field of play, the best possible angles, background and lighting to help produce excellent photographic coverage.

Every competition venue has a Venue Photo Manager and Photo Marshals who will do their best to ensure that the needs of accredited photographers are met. The Venue Photo Manager is the photographer's on-site liaison with the SOCOG Photo Chief and all other functional areas within the venue. This person is the contact for any special requests, access or assistance. Any special requests with regard to remote cameras or unusual photographic needs should be raised with SOCOG Photo Operations well in advance of the competition.

Additional support will be available for the shipment of film and disks to either the Venue Press Centers or via a motorcycle courier to the Main Press Center (MPC) for processing. Olympic sponsor Kodak will provide full services for all accredited photographers, for the development of Kodak film as well as work stations for film scanning, editing and transmission.

Photo work areas are located in each venue to accommodate the use of digital cameras. Most photo work areas are located within the Venue Press Centers. These areas are equipped with INFO terminals, power outlets and phones for the photo editing and transmission process. Private phones may be ordered through the Press Rate Card.


Each accredited photographer will be issued a specially designed photo vest for identification purposes which will serve as a mandatory supplement to the press accreditation badge. Photo vests will be distributed from the Kodak Image Center or the Photo Chief's office in the MPC. Photographers must have first obtained their accreditation badges.

Photo vests must be worn whenever photographers are working from any Olympic Games photo position. Photographers not wearing their assigned vest risk suspension of their access privileges. Vests are marked to indicate Pool and non-Pool photographers.

Lost vests will not be replaced.


When accredited photographers pick up their vests from Kodak/Photo Chief's Office, they will be requested to sign a document drawn up by the IOC Directorate of Legal Affairs, in which they undertake to respect all of the provisions of the Olympic Charter and of the present IOC Guide for the Written and Photographic Press. They also must promise to refrain from using their photographs for any use other than editorial use without having obtained the express written authorization of the IOC.


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Because of the large number of photographers accredited to the summer Olympic Games, it is impossible to accommodate them all in the prime positions. Photo pools are formed to ensure that the competitions can be photographed from the best possible positions. Accordingly, SOCOG has agreed with the participating agencies to form the International Olympic Photographic Pool (IOPP) and the National Olympic Photographic Pool (NOPP).

The international news agencies Agence-France Presse (AFP), Associated Press (AP) and Reuters contribute photographers and editors to form the IOPP. The major newspaper publishing groups in Australia, Fairfax and News Ltd., contribute staff to form the NOPP. These pools will cover competitions in every sport, every semi-final, every final and every medal ceremony. Pictures made by the pools are available for editorial use only and to SOCOG and the IOC. Subscribers to the international news agencies receive the IOPP photos as part of their daily service.

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Pool positions are provided within venues according to the regulations of the International Federation governing the sport. In boxing, for example, only pool photographers are at ringside. All other photographers are considered non-pool and work from photo positions identified in advance by the Photo Chief, in concert with Competition and Venue Managers. Pool photographers may work from non-pool photo positions, but non-pool photographers may not work from pool positions.


In general, photo positions are on the same level as the field of play and as close as possible to the competition, without hindering the athlete's potential for maximum performance. Attention has been given to backgrounds such as spectators and the "Look of the Games." Pool photo positions are often adjacent to the field of play and are made available through the appropriate IF guidelines.

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Strict rules regarding field level and grandstand positions apply to all photographers granted accreditation to the Games. Due to the number of photographers competing for preferred vantage points, SOCOG asks that photographers assist each other during the Games by using only the space needed to complete their assignments.

The basic requirements for photographers are clear and will be achieved for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Prime positions with a low angle on the same level as the field of play, and elevated positions at an angle to the field or floor have been reserved. At heavily attended events, priority protocols may be imposed to determine which photographers will be allowed field level positions. At some event finals, ticketing will be necessary.

Photographers may make pictures from any public area, including empty spectator seats, as long as they do not obstruct the views of other spectators. They must immediately vacate the seat as soon as a ticket holder arrives.


Some sports have rules for "no-go zones" in which only athletes (or emergency medical personnel, if necessary) may enter. This allows still photographers and television camera operators to have a clear picture of the athlete without the interference of other camera operators, sport officials or security personnel.

An example is the area in the Olympic Stadium from 10 metres before the finish line to approximately 60 metres beyond the track and the bend. Winning athletes are able to congratulate each other and acknowledge the crowd in front of the camera stand giving everyone the maximum opportunity to make the necessary photos.


No flash equipment or strobes can be used during a sporting competition. In addition, no tripods can be used to designate or hold positions for photographers. The use of monopods is encouraged instead. No steps or stepladders will be allowed without the permission of the Venue Photo Manager. Photographers cannot stand on benches designated as seated photo positions. Any use of remote cameras on or near the field of play will need the approval of the Venue Photo Manager and the appropriate Competition Manager. Small tripods or clip attachments may be used to secure remote cameras.


The quality of venue lighting is as important as the quantity. With few exceptions, the colour temperature of field of play lighting will approximate daylight. Lighting falls mostly upon the field of play and the athletes rather than in the viewing stands.

A comprehensive preliminary survey of venue lighting will be performed by SOCOG Press Operations with Kodak. Confirmation that lighting requirements have been met will be done in a final survey in the weeks before the Games. All venues must have a minimum of 1400 lux as measured on the vertical plane. A publication of all venue lighting measurements will be distributed to all accredited photographers at the Kodak Imaging Center. Preliminary venue lighting conditions (subject to change) will provide that minimum 1400 lux.


After photographers have made their images, they may utilize the SOCOG Photo Transport System and have their film or disks taken to either an on-site photo lab or to the MPC for processing. Photo Marshals and Photo Messengers within the venue will collect properly identified and bagged film/disks and prepare them for transport. The film will be dispatched to the MPC via motorcycle couriers who will transport film bags from each venue to the Kodak Image Center.

A complete schedule of transport times will be made available to accredited photographers. Flexibility will be planned into the Photo Transport System to allow the Venue Photo Manager or pool photographers to request an unscheduled shipment on an as-needed basis.


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EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY will operate a 2,000 square-metre Image Center at the east end of the Main Press Center. Located near the photographers' entrance, this facility will provide accredited photographers will complimentary film processing and digital imaging services.

Accredited photographers will be required to register with Kodak to receive services available in the Image Center. Photographers will be assigned a unique identification and will be required to reference this unique ID and use the Kodak-provided processing envelopes when submitting work to Kodak.

The services available through the Kodak Image Center include:


35 mm and 120 mm sizes only
Push Processing up to two stops (in one stop increments only)
T400CN also accepted
One-hour turn-around time or less based on volume (additional time required if mounting is requested.


35 mm and 120 mm sizes only
Push Processing up to three stops (in one stop increments only)
Two-hour turn-around time (additional time required if mounting is requested. Turn-around time could vary based on film volume)
Duplicating film (35 mm only) processed end of day Black-and-White Film, 35 mm and 120 mm sizes only


Available for both E-6 and C-41 films
Customized text imprinting available on slide mounts
36-exposure sleeving & slide mount sleeves available


Pre-Games digital camera training

Pre-Games digital camera tune-up


Image Transmission.
Image Storage to CD
Image Output (limited quantities of 8 x 10 inch prints available per photographer)


All digital camera loans available on a first-come, first-serve basis for a 24-hour period.


Digital Camera image transmission services available at the following venues: Aquatics Athletics Darling Harbour


Venue lighting information guides will be available on-site at the Kodak Image Center.


SLR Camera Loan and Repair Services (Canon and Nikon equipment)

Only Kodak film will be accepted for processing. Roll-for-roll complimentary film exchange will be provided for Kodak film processed at the Kodak Image Center. Wire services and newspapers working under deadline situations should discuss their needs for priority processing with the Kodak Image Center management staff. Digital camera technical repair support available for all Kodak digital cameras, Canon and Nikon digital cameras that utilize Kodak digital technology.


Kodak Image Center Photographer Registration:
11th September 9:00am - 6:00pm
Daytime Processing Services Begin:
12th September 9:00am - 6:00pm
Extended Processing Services:
15 September - 1 Oct 8:00am - 1am
Film Pick Up Only:
2 October 9:00 m -1 :00pm


10 -12 September 9:00am - 6:00pm
13 -14 September 9:00am - 12:00 midnight
15 September - 1 Oct. 8:00am -1:00am


SOCOG monitors the disposal of photographic chemical effluents. Other exhausted development chemistry within the MPC will be accepted for proper disposal. While it is anticipated that most of the photographic press will use the facilities at the MPC for processing, editing and transmitting of photos, some will chose to work from the venues. Any film processing chemicals used in the venues must be disposed of in the proper manner. Unlike film developer solutions, the exhausted fixer solutions contain silver which should not be poured down the drain. The Venue Photo Managers will provide empty containers for collection of this effluent. The full containers will be collected by Waste Management on a regular
basis and transported to the Kodak Image Centre at the MPC. Kodak will treat the solutions by extracting the silver and disposing of it in a manner acceptable to standard environmental procedures.


Extensive use of digital photography is expected. Photographers may handle their own editing and transmission from phones in the Venue Press Centre, a tribune seat or from their photo position. If a photographer needs to ship a disk to an editor in the Venue Press Centre or the Photo Work Area, it must be inserted into a labeled envelope and will be collected by Photo Messengers carrying the yellow bag. A disk must be shipped like film as long as it is safely packaged. Photo Messengers will not deliver blank disks back to photographers in position.


Accredited photographers and journalists may choose to store their equipment overnight in lockers at the MPC and at certain competition venues. While these lockers are located in secure areas, SOCOG bears no responsibility for the loss of equipment due to theft or damage of equipment either through negligence or accident. Each locker must be secured in advance with a key. Lockers will be available on payment of a $20 fee at the MPC Help Desk or the Help Desk at the competition venue.


Because accredited photographers are often in the public view, they will be asked to respect a simple dress code. Photographers should not wear sleeveless shirts, cut-offs, gym or running shorts. If wearing shorts, they should wear socks and shoes.


Accredited journalists and photographers are reminded that all SOCOG venues are designated non-smoking public areas. Smoking is prohibited in all photo positions, whether inside or outside.

(Both Traver and Gary Kemper held the same positions at the Centennial Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. Joe has since been photo chief of both the Summer and Winter Goodwill Games and is available for questions: TEL: 6 02 9297 4719 e-mail: OR

Contents copyright 2020, Do not republish without permission.
Sports and Action Photography by Keenan Wright KDUBYA Photos ::..