Up until now, photographers at Olympics had a tough time covering aquatic events including swimming and diving. With a traditional submerged static remote camera, they had to visualize the photos they wanted ahead of time and think about what timing and stroke to capture. They could only guess where the swimmer was going to be in the frame and then remotely press the shutter. If the camera’s placement was even marginally miscalculated and a swimmer’s fingertips were cropped off in photos, photographers were unable to fix the issue until after the swim session wrapped. This time at Rio Olympics 2016, they are deploying the technique tested meticulously at the previous event London Olympics 2012. A robotic structure is placed on the bed of the pool. It has a camera carefully set inside it. The movement of the structure is controlled from outside. It can zoom in, tilt, spin or get multiple angles. Many ideas can be executed now in one session compared to only one idea earlier. A lot more photos can be done now in a lot less time. Robot’s features and the remote trigger, coupled with photographers’ best judgments, to capture a swimmer as he or she comes into the frame.
This is just one prime use of robotic cameras at these Games but they can as well be used for other sports. Photographers and technicians have looked out for various installation spots at the venue, where stunning inaccessible shots can be captured. The use of technology as always has eased and assisted in the usual human tasks, but cannot fully replace it in some cases including this one. The photographer can think of new ideas and angles but a robot cannot.