Photographer's Note

Here is another fisheye shot of the Beijing opening ceremony – this one taken from a POV a little lower down than my last post. This image is one of my favourites of the night because I liked the contrast between the black of the sky, the white of the performers in the light-emitting costumes, and all the blue tones in between.

This was part of the performance about 50 minutes into the opening ceremony (my last post was right at the end of the ceremony) when the performers came together to form the shape of a dove of peace. I’ve posted that shot in the workshop, but I thought this image had more impact because it captures the performers running in a giant ‘swirl’ which I thought gave it more life than the other shot.

Coming together for peace was one of the themes that came through in the opening ceremony – much in line with the overall theme of the Games: ‘One World, One Dream’ – although some may be sceptical about how genuine China is in promoting such messages when it continues to support regimes in places like Zimbabwe and Sudan, and sometimes seems to be promoting different messages when dealing with Taiwan and Tibet.

But the opening ceremony was a night to put political differences aside, and at least try to show the world that it was possible for nations to come together and celebrate in an atmosphere of harmony and unity - although ironically that very morning, one of those nations declared war on a neighbour (I guess Mr Putin didn’t hang around after the opening ceremony).

I’ve posted a few other shots from the opening ceremony in my blog here

The technical details for this image are similar to my last post – an 80% crop, noise removed with NeatImage – but the ISO was higher at 800 because of the lower light.

On the Monday after the opening ceremony, whilst I was hard at work, my wife went to one of the swimming finals and found herself seated right in front of George W. Bush and his family. She took a snapshot with her little Nikon Coolpix over her shoulder, and is now boasting that she has a more saleable image than anything I have taken in Beijing with my ‘fancy’ Nikon D200 and heavy bag of lenses.

I have to confess that I am rather jealous of the photograph that she got – because it’s better than anything I’ve seen from the press photographers in Beijing. I keep telling her that even amateurs can fluke it once in a lifetime – but she keeps insisting that she has hidden talents and maybe I am not the only photographer in the family.

Her photo is here if you are interested.

PS: I have been a bit slow in responding to critiques in the past 10 days as I have been very busy in Beijing – but will catch up shortly.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1231 W: 108 N: 2568] (7797)
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