‘Bucket list’: Covering Olympic basketball for Getty Images


TOKYO (NEXSTAR) — Without fans in the stands, the job of media bringing the Olympics to the world is even bigger than usual this year.

The task of capturing images belongs to credentialed photographers covering each sport. One of them is Gregory Shamus of Detroit.

“It’s definitely a bucket list,” Shamus, covering his first Olympics, said.

He has been tasked with shooting every single basketball game played at the Saitama Super Arena in the Tokyo Games .

“Four games a day for 16 days,” he said.

He estimates he takes between 1,500 and 6,000 photos per game, usually operating five different cameras.

“When we’re setting up remotes and when we’re composing frames, we’re always looking to give it an Olympic flare, if we can. It’s not always, but sometimes it’s a happy mistake — a guy will be running through a frame and you’ll have the rings perfectly behind them,” Shamus said.

Just like for the players, crunch times adds a layer of pressure.

“If the game is a one-point game inside of a minute, the anxiety starts to build a little bit,” he said.

But he’s been at this for a while, having covered golf tournaments, NCAA tournaments and the NBA playoffs, so he knows how to work big events.

“I’ve built a pretty good confidence and pretty good formula. There is definitely a technique to it. You’re not just flying by the seat of your pants, so I feel pretty comfortable with my strategy going into that situation,” he said.

His action shots are top of the line: clear, crisp and beautifully framed. But they’re not the best ones, he said.

“Great action is good, but when you can get tear or joy with that Olympic rings in the background, that’s one you’re kind of looking for,” he said.

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