The RIA Novosti photography team at the London 2012 Olympic Games included nine photojournalists, two photo editors and a coordinating editor. Through their pictures, the photographers captured the most exciting moments of individual and team performances, the victories of the Russian champions, as well as the Games' opening and closing ceremonies.
A total of 350 photos from the Olympics opening ceremony were made available on the RIA Novosti photowire. In total, the photographers produced some 10,000 photos during the Games.
The London 2012 Olympics was a great success for the agency’s photographers, just as it was for Russian athletes, head of RIA Novosti’s photo department Vladimir Baranov said.
“Working at the Olympic Games is not much different than working at any championship event,” Baranov said, “only in this case you have 30 world championships going on at the same time.”
Each of the photographers was assigned their own types of competition and events to shoot. Grigory Sysoyev was responsible for track and field, aquatics went to Alexander Vilf, Vladimir Pesnya covered volleyball, while Alexei Filippov was responsible for basketball. Wrestling competitions were covered by Vladimir Baranov, and tennis and rowing fell to Alexei Kudenko. Vladimir Astapkovich and Valery Melnikov were responsible for artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, shooting, boxing, fencing and other sports, while the Olympics’ various non-competition events and parties were covered by Yekaterina Chesnokova.
In addition to reaching the tactical goal of providing quality real-time photo shoots of the world’s main sporting events, RIA Novosti, as the national host agency, also accomplished its strategic goal of testing the technologies for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. For the London Olympics, the agency's programmers had developed software that allowed for tracking what each of the photographers was shooting in real-time – which made it possible to instantly start selecting, editing and transmitting photos.