It’s not about luck folks, it’s preparation and how Greg Bull got the shot of a lifetime

OK, maybe not the shot of a lifetime but you can sure bet it’s the photo of record for the 2012 Olympic Games.

AP photographer Greg Bull captured Gabby Douglas on her way to gold.

Poynter has a great short article on how he got the shot.  A few key points:

  • Gymnasts do the same routines over and over, so Bull and the other two AP photographers covering gymnastics that night knew what moments they wanted to capture.
  • Bull had photographed the gymnastics Olympic trials in San Jose, Calif., a month ago, so he had seen the routine about five times already.
  • Thursday night, he set his camera at the widest aperture and framed the shot loosely so there would be plenty of air around Douglas. “I was thinking, I’m just going to set a stage and let her do it right in the middle of the frame.”
  • Bull has heard about all the attention the photo has gotten. “It’s wild to be here and hear that, because I’m just a guy who went on to shoot trampoline today. We just keep going on.”

That’s how great work is done folks, lots of preparation, and then you move on to the trampoline.



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