Rio 2016: Antique Eye – by Guy Rhodes

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Aug 17, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; A BMX demonstration group performs prior to competition at Olympics BMX Centre during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Photographer Guy Rhodes shot film at the Summer Olympics in Rio using a 1932 Kodak Six-16 camera.

One of the most challenging aspects of covering a major sporting event for a professional photographer is coming away with images that are unique to you. Back in August, during my coverage of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, things were no different. I often found myself in photo positions shoulder to shoulder with 20 or more photographers, most of them shooting on the same digital camera bodies and using the exact same lenses as myself. The result? Everyone walks away with essentially the same photo. For tightly-cropped finish line jubilation or dejection, sometimes being in “the pack” is a necessary evil at the games. To walk away from the experience with something unique, however – something that made me feel that I really tried – being in the pack simply wouldn’t suffice.

In the months leading up to the Rio games, I spent many hours contemplating how I could create a body of work in Brazil that would stand alone as a radical departure from the razor-sharp zero’s and one’s of how-many-frames-per-second digital megapixels on wow-that’s-a-lot-of-gigs memory cards. Of course, the historic wet plate collodion process that I’ve been practicing for the past three years immediately came to mind. However, even if I could somehow overcome the hurdle of shipping hazardous chemicals halfway across the globe, wet plate would be impossible to juggle alongside my digital workflow.

Continue reading and see more photos on Guy’s blog.

1932 Kodak Six-16

The 1932 Kodak Six-16 camera that I used to shoot film at the Summer Olympics in Rio.

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Wayde van Niekerk (RSA) sets a world record in the men’s 400m final during track and field competition at Estadio Olimpico Joao Havelange.

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A competitor during the men’s cross country cycling mountain bike event at Mountain Bike Centre.

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