Olympus Visionary Jim Sugar - part 1 of 1

Published 01/01/2004


Jim Sugar has been a professional photojournalist and commercial photographer for more than 30 years; he was a staff photographer for National Geographic for 22 of those. Now a freelancer, he specializes in aviation and sports photography and often shoots on assignment for Sports Illustrated. He has been named The National Press Photographers Association's Magazine Photographer of the Year and has contributed to several Day in the Life books. Sugar particularly loves shooting tennis and has covered the U.S. Open with Olympus. Sugar recently covered the historic around-the-world flight of the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer, which will be made into a one-hour television documentary.

Visionary Perspective

Great action photos-from a kids' little league game to the final match at the U.S. Open-can be elusive. Jim Sugar has the experience and philosophy to help even the novice photographer get that great shot.

Sugar says:

The Right Place at the Right Time: Did you get the picture of the winning shot, the last touchdown, that time at the bottom of the 9th inning when the guy hit the home run? Don't come back and tell me you shot 500 pictures-if you didn't get that one great shot, it's no good.

See it All: Ask yourself, "What haven't I seen? If I move left or right, vertical or horizontal, wide lens or long lens, could I see the subject in a new or different way?" Often your best photos will come in the last few minutes from a given location after you ask yourself this question, and then both look and see new photographic possibilities.


Act Fast: If you are photographing action, you will not have the luxury of saying "Just one more time, Mr. President." Once the moment is gone, there will be no instant replay. Force yourself to work quickly.

In His Own Words

"I shot Belgian player Justine Henin-Hardenne on the Olympus E-330 with the Zuiko 18-180mm lens, which is equivalent to a 36-360mm lens in film. It's a great lens because it has such an incredible range. When I realized she was going to charge the net, I put the motor drive on and panned with her movement while the camera fired off six or seven shots."

Olympus Visionaries

The Olympus Visionary program celebrates the work of some of the most talented still photographers of the day. Olympus works with 25 artists that shoot a range of subject matter, including travel and documentary, fashion, food, people and places, nature and landscapes, street, commercial and fine art.

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1st Published 01/01/2004
last update 06/11/2019 11:07:25

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