03 August, 2021

Lensman Minstrelsy

To shoot the Olympics is to turn its rarified air into gold

Lensman Minstrelsy

My father was a passionate sports fan. He was also the managing editor of a newspaper house—a combination that took him to four Olympic games. I inherited my love of sports from him and, having taken an interest in photography in my teens, I indulged both passions on the sidelines of various local sporting events. I knew that one day I would go to the Olympics to click pictures. Despite protests from a section of the ‘professional’ sports journalists, I got my press accreditation for the Seoul Games. They thought I was on a joyride. The noise promptly died down by the end of the Games’ first week as the sports pages of Deccan Herald and Prajavani carried my photographs daily.

Back in 1988, newspapers in India, and for that matter in most parts of the world, were in analog and in black and white. My preparation for Seoul included packing an entire darkroom (portable enlarger, trays, chemicals, paper and so on) into a suitcase. I never had to open it. Kodak, the sponsor, had provided a...

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