The Olympic rings light up the stadium during the opening ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London.
At the London Summer Games last year, we moved more than 45,000 photos to members and customers, capturing those moments of astonishing accomplishment that make the games so compelling. A lot goes into getting just the right shot, and AP photographers were resourceful in finding the best angles, the best locations and the best technology to nail the best images.
Crowded around the perimeter of the women’s gymnastics competition with more than 150 other photographers, Greg Bull chose his position with great care, as he describes in this interview. It paid off. Bull got the defining image of the London Olympics: Gabby Douglas soaring high above the balance beam, en route to the gold medal in the women’s all-around.
To shoot from unexpected perspectives during the London Games, our photo team sought out the expertise of former NASA engineers to help build AP’s first robotic camera systems. Developing, fine-tuning, installing and operating the cameras was a challenge, as the team tells it.
Of the more than 45,000 photos that AP took at the London Games, here are 28 of the best—including an underwater photo of U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps and an overhead photo of British boxer Nicola Adams, both shot with AP’s robotic camera system.