London 2012 Olympics bosses have rushed out a photographic policy statement, insisting spectators will not be banned from using compact cameras – contrary to what organisers said yesterday.
On Thursday, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games London 2012 (LOCOG) told Amateur Photographer (AP) that compact cameras with powerful zoom lenses may effectively be shown the red card at the event.
‘They are thinking of two ways [of restriction]: Either by the physical size of a lens or power of the lens,’ the committee?s press office said yesterday. Asked why organisers may decide to limit the power of a lens, LOCOG pointed out that, these days, many compact cameras carry powerful zoom lenses.
Today, the London 2012 Olympics media machine swung into action after being inundated with calls over the past 24 hours.
The committee today issued a statement which reads: ?LOGOC?s policy is that SLR cameras will be allowed into venues. We have no intention at all of restricting compact high-zoom cameras.
?We have yet to finalise all our spectator filming and photography guidelines. Like many other large sporting events and previous Games, one possibility is that there may be restrictions around spectators using large (in size) lenses and tripods, simply because of the impact this can have on the viewing experience for other spectators sitting close by.
?This is all work in progress, and guidelines are under discussion.?
LOCOG?s head of PR and Media Joanna Manning-Cooper insisted that organisers have not changed their story.
She claimed that a member of the press office gave out incorrect information.
AP asked LOCOG why a member of the committee’s press office would repeatedly relay false information during phone calls made over several days.
Manning-Cooper replied that the person in question was not best qualified to speak about such matters, even though they are listed on the LinkedIn Social networking website as employed in a communications role for the committee?s ?Media and PR? team.
?She made a mistake. People make a mistake and it is our job to put it right.
?All I can tell you is the truth. We have no intention whatsoever of banning small cameras. We wouldn?t do it in a month of Sundays.
?She misinterpreted a piece of [internal] information she had picked up. She made a mistake and got confused. She is not a camera expert.
?All I can do is reassure you. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.?
AP now understands that organisers are considering whether to restrict spectators to a combined size of a lens and camera body measuring no more than a foot long, similar to rules that apply to ticket-holders at events such Wimbledon.
Asked whether large lenses on ?compact system camera? bodies would pose a problem, LOCOG?s PR chief added: ?They really shouldn’t worry about that? The Games is 15 months away. We are working through our policy and we will clarify all of this well in advance.?
Meanwhile, award-winning sports photographer Bob Martin, who will act as head of photography at London 2012, told AP: ?The only thing that will affect the compact user is the ticket conditions which will say that pictures cannot be used commercially ? that?s no different to any other sporting event.?
Martin is currently acting as LOCOG?s consultant on photography.