Like I mentioned in a previous post, the Giro d’ Italia people have embraced social media and have been posting fresh content on Twitter, blogs and web site. Just yesterday they unveiled a spectacular photo taken by Jered Gruber – a photojournalist who is based in Europe and like a gypsy, he and his wife have traveled the width and breath of Europe covering races.
The rider in the photo is Garmin-Cervelo rider Peter Stetina and is shot in the Dolomites. You’ll notice painted on the pavement is “W 108” – a memorial to Wouter Weylandt who was killed in a crash during stage 3 of the 2011 Giro. The 2012 edition of stage 3 will be dedicated to the Leopard-Trek rider and his race number (108) has been retired from the race.
On his personal site he is working on setting up his images for sale. Until that point you can see Gruber’s images in numerous publications and web sites. Here’s the link to the photo as you’ll want to make this your screensaver.
When I last spoke to Jered he was in the middle of traveling to Athens, Georgia so I wasn’t able to get the back story on his photo which is the official poster for the Giro d’ Italia. After he arrived he kindly carved out time to answer a couple of my questions about the shot.
The picture was taken at the end of May, right after the Giro, for the 2012 Castelli summer catalog. We drove up to the Dolomites for the day with Peter Stetina, who had just finished the Giro – his first ever Grand Tour.
We shot on the Fedaia, Giau, and Valparola that day, but the best shot happened relatively early on – at the top of the Giau.
I am a huge fan of panoramas. Some photographers see things in close-up fashion, telephoto, if you will. I’ve realized that I see everything really wide, and while I have a really wide lens, nothing is wider than multiple shots stitched together with that wide lens.
The image is three shots with a Nikon D700 and a 14-24 lens shot at f/8, 1/500 sec, I think.
I tried many, many more shots similar to that this year, but nothing ever succeeded like that one. It was special.
As some people on Twitter mentioned, Gruber wasn’t compensated for the photo which will grace magazines, posters, media books and other publicity pieces. To put it in perspective, typically a photo like that, with the world wide use it will garner, is worth about 3,000 euros. At this point I won’t get into how his photo was poached by the RCS as ultimately that would do more damage to Gruber than good. Hopefully RCS will recognize the worth of the image and Jered will be rewarded with the use of a daily moto during the 2012 Giro and dibs on the good sandwiches in the press room.
Jered is setting up a gallery where you can purchase his photos. If you can’t wait until then, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his site www.jeredgruber.com. Also, let this be a lesson to everyone out there in the creative business who give away their work for free on the promise of “publicity” – it is never a fair exchange. I leave you with a video from freelance writer Harlan Ellison discussing how Warner Brothers wanted to use his essay for free. While he is talking about writers, this applies to photographers as well.