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The Digital Revolution - SI Crossing the Digital Divide

July 1, 2004

I recently read a past issue of Sports Illustrated released just after Super Bowl XXXVII. It had a brief article on contributors and outlined the magazine's plan to make the 2004 event the first all-digital covered Super Bowl.

Leading the cause was SI's Director of Photography, Steve Fine. He pulled together twelve of the finest sports photographers, outfitted them with Canon EOS-1D's, and strategically placed them around the field, behind the benches, and in the seats at Qualcomm Stadium to get every perspective of the day's activities.

The magazine article was titled "Crossing the Digital Divide" because it explained that even some of these top professionals like Walter Iooss had still not worked with a digital camera (in his entire 44 years).

The cited reasons for Fine's decision: the 1D shooting speed of 8 fps, low-light/low-noise benefits of the 1D over film, eliminate the time & expense of film processing, and the availability of transmitting the images immediately to the office in NYC.

Well, as reported, SI's digital dozen took over 12,000 total images that day (which turns out to be quite a lot of film processing time and expense eliminated).

And the other eleven pros covering the day for SI: Peter Read Miller (featured in Canon's Sweepstakes last year, as well as a feature article in Digital Photo Pro's inaugural issue), John Biever (one of just five photogs who have covered all 37 Super Bowls), Bob Rosato, Al Tielemans, Bill Frakes (see some great stories, info, and photos on Sportsshooter.com), Damian Strohmeyer, John McDonough, John Iacono, Robert Beck, Heinz Kluetmeier, and V.J. Lovero.

Of the 147 credentialed photographers that day, I imagine most of the others have also crossed the digital divide.

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