Boston Globe’s The Big Picture, and the Photography Olympics

The Big Picture” is a thrice-weekly online feature of The Boston Globe, a collection of large high-quality photos on a subject currently in the news. Today's, for example, is on the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

The images are absolutely stunning.

The images, taken from the news wires and such, are selected/compiled by Alan Taylor (who I assume is on staff at the Boston Globe), and are always of the absolute highest caliber. Jaw-dropping. Awesome, in the true “inspires awe” sense.

The quality of the images that Alan selects are so utterly compelling, you find yourself enjoying subjects that you normally have no interest in. For example, I'm not really into bike racing, but his compilation on the Tour de France had me saying “wow” over and over again.

If you are a photographer, you will be humbled by the photos in The Big Picture. I'd like to think that I've taken a few nice photos in my time (for example, some of those on my Japan photostream), but really, the photos selected for The Big Picture are so far beyond what I could ever do, I can't feel anything but truly humbled.

Speaking of the Olympics, if you'd like to see a bit about what goes into making some of these photos, here's an article from Vincent Laforet, shooting the Olympics for Newsweek, on his preparations for the Olympics. It's an impressive amount of equipment and preparation.

And just as I'm about to post this, I see that Vincent has written another post about his first attempt at an Olympic photo. It also shows how much work can go into this. He spent 12+ hours preparing for one photo, and didn't get it. Had he gotten it, it might have shown up in Newsweek, and you might have spent two seconds admiring it as you flipped through.

12 hours. Two seconds. If he had gotten it.

All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

Thank you so much for this Blog.
I am especially grateful for the links to The Big Pictures and to for the Olympic opening ceremony.
I have a dream that one day I will be able to take photos like those.
Thank you again.

— comment by Alex Chng on August 9th, 2008 at 6:45pm JST (15 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

The photo in the cyclist section of all the photographers in the sunflowers waiting for the pack to get there was great.

— comment by Marcina on August 10th, 2008 at 4:14am JST (15 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

I enjoy the Big Picture and I agree with you, the Olympic photographs were awesome. I often just flick through the photos quickly but I stopped everything to look at that set. Really stunning.

— comment by Sylvia on August 12th, 2008 at 8:46pm JST (15 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

I was inspired by the Globe’s blog and commissioned a WordPress theme in a similar format so that I could photo blog. The designer and I have now released the theme for public use.

My photo blog is at:

The theme is at


— comment by Joshua Weinberg on February 17th, 2009 at 2:46am JST (15 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink
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