Posted in Behind the News

Lights, camera, action: Photographing the Oscars

, by Lauren Easton

The Associated Press was selected to take all photographs of the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday, trusted to capture the event on behalf of members of the photography pool.

AP delivered 1,500 photos to 11 pool members, satisfying each organizations’ specific needs while ensuring high-quality images were delivered quickly.

“The Academy Awards is the culmination of awards season and the largest production of the year for entertainment in the U.S.,” said Ali Kaufman, AP assistant director of photography for entertainment. “This year, because of the pandemic, the event was unlike any other we will likely experience and we wanted to capture the historic nature of the event from as many angles as we could.”

Director/Producer Chloe Zhao, winner of the award for best picture for "Nomadland," poses in the press room at the Oscars, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, Pool)

Internationally, AP photographers were the only photojournalists on-site to capture nine Oscars viewing events to supplement coverage.

Director of Photography David Ake explained the massive undertaking:

The pool coverage required coordination between just shy of a dozen locations. The images from all of those locations had to move quickly to all of the pool members, including the AP, at the same time. To accomplish this, we established three editing hubs: one in London and two in Los Angeles. The photographers assigned to the Academy satellite locations pushed images wirelessly from their cameras directly to the editors in London. One on-site hub in LA handled the deadline images from the photographer on the red carpet and in the press room, and another hub off-site was used to edit and process the secondary edit from all locations. To pull this off, AP’s technology team had to sync up all of the editing computers and build extra routing capacity into AP’s photo desking system.

See a selection of photos from the Academy Awards: