As you can tell by this week’s cover and the images inside the magazine the NBA playoffs look different through the lenses of SI photographers. Director of photography Steve Fine will tell you that “what makes us different is our use of remote cameras to capture the action from unique angles. Also, in a world of medium focal lengths, we go long and tight or short and wide to bring a different perspective to the game.” There is also the fire power. SI photographers shot 26,140 pictures over the first six games of the NBA conference finals this week, 14,341 through the first eight games of the NHL conference finals and 1,723 at the Preakness, with different angles at every turn. To make more of this work available to fans on the iPhone or Android smartphone, SI has developed BIG TICKET (available on the Apple App Store or Android Market for 99 cents), which shows off SI’s photography from the world’s biggest sporting events.
Glowing as it does on the backlit glass screens, photography also lifts the SI iPad edition as we layer in an additional 25% to 30% of original content: This week includes an evolutionary look at the Indy 500—the cars and men (and women) who made it a spectacle of speed and danger. In February we commemorated the Super Bowl with a photo gallery of all 45 SI covers from the game; we will do the same with the NBA Finals. Such traditional content is underlined by equally strong innovation, such as GigaPans offering panoramic views of the Super Bowl that you can pinch and zoom in so tight that you can see yourself—provided you were at the game—in shockingly high definition (and look, that’s Cameron Diaz whispering in A-Rod’s ear). It will be amusing to see whom the GigaPan picks up next.
Note: This Editor’s Letter will be published in the May 30, 2011 issue of Sports Illustrated, out tomorrow.