Giles Price: E20 12

The Photographer Hangs Out of a Helicopter for Aerial Views of East London’s Olympic Park

The striking geometry of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, featuring exposed hockey pitches and tennis courts and Anish Kapoor’s Orbit tower mid-build, are revealed in Giles Price’s awe-inspiring photographs of the ambitious site in Stratford. A former Royal Marine Commando, Price hung out of the side of a twin-engine helicopter to take the arresting aerial images. Depicting areas of the Olympic Park under construction during the past two years, Price’s approach provides unique views dotted with moments of serendipitous, abstract beauty. “At first I started taking pictures around the fencing of the Olympic site, but quickly realized the only way you could really see what is going on is from the air,” he says. “I found that they hadn’t restricted the air space, so anyone could fly over it.” Currently displayed in his E20 12: Under Construction exhibition at the Granary Building in King’s Cross, London, the series includes a sneak peek at the grounds for Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony; the Olympic Village, which will house approximately 16,000 athletes during the two week event; and profiles of some construction workers. Price wanted to recognize the labor that had gone into the gargantuan undertaking of building one of the largest urban parks in Europe constructed over the past 150 years. “I thought it was important to get the workers in there,” explains the photographer. “Boris Johnson [the Mayor of London] and the athletes have been shot a million times.”

STATS FROM ON SET

Number of helicopter flights
Five.

Time in the air
Six hours.

Total number of aerial shots
60 to 70.

Total number of Olympic site workers shot by Price
25.

Number of buildings demolished to accommodate the Olympic Park
200.

Number of construction industry workers involved in building the venues
2.8 million.

Number of Iron Age skeletons excavated from the site
Four.  

Capacity of Olympic Stadium
80,000 people (to be reduced to 25,000 after the Games).

Capacity of all venues combined
Approximately 200,000 people.

Number of times London has hosted the Olympic Games
Three.

Giles Price's E20 12: Under Construction exhibition is at London's King Cross Granary Building until the end of the July.

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