Thursday, August 31, 2006

All Hail Olaf!

Perhaps its my affinity for bearded cameramen, but I for one, would like to buy Olaf Wiig a hefty vessel of his favorite beverage. From all accounts, the New Zealand freelance photog was the proverbial pillar of strength during the thirteen days he and Fox News correspondent Steve Centanni were held hostage in Gaza. From diffusing his captors’ rancor to protecting his partner to telling his wife not to worry during that prison video, Wiig proved to be sharp, resourceful and more than a little dashing. Not bad for a guy who looks at life through a tube. (Then again, those who shoulder a lens on hostile soil are known for their verve - otherwise they’d be crankin’ out fluff statewide with the rest of us adolescents.) Now that Olaf and Steve are free and rested, they’re making the rounds at FNC, where they’re detailing their nearly two weeks of discomfort and uncertainty at the hands of unpredictable gunmen. Most telling of Wiig’s influence is the following exchange between the two seasoned colleagues during the first few hours of their captivity.
S. CENTANNI: If we tried to sit up against the concrete wall to ease the tension on the shoulder and wrists, the plastic ties digging into your skin, they would let you sit there for a couple minutes and then push you back down again, face down on the cement floor.

WIIG: I tried to sort of lighten the situation by...


WIIG: ... by suggesting to Steve that this was a really good excuse not to do any more live shots that evening.

S. CENTANNI: No more live shots today.

WIIG: Yes, got off of the rest of our rotation.
...Bound and blindfolded on a dank warehouse floor while jumpy Jihadists brandish automatic weapons, Olaf giddily laments missing a round of meaningless live shots. Spoken like a true photog!


beFrank said...

I like to think I'd have a similar wit under like circumstances. My biggest problem might very well be their desire to kill me just to get me to shut up.

photogguy said...

Ok. The next round of drinks with him will be on me!!!

Good sarcasm well placed is hard to find. He's my hero!