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Olympus Partners with America 24/7, the Largest Photography Project in History

- Olympus Reunites with Originators of Best-Selling Day in the Life Book Series to Produce Epic Digital Capsule - America 24/7

April 24, 2003, Melville, New York - Today Olympus America announced it will reunite with photo visionaries Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen, original creators of the highly acclaimed Day in the Life series of photography books, for America 24/7, the largest collaborative photography event in history.

The project will center around an epic one-week digital photo shoot May 12th-18th involving 1,000 of the world's most talented photojournalists and an army of participating amateurs from the American public. All will vie for the chance to be published by capturing the most compelling digital images representing their views of American life. Dispatched by America 24/7, this huge corps of digital photographers extending from coast to coast will be asked to shoot images for a digital time capsule representing life in America over the course of one week.

"Olympus is demonstrating its commitment to digital photography and all that it envelops by helping to bring the 'digital experience' to life in accessible and experiential ways," said Mark Gumz, President & COO, Olympus America Inc. "We hope to empower thousands of Americans to take part in the digital revolution by participating in America 24/7. Introducing Americans from coast-to-coast to the thrill, excitement and possibilities of digital photography is what this project is all about." Every image shot for this project by professional photographers and the public alike will be electronically submitted to www.america24-7.com where they will be compiled, judged and edited. America 24/7 will use this unprecedented wealth of imagery to create:

  • A spectacular national volume, America 24/7, a 320-page large format book scheduled for publication by Dorling Kindersley in November 2003.
  • 52 large-format illustrated volumes to be published in November 2004, celebrating each individual U.S. state, with special volumes devoted to New York City and Washington, D.C.
  • A website ( www.america24-7.com ) enabling photo enthusiasts nationwide to submit up to seven of their best digital images to the America 24/7 website powered by Snapfish. In preparation for their shoots, amateur photographers can hotlink to the Olympus website (www.olympusamerica.com) for digital photography product information, as well as advice from Olympus pros on shooting tips and techniques.
  • Customized home pages will be developed allowing both the professional and amateur photographers to showcase their personal images to family and friends. Every participant will be "published" on the project's personalized home page.
  • Traveling national exhibits of selected imagery will be presented and customized for individual states and regions.
In the weeks leading up to the shoot, millions of digital photography enthusiasts will be directed to visit the America 24/7 website, www.america24-7.com, to learn more about the project and how to participate, including simple instructions on how to submit pictures to the project. The site will suggest assignments and provide examples of images chosen for publication in previous Smolan-Cohen projects. Digital photographers nationwide can use these examples to develop similar stories and assignments in their own communities.

In addition to public participation, America 24/7 has hired 1,000 top photojournalists from across the country, equipping them with Olympus C-5050 Zoom 5.0 megapixel digital cameras and Lexar high speed digital memory. Designed for advanced photographic control, the C-5050 Zoom is a state-of-the-art, all-purpose tool designed to create the most realistic digital images possible for a broad range of users. Smolan and Cohen believe that the images captured with these Olympus cameras will reveal the best digital photojournalists in America, as well as undiscovered photographic talent.

Seventeen years ago Smolan and Cohen collaborated to create A Day in the Life of America, which captured the country's imagination and became the best-selling photo book ever. America 24/7 will use this new medium of digital photography to document American life in the new millennium.

"America 24/7 is designed to be a landmark series in documentary photography and the watershed event of the new digital photography age," commented Rick Smolan, a former Time and National Geographic photographer. "Since the book will use digital images exclusively, it was important for us to partner with a company who shared our vision about the importance of digital photography in all of our futures. Having worked with Olympus before, we knew they were the camera company that most closely aligned with our vision for this book: that digital photography is changing the photographic experience, and that the technology is now accessible enough for everyone to use," explained Smolan.

"The America 24/7 project is about igniting creativity and inspiring imagination," remarked Martin Lee, Vice President of Marketing, Olympus America. "We hope millions of images are submitted for the books, and that through our partnership with America 24/7 we can contribute to ushering in the digital revolution."

ABOUT OLYMPUS - Nothing's impossible.
Olympus Optical Co., Ltd., with its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a global leader in developing new technologies and designing, manufacturing and marketing optical-digital product solutions for healthcare and consumer segments. The company leverages R&D investment in technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines that include:

  • Digital and film cameras, and digital voice recorders; and
  • Minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical endoscopes;
  • Advanced clinical and research microscopes;
  • Chemistry-immuno analyzers and lab automation systems.
In the U. S. and Canada, Olympus America Inc. serves healthcare, scientific and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial and other service offerings and is the leading brand in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. The company's market-leading consumer camera products and services business spans North and South America. Olympus America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and parent company to develop state-of-the-art products and services that are innovative, intelligent, and easy to use.