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Photojournalist remembered as innovator, problem-solver

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

ATLANTA (AP) — Jim Dietz, who helped photojournalists to document history on the world’s biggest stages, died while on assignment to cover the Super Bowl in Atlanta. He was 53.

Dietz died Jan. 30 while coordinating Getty Images’ photo coverage of Super Bowl 53. His death was confirmed by the company and his loved ones.

Before joining Getty Images, Dietz spent about 20 years with The Associated Press, photographing events worldwide, editing pictures, developing new products and coordinating photo coverage of major events.

Dietz was a creative innovator and a master problem solver, his former colleagues said.

“He was just kind of a genius at solving complicated problems,” said David Ake, The AP’s director of photography. “He was very good at innovative ways to get pictures out of a camera in unusual places and get them out to the world.”

Dietz always strove to get the best pictures out fast, said Mike Stewart, an AP regional photo editor based in Atlanta. If photographers encountered a technical challenge, it was Dietz who would find a way to overcome it, Stewart said.

“In a fast-paced news world, especially big events, he would pull a rabbit out of that hat,” recalled Jim Gerberich, director of the AP’s Internet platforms.

“He really didn’t have ‘no’ in his vocabulary and if there was a problem to be solved, he’d try to figure it out,” Gerberich added.

Though Dietz spent much of his career dealing with technology and coordinating photo coverage at major news and sporting events, he would also shoot pictures while there, Stewart said.

“He was in both worlds,” Stewart said. “He knew strong photojournalism and obviously was a master at IT.”

Dietz grew up mostly in Ottawa, Kansas, and studied journalism at Kansas State University, said his partner Diane Turner of New York City.