Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beijing Olympics: Day 10-11

Part of the charm of coming to the Olympics has been being able to photograph a lot of "minor" sports. While I did continue to go out and shoot some more water polo and gymnastics, the past two days felt more like home to me, as I shot a couple of men's basketball games as well as some soccer.

I've written before in the past, that I don't particularly like covering basketball because I don't think the action is all that great, and there is usually little or no room for creativity and there are rarely any good backgrounds at any basketball venue. However, I was actually pretty excited to go cover the first game on my schedule, which was USA vs Germany. Although I wouldn't say they are quite as formidable as the original Dream Teams of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and company, the latest edition of team USA is pretty solid with Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade.

Needless to say, team USA has been crazy dominant. It was pretty much just like watching the Harlem globetrotters play, as it seemed like every other time they were down on offense, it would finish with a dunk. Although in that particular game, I wouldn't say any of the dunk photos were that spectacular, I'm thinking if one were to shoot every men's team USA game, you could have a portfolio full of dunks by the time the Olympics is over.

As mentioned above, I also covered a little bit of soccer by going out to shoot the Brazil-Argentina semifinal soccer game. Just like basketball, the sport is pretty familiar to me as back home, I've covered enough international friendlies at Soldier Field, as well as a handful of Chicago Fire games.

Even though it was nice to finally get out and shoot some familiar sports for a change, I think I most enjoyed shooting the gymnastics apparatus finals, particularly the balance beam program. For the most part, the backgrounds at the venue are not that great, but there is a big blue wall above where the athletes enter that would make for a good backdrop assuming you could position yourself such that the athletes end up jumping in front of it. For a while, I couldn't really figure out a good place to pull it off, but me and some European photographer found an area in the barrier surrounding the field of play that could open up and asked the photo marshalls if it was ok for us to shoot there. They seemed a bit hesitant, but in the end let us shoot there.

Some nice pretty stuff.... so not surprisingly, it wasn't soon after we started shooting there that a ton of other photographers started lining up in that little opening to shoot through as well!

As there are only 5 more days in the Olympic Games, we are getting to the point where a lot of the team sports are drawing closer to their gold medal matches, and the USA is alive and well in lots of them (basketball, softball, baseball, beach volleyball). So expect a lot of gold medal celebration photos in the next few days!


Anonymous Chris Humphreys said...

Photo marshals?!?! LOL!

In the wedding photography industry we call those "church coordinators." :)

Great job as usual, I'm loving those gymnastics shots!

7:36 AM  
Blogger Lauren Pond said...

Jerry! Great job on your Olympics coverage. I especially like the gymnastics shots and the shot of the diver in this entry. Hope you're doing well!

4:10 PM  

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