Sunday, July 29, 2012

2012 London Olympics: Opening Ceremony - Day One

Two days are now in the books, and I must say, my experiences from these games has been drastically different from my previous two Olympics, simply because of my change in role.  While I am on a EP (photographer) pass, I am really playing more of an editing and management role.  Basically it means I'm spending a lot of time in the USA Today Sports office editing pictures transmitted directly from the photographers in the field, toning them, and captioning them.

Now the fact that we have an office in itself is a big change from the past.  We used to have to work out in the main media area with all the masses of people...

...but now we have private office space set up pretty much like any newsroom back home.

Yeah, yeah... I guess it kind of looks the same in my half-assed scene setter photos but trust me the private office space is waaaay nicer.

Anyways... the opening ceremony.  After seeing it on TV.... yes I watched it on TV like the rest of you all... I don't feel too bad for missing it as in my opinion compared to Beijing, it was a real snoozer.  I mean, I guess it was well done, but I don't feel it was very inspired or particularly creative.  Then again, that fits the whole theme of the games so far: no customized medal ceremony music (or any music for that matter, that I'm aware of), and very original names for the venues such as Basketball Arena, BMX Track and Water Polo Arena (among many others).  I did get a view of the cool fireworks display, however, from our office window...

I was finally able to escape the office on the first day of competition.  Now part of our role while working with the USA Today / US Presswire team, is fulfilling a lot of special requests.   As a result, we are stretched pretty thin covering lots of events that we might otherwise not cover.  One of them is weightlifting.... and not just weightlifting, but women's weightlifting.  So I was the one who drew that assignment.

Now I have never shot weightlifting before, but obviously it would be pretty simple.  Get their early, find a head on spot (with a clean background), and fire away.  But nope!  The client that we shot for purchased an internet line and netbooks for us to directly transmit images to them.  This is the fastest way to deliver images to a client but unfortunately comes with a huge limitation of that you are essentially "tethered" to an internet line and unable to move or really pick your spot.  And unfortunately, the line was installed in a position with a profile view to the athletes.  Fortunately, I was able to move very slightly so that I had a clean, blacked out background, so the images looked pretty nice.

After the first few lifts, I was really getting sick of shooting the same thing over and over again so I unplugged the camera from the computer and got some head on shots that I wanted.  I was really hoping someone would drop the weights on themselves or fall down, but it never happened.... still some nice clean shots with some decent reactions.

To finish off the event and shoot the medal ceremony, I had to go back to my tethered location because I knew the client wanted those images beamed over directly.

Now where are the pictures from the medals ceremony?  Didn't have any because the software crashed right when the medals ceremony began!  DOH!  The weird thing is normally when you take pictures it writes right to the memory card.... but when the cameras are connected to the computer, it bypasses the card and attempts to the computer.  So I essentially was firing blank frames for the entire medals ceremony.  Oh well...... here's to smoother operation next time!


Anonymous Chris Humphreys said...

I blame the lack of medal ceremony images on the fact that you were shooting Nikon. :)

10:41 AM  

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