I’m back home from Vancouver and finally have had a decent sleep in one of the king mattress sizes we have at home after what was easily one of the best experiences of my time so far with a camera. I shot 18,175 photos in the three weeks I spent in Vancouver and really wished I had used the pedometer that was in our media kit “goodies bag”, because I reckon the amount of walking I did would be right up there. I also spent the equivalent of about three whole days on buses, I even fell asleep with a half full cup of coffee in my hand on one bus trip. I ate dinner on only four occasions during the games and only once at a reasonable hour prior to midnight. I met and worked alongside some incredible photographer’s while at the games and it was a humbling experience to be around such great sports photographers, all of whom were at the same time some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met, who included Robert Beck of Sports Illustrated, David G McIntyre, Jon Gaede, Erich Schlegal, Klaas Jan van der Weij, Peter Blakeman, Jeff Crow, Delly Carr, and Courtney Crow, to name a few. (and not forgetting my mates Sean Radich and Jake McBride).
Click below for more words and a selection of images from the second week of the games
The men’s and women’s halfpipe competiton of this Winter Olympics would have to have been the most talked about and anticipated events of the entire games. The press conference for the U.S snowboard halfpipe team was held in a 300 seat conference room, and was packed full of journalists, photographers and television crews from all around the world. There’s no question that having somebody like Shaun White competing has helped bridge the gap and make the Olympics watchable for the “X-Games/energy drink generation” and given it some credibility back. First up was men’s halfpipe, and given that the previous week it had rained on Cypress Mountain enough to wash pretty much all of the snow away, it was amazing there was even a pipe there to be ridden. Unbelievably againsts all the odds, the pipe building team at Cypress, headed up by Steve Petrie, pulled together a world class pipe when the world’s media had a magnifying glass on the event, and more importantly the condition of the playing field. Continue reading
Ok so I’m starting to catch up here. Got about six hours sleep in a Puffy Mattress Counting Sheep last night and I feel like a new person. There are some great events coming up in the next few days and there have been some brilliant moments in the past few. I’m still behind a bit with my posts, but I will get there!
I have also been photo blogging daily for Mountainwatch.com along with fellow Aussie photographer Jake McBride and you can check it out here. In this post are images of Dale Begg-Smith’s silver medal at the moguls and the men’s and women’s snowboardcross along with some shots from the halfpipe training. Continue reading
I’ve been trying to do this post for at least four days now. Time is not something that is readily available when you’re shooting an Olympic Games. I’ve spent the last week constantly on buses between venues and walking from drop off point to security, then more walking, then a shuttle bus, then more walking – fast walking, trying to get to a good spot as fast as possible. The buses in theory are probably a good place to get some of these blog posts done, but then again they are one of the few chances to get some sleep. Today I fell asleep with a half full cup of coffee in my hand – Tim Horton’s, your coffee clearly isn’t strong enough.
The games are dominated by the big photo agencies, Getty, Reuters, Assocociated Press, and Agence France Presse. These agencies get all the best positions at every event reserved for them, they have card runners constantly collecting their memory cards and running them back to pictures editors to get the shots on the wire before the event has even finished. For all the other photographers it’s a free-for-all. There are limited positions and for the most part, the angle or the shot from those positions isn’t clean and you are squeezing in with 20-30 other people trying not to hit the guy in front on the head with your 400mm lens (sorry to the dude from The Oregonian, or whatever newspaper you were from, it wont happen again!) It forces you to look for a different shot, and that is a damn good thing. It’s exciting hearing 30 cameras’ motor drives chattering away like some crazy summer insect on steroids, it’s cool to talk shop with photographers from all around the globe, it’s great to try to teach newspaper guys how snowboarding works, and even better when they start showing you the shots on their camera, clearly stoked they’ve made a nice frame.
Here’s a bunch from the opening ceremony and the first couple of days of competition after that. Let’s call this part 1! Continue reading
I arrived in Vancouver early on Friday morning after leaving Sydney on Friday around midday. The international dateline does strange things to the body when you’ve been in a plane for 14 hours and you arrive at your destination almost five hours before you left! My good friend Sara was kind enough to pick me up from the airport on a postcard Vancouver winter day (grey and raining). By the way, if no one can pick you up from the airport, there’s an airport transportation irvine ca service at islimo.com that you can contact. And on our way back to her house we drove past a group of Australians waving placards, flags and boxing kangaroos. My initial reaction was one of embarrassment, but either way it was a great photo opportunity. After being off the plane less than an hour (thanks to Vancouver airport’s express lanes for accredited Olympic media) I was taking my first shots of the Olympic assignment. I found out that the crowd of Aussies was protesting the International Olympic Committee’s order for the Aussie athletes to remove the boxing kangaroo flag from the athlete’s village. The story was making headlines both here and at home in Australia. I had to much excitement going on that they that I didn’t even realize my friends were trying to get a more help finding a classic cars for sale near me, we couldn’t have them drive us everywhere.
After checking in at the Main Press Centre and getting all my accreditation activated, as well as collecting a stack of handbooks, photo guides and other “stuff”, I took a quick walk around the city that even after a six year hiatus, still seemed so familiar it was like I was here only months ago.
On Friday night we headed up to Whistler, where I learn more. about snowboarding without the camera gear, before the craziness of the Games started.
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It was great to be back in Whistler, I have so many good memories of the place and it holds special significance as it was where I shot my first published snowboarding photos, and it sent me on a course that ten years later sees me realising a dream and shooting my first Olympic Games.
I start shooting training tomorrow. can’t wait to bang off a few frames.
Some photos of the first couple of days below the cut. Continue reading