Friday, February 19, 2010

A typical day photographing the Olympics

Someone just sent me an email asking what it is like to photograph the Olympics, so I thought that I would share this with everyone here on the blog. Yesterday was a really good example of a typical day, so here is a recap of my long day:

8:00 Wake up and get ready for the day
8:30 Pack all necessary camera gear and laptop (chargers, memory cards...)
8:45 Head over to Canada Hockey Place (I walked since it was a nice morning)
9:15 Go through security at the media entrance
9:20 Find the venue photo manager (Richard) and try and find out which direction USA will be shooting twice (since I want to focus on the offense).
9:30 Head down to the designated photo positions and grab a seat with the best view. I generally leave me jacket and my business card to mark my spot.
9:45 Work with the venue photo crew to polish the glass in front of my position (both sides)
10:00 Get a day locker from the photo staff to store my unused equipment while I am shooting.
10:15 Set up my laptop and start editing the images for the blog
11:45 After repeatedly checking my photo position to make sure nobody tried to steal it, I head down with my camera gear to shoot the first period and fans.
12:00 Game starts
12:45 End of first period so I run up to start downloading the first 600x card
1:00 2nd period starts
1:45 End of second period so I run up to start downloading the second 600x card
2:00 3rd period starts
2:45 Game ends and I run to the "mixed zone" which is where the players come off the ice to meet with the press. I grab a couple of shots of the key players and then run back upstairs.
3:00 Call the Pacific Coliseum to see if photo positions are still open. They confirm that there are but that I had to hurry over.
3:05 Pack all my gear, return my locker key and jam out of the rink.
3:10 Find a cab and hope that traffic is not terrible (It wasn't bad. I got lucky)
3:30 Run into the coliseum and exchange my green shooting sleeve for a blue one (designated for this venue)
3:40 Grab a really bad tuna sandwich and a diet coke for a late lunch.
3:45 Start sorting through the hockey game images.
4:10 Run for the only bathroom break of the night. :)
4:15 Escorted down to the ice level
4:20 Pull out the laptop and start editing the hockey images while waiting for the competition
5:00 Stop the editing process to start shooting
9:30 Competition is over
9:40 Pack up all my stuff, exchange my blue sleeve for my permanent green one.
10:00 Grab the press bus which takes me back to the Main Press Center (no cabs available)
10:30 Arrive at the press center. I check in with the folks there and then hop on another bus to get me back to the condo
11:00 Finally get something to eat for dinner. I am tired, hungry and exhausted at this point.
11:30 Back at the condo and now it is time to post the hockey images to the ftp site for Team USA and to sort through the thousands of images of figure skating.
1:30 Finish sorting through the images and ranking the best ones
1:40 Charge all batteries and clean lenses
1:45 Back up the images to an external drive and get ready for bed
2:00 Crash
8:00 Do it all again!

4 comments:

bill s. said...

...exhausting, but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Mark said...

Jeff,
everyone at Rush is following your adventure. My wife was exhausted following your daily routine. The shots are fantastic! Loving the behind the scenes action! Can't wait to hang out and interrogate you....

Mrs. L said...

How often does someone steal your saved photo position?

Jeff Cable said...

Nobody has taken my photo position yet, but I have had numerous people try. The toughest part is in locations where you are standing...if you leave for any reason, someone will come stand in your spot.