Monday, July 23, 2012

2012 Summer Olympics: A behind the scenes look at the Olympic Park

Here I am in London, after working for almost two years to prepare for this. It is amazing that Opening Ceremonies is only 4 days away!

Let me tell you how things have gone for the last couple of days. My wife and I took the Chunnel (train from Paris to London) which was really easy. Less than two hours from Paris to London and a beautiful view along most of the ride.

When we got off the train in London, the first thing I saw was the big Olympic Rings in the station. I opened the camera bag and grabbed the 5D Mark III. Time for a "we just arrived shot". I found a construction rig, climbed up on that (as my wife gave me that disapproving look), and shot this photo.

And then, to my amazement, I see some Olympic representatives with a sign, and it has my name on it. And I am thinking "Seriously? Am I getting the royal treatment?" And we sure did. It was awesome! (My wife just happened to be taking photos with her iPhone and caught this.)

As I mentioned in the last blog post, I spent most of Saturday and Sunday getting the lay of the land here and trying to figure out all of the logistics. And there are a ton of things to figure out before the games begin. It is important to find the fastest and easiest transportation, which means that I had to try using the pubic trains, subways, buses and also try using the press buses. For the first trip, we took the subway. It was efficient, but involved a ton of walking, which would be difficult with all the camera equipment. After much research, I found a press bus that stops 5 minutes from the condo where I am staying. Perfect! And that bus can use the "Olympic Only" lanes which means that it should be pretty quick.

This photo was taken just past the security checkpoint and the first thing we saw when entering the Olympic Park.

And here is the Olympic Stadium, where they were preparing for Opening Ceremonies.

I love the colorful grounds. This is all made of the squishy material that you would typically find in a playground. I figured that this would be my only chance to photograph this without hundreds or thousands of people on the grounds. That is the swimming venue that you see to the right.

Here is a view inside the Main Press Center (MPC) where we spend all of our time editing. This will be packed with journalist in the next 4 days.

These are information slots where we get all the information on sports, teams, athletes...

Lots of security everywhere (as at all Olympics).

I took this as I entered the Olympic Park on day 2. This was taken before the security checkpoint and shows all the people just wanting to get close to the venues.

My first view of the Olympic water polo venue. I will be spending a lot of time in this building!

I spent over an hour in the venue to determine the shooting positions, remote camera options, restrictions... The Australian water polo team was practicing at the time.

Amazing the similarities in their bodies and mine - not! :)

Then, I went to the swim and diving venue which is right next to the water polo facility.

Here is your sneak peak inside the facilities.

This is a photo taken at the Olympic Village where the athletes will be living. As you can tell from the flags flying from this building, this is where the British team will be proudly staying.

The last stop on day 2, was a visit to the 02 building, which is the venue for gymnastics and the basketball finals.

As you can tell, they were still setting up for the gymnastics competition, but making good progress.

This is the largest of the indoor facilities at the London Olympics.

They even have a roof climb on the roof of the 02 building. I am hoping to make this climb when they have a media day. We will see.

Olympic signs are all over the city. Stay tuned...more to come!

(One more thing: People have asked me if they can pass this on to their friends and family. And the answer is "absolutely". I share all of this so that others can enjoy the experience with me. The more the merrier.)


Tim Engle said...

Love seeing all this Jeff!

Tim Engle said...

Love seeing all this Jeff!

Jo Reaosn said...

Cool, can´t wait for more photos

Fotofyndet said...

Great pictures, hope you will post more behind the scenes and gear photos. :)