As I started to write this, I realized that I actually have two different workflows here at the Olympic Games. One of those workflows is for my contractual work (for USA Water Polo) where I have a tight deadline, and the other is for everything else.
Workflow with contractual deadlines
I have a contract with USA Water Polo that requires me to photograph every men's and women's water polo match. Without going into all the contractual details, I am obligated to get them at least 10 images from each match within minutes of each game ending. Actually, the game ends and I then get some photos in the mix zone (where the athletes are being interview by the press), and THEN I run to the press room to start my workflow.
Here is the typical happening after the water polo match:
I run to my locker at the venue and grab my MacBook Pro and Lexar CR2 readers. Before doing anything else, I grab the cards out of camera and get them downloading. Since I am using the new Lexar 3500x CFast cards, the downloads happen incredibly fast! At this point, I start culling through the photos using Photo Mechanic to find the best ones for the team. I do this by ranking them in the software. When I reach the last of the photos, I then filter the collection to see only those that I have ranked. If it is 10-20, I then retouch each of them in Photoshop. If I have 30 or more favorites, I will often do a second pass to narrow that down a bit more. Those photos are resized and put into a Dropbox folder for my team contact. I can get them 3-5 key images within 15 minutes, and the remaining images in the next 30 minutes.
As soon as this is all done, I will usually find my favorite photo and post that to my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. And sometimes, I will even select my favorite photos from the edited group and write a blog for all of you. This can take another hour or so. I also take any money shots (ultimate favorites) and copy them to my personal Dropbox and my Drobo 810n server at home. I also try and update my web page (using Zenfolio) too. I usually arrive at the venue 30 minutes early (to make sure I am on time and all my gear is ready) and usually get out of the venue about 2 hours after a game. It is a 4 hour time slot.
Usually, once all this is complete, I am off to another venue, to take photos for me and all you blog readers. But for these images, I am not under any contractual obligations, so the process is a bit different. I am not posting these on any of the wire services, since I would rather blog the photos with all you blog readers than make a small amount of money from them.
Workflow for everything else
On a typical day, I will look at the Olympic intranet site and determine what events I want to go see (that do not overlap with any USA Water Polo game). I take the bus to that venue and shoot from whatever photo position I think is best. And, as you have seen, I take liberties to try creative shots that I could not do if I was under obligations to a team. In this case, I don't really care what country they are from, I am more concerned with getting nice photos to share.
Once I capture these photos, I rarely stop and retouch them at the venue, I am usually trying to get to the next venue or back to my hotel. If I have a long bus ride, I will open my laptop, download on the bus, and then cull through the photos at this time. If I do this quickly and still have time, I will even start the retouching process as well. There is basically no downtime at the Olympics.
There are some times, like now, when I am at a venue waiting for a session to start, and this is the time I try to crank out a blog post. There have been a couple of days when I have only pushed one blog. Those days I have likely photographed at least 3 events all over the city, and just not had time to write. That really bugs me, so many times I have stayed up until 3am in the hotel room to write a blog. This will be pushed out as I complete it, or I will wait until after I wake up. (I still have at least 4 events that I have not blogged yet. I will try to get those out quickly.)
If I have not culled through the days images, I also need to do that before going to bed. The SSD on this Mac in only 512GB and I frequently run out of space, so I need to get rid of duplicates and less desirable photos to make room for the next days downloads. Oh, and I never go to sleep until I have backed up my photos to at least 2 different WD Passport drives. Last night I backed up to all 3 drives, which then get put in different locations.
Then, I sleep for a little bit, wake up and do it all again!
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