Since it was really late in the evening, I decided to shoot only a couple of races. (Yes, even I get tired.)
The challenge with photographing any Olympic swimmer doing the freestyle stroke, is that they barely come out of the water. Right as Katie was swimming in front of me, I was able to grab this shot of her.
I took this photo to show you all how many photographers are at the pool on any given evening, and this is a shot of the smaller photo area. I was in the larger photo location, which is probably double the amount of shooters than you see here.
I guarantee you that most of the photographers were there for one main reason.
Yep - this guy.
This guy is a swimming machine!
I used the reach of the Canon 200-400mm lens with the built-in tele converter to get me a 560mm shot. I was all the way at the other end of the pool, but wanted to get a shot of Michael diving in from the block. (And for those of you photo buffs who might be wondering, I was using AI Servo focus, activated by back button focus, and a single focus point locked in on Michaels head.)
I tracked Phelps with a shutter speed of 1/2000 sec to freeze the action, as he made his first pass towards my location.
Knowing that the Rio 2016 logo was on the wall opposite from me, I had pre-planned to zoom out as Phelps reached the halfway point of his first length, to get both in one frame.
I then quickly zoomed back in to get this tight shot.
As soon as Michael headed away from me on his first lap, I quickly changed the camera settings to try a slow shutter panning shot of him. I quickly changed the ISO from 1600 to 125 and the aperture from f/5 to f/8. This gave me a shutter speed of 1/60 second. In order to accomplish all these maneuvers (tight shot to wide shot to tight shot, and fast shutter speed to slow shutter speed), I practiced this a couple of times before the race ever started. Once Michael dove in the water, I felt comfortable making all these changes in a short time span.
Michael's wife, Nicole, happened to be sitting two rows behind my photo position, so once he touched the wall, I quickly turned around to get a shot of her. This is a photo of her looking up at the scoreboard.
And you may notice that she is holding their new baby.
I was able to move a little and get this photo of Boomer. Too cute.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I am doing my best to keep up with all the Olympic action. Oh, and I would love it if you could let your friends and family know about the blog. The more readers, the more fun it is to keep losing sleep and keep posting. :)
_________________________________________________________________________________And also, remember that you and your friends can enter your email address at the top right of this blog to get an email any time I write a new blog post or send my monthly newsletter.
If you are interested in purchasing any camera equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.