So there you have it. The reason you are seeing these now and not earlier today. And this will likely happen in the future as well. I am now living in "Olympic Time" which is a time zone unto itself. :)
OK...on to it. Here are the photos and some quick stories from last night's opening ceremonies.
This is the photo position I ended up in. As you can see, the photographers in front of me were in the way, so I had to be creative with my composition.
We were very near where NBC was broadcasting, so I took a shot of Matt Lauer and crew.
And then the show began.
I saw these people running up to the flag poles, and quickly changed my camera settings to blur them, while keeping the motionless military sharp. This photo was taken at f/13 and was 1/6 sec at 300mm. Crazy right?
And I kept the slow shutter speed with these guys and panned along with the "spider".
I loved what they did with these ropes. That was very cool and translated well in camera.
As you can see, I shot wide and tight. For the wide shots, I had my Canon 24-70mm lens on one Canon 1D X Mark II body, and for the tight shots, I was using the Canon 200-400mm lens on another 1D X Mark II.
As photographers in the stands, we are not very knowledgeable about what the stories are about, we are more concerned with capturing the cool photos.
I liked the effect they used here, projecting the buildings and having these guys jump from rooftop to rooftop.
They worked themselves towards the favela.
Gisele was doing her cat walk across the dark stage and I fought like heck to get a clean shot. This photo was taken at 1/3 sec at 560mm. I panned along with her and got one clean shot out of ten.
More dancing on the rooftops.
I liked the colors here.
As a photographer, it is important to try as hard as possible to see everything. While shooting the happenings on the large stage area, I looked down and saw some of the performers coming up into the audience. I quickly pointed the camera down at them and got this. I love the big smile on the woman.
And then they made the rows of people to welcome in the athletes.
I really liked what they did with the "houses" at this point of the show.
Here is Team Canada coming in.
Both of these photos are of the Chinese team. I was surprised to see the girls wearing different colors than the guys.
And then the US team entered, with Michael Phelps as flag bearer. I was thrilled to see so many of the water polo team in the front, giving me Phelps and many of "my athlete" in one shot.
This is the original shot uncropped.
After a REALLY long wait, for all the teams to enter the stadium, it was time for the Brazilian team to come in. And, of course, the place went crazy.
So did their athletes, They were giving great stuff to the field of play (FOP) photographers. These are the photographers from the big agencies, like AP, Getty, EPA...
They came out with these mirror boxes...
...and eventually formed the Olympic Rings.
Out of nowhere, they turned into these tress.
And...pop, all this came out.
The President of the IOC came out to do his talk. I knew that this would not be a very interesting photo, since I was so far away, and he was this small at 560mm. But I took one photo for the heck of it.
Just after snapping that shot, I looked down and saw his image on all the press monitors, and thought that this was a much cooler shot of him. I took this and then one of the pool photographers who was standing next to me, saw the LCD of my camera and copied my shot. Boo!
These kids came running through the rows of people, and I once again slowed the shutter speed of the camera and panned along with them. This photo was taken at 1/30 sec at 400mm.
After the speeches, it was time to raise the Olympic Flag.
They had many groups of dancers in different colors. I waited for this group to go by my section and took this shot. I waited for the yellow group since they were brighter and would give me a slightly better shutter speed.
Towards the end of the ceremony, they shot off a ton of confetti from the ceiling of the stadium. Normally I would focus on what is in the background, but this time I decided to focus on the little pieces of paper.
I then focused on the people in the background, which shows you the difference.
The lights went out and it was time to bring out the Olympic Flame. I saw all these people trying to get photos of the torch bearer and flame and loved it. In order to make this image work, I quickly turned the camera to an exposure compensation of -0.7 to darken the photo.
Photos of the different torch bearers.
When editing this photo, I noticed the man hiding off to the right of the image. See him back there? I am not sure if he was there in case the flame did not light, or as a producer. Your guess is as good as mine.
Here is a photo of the Olympic flame. I shot a lot of images of this rotating sculpture thinking that it would eventually light, but it never did.
Right after this, the fireworks started and I made my mad dash out of the arena to try and beat the 100,000+ people exiting the stadium. It did work, in that I made the second press bus out of there. But, as I mentioned earlier, the bus driver messed up those well laid plans.
All in all, the Opening Ceremonies exceed my expectations. The other photographer I talked to set my expectations low, but I was happy with the show and the photos. What did you think of the show (other than the excesive commercials I have heard about)?
_________________________________________________________________________________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.