Thursday, August 4, 2016

What does an Olympic photographer do at the Olympics before the Games begin?

Before the Olympic Games get into full blown action, I am based at the Main Press Center (MPC) for much of the time. During this time, I am completing a bunch of tasks to prepare for the coming weeks of madness. Yesterday and today consisted of the following:

* Meeting with my contacts at the USOC and requesting upgraded access to High Impact Events (HIE) where we need a ticket to get in to shoot. Even though I have the top level credential, there are certain events in which everyone wants to go, and there are just not enough spots. As an example, any time that Michael Phelps will be swimming for a gold medal, it will be ticketed.
* Today I went to the USOC office upstairs and got the much coveted ticket to tomorrow's Opening Ceremonies. I picked the position sitting right over the President of Brazil, hoping that all the action will be focused in his direction.

* I am also making a plan of what cameras and lenses I will bring with me tomorrow night to Opening Ceremonies. You see, this is one of the few times when all the photographers are crammed into spectator seats. There is not a whole lot of room for equipment. And since I will have the equipment with me from 3pm until 3am, I don't want to carry any unnecessary gear.

* I have access to the Olympic Portal and I am working on a schedule of events that I want to attend over the next couple of weeks.

 * I requested a locker here at the MPC and have been using it a lot to store a lot of the gear I am not using at the moment. So far, everything seems to be very safe and secure. Let's hope so. Right now I have about $30,000 worth of gear in my locker and another $15,000 worth of gear next to me.

* Of course, I am writing blogs to share with all of you. Each of these can take up to 90 minutes to write, but seeing how much all of you are enjoying it, it is worth it.

* There are press conferences downstairs with most of the teams. I have attended the press conferences for USA Swimming and USA Tennis, and I will going to the USA Basketball press conference in 45 minutes. That should be crowded! I will blog that later this afternoon. Tomorrow I will be covering the USA men's water polo team press conference at 2pm. This is going to be crazy, since I need to be on a press bus heading over to the Opening Ceremonies at 3pm. Thank god the buses have WiFi. I can edit and post while being driven to the stadium!

* At the main press facilities, we also have a bank, post office, laundry service, restaurants and other amenities. So I usually grab a quick bite for lunch here. So far though, the food services seems really lacking. The quality is quite good, but they have only two options for food and the lines are crazy long. As you can imagine, I don't have time to stand in line for 30 minutes. I hate to say it, but 30 minutes of Olympic time is like 3 hours of normal time. So I have been eating granola bars (thanks USOC!) and whatever else I can scrounge up.

* With good quality WiFi, this is a great place for me to call or FaceTime my family and friends. Those calls are short, but it is sure nice to see and hear them!

OK - time to edit photos of the swimming and tennis press conferences for the next blog!


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Jordan said...

Thanks for all the great info. Jeff. I am enjoying your blogs very much.

Jordan said...

Thanks very much for keeping up these blogs Jeff. I am enjoying them very much.

Harry Fondren said...

Thank you so much for your blog of seeing the Olympics from your point of view. I know it is a sacrifice on your part, but I hope you can keep of the pace.
Harry Fondren

Unknown said...

Thanks for these updates. You are really giving us an insiders view on something many of us wish we could participate in. Please keep them coming!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff ;)
Do you have to prepare things in photomechanics? Like shortcuts for the players names in the iptc data? How does a properly set up iptc stationary look like?

JNevitt said...

Kemep up the good work, loved the Canon cameras yesterday.

Jim said...

Wonderful blog, i enjoy reading about behind the scenes and how you do the various photos. The Canon camera blog was good.

Tobias Wittenburg said...

Hi Jeff, great post as always. I was wondering what kind of mainanence do you do for your camera and lenses after a day at the olympics?

SEH said...

I really appreciate reading your observations, and seeing your photos, during the Olympics. It brings it all closer to home.