Monday, February 19, 2018

A typical day at these Olympic Games

For  most people, the Olympics are a great time to relax on the couch and watch their favorite sporting events. For those of us photographers covering the Games, it is anything but that. In order to give you an insight into my schedule, I thought I would break down a typical day here in PyeongChang.

I schedule each day around the USA hockey games. If there is a game early in the day, then I shoot that hockey game and then head off to other events. If Team USA has a game late in the day (which many start at 9pm), my schedule looks something like this:

8:00am - Wake up and check email
8:30am - Shower and determine best clothing for the day (heavier for outside in the mountains)
8:45am - Get breakfast (which is free for us - and a great way to fuel up on protein)
9:00am - Push the previous night's blog post (since it is morning in the US)
9:05am - Post the blog link to all social media sites
9:15am - Check bus schedule to determine the route to whatever venue I am heading to
9:20am - Pack up camera gear (different cameras and lenses depending on what I am covering)
9:30am - Call home
9:45am - Bus ride(s) to venue
10:45am - Check in at venue media center
11:00am - Walk the venue to determine best shooting locations
11:30am - Photograph the sporting event
2:30pm - Return to the venue media center to download all images
2:45pm - Call home before it is too late back home
3:00pm - Take bus back to Media Village or Main Press Center
3:15pm - Check email and answer blog and social media comments as best as I can
4:00pm - Grab some lunch if possible
4:20pm - Edit photos on the next bus
5:00pm - Ppload images to my web site (if I have time)
5:20pm - Recharge camera batteries for hockey game
5:30pm - Edit more photos
6:30pm - Check in with Team USA to determine which direction we are shooting twice
6:45pm - Take bus to the Hockey Rink
7:15pm - Check in to the venue media center and exchange my green sleeve for a blue one (which gets me down on the glass)
7:20pm - Go down to the ice level and inspect the plexiglass and put my air cushion (since we are sitting on metal) on a stool to reserve my spot.
7:30pm - Return to the venue press center to edit more photos and continue writing blogs
8:00pm - Go back to the ice to shoot images of the hockey players warming up
8:10pm - Edit photos of warm ups (since USA Hockey wants those immediately for social media)
8:30pm - Get all camera gear prepped (right lenses and camera settings) and pre-create folders and file names for the upcoming game
9:00pm - Photograph the first period of the hockey game
9:30pm - Once the buzzer goes off for the end of the period, I break out the laptop and card reader and download the images. Using Photo Mechanic, I jam through the hundreds of photos to find the best ones for the team (approximately 10 per period). I retouch those images and Dropbox them to the team.
19:50pm - Photograph the second period of the hockey game
10:10pm - Same process of culling and retouching for the team
10:40pm - Photograph the third period of the hockey game
11:10pm - Game ends and I pack up my gear and move as fast as I can to the mix zone (the area where the athletes are being interviewed by the press)
11:15pm - I photograph the athletes as they are being interviewed by the press
11:30pm - I run back to the venue press center to download images from third period and mix zone. I cull through those images and retouch at least 20 more for the team.
12:15pm - Catch a press bus back to the Media Village / Post another blog from the press bus
12:35pm - Eat something quick for dinner
12:45am - Arrive back at my apartment
1:00am - Take a shower again
1:10am - recharge all camera batteries
1:15am - write the next blog to push in the morning
1:45am - delete all reject images from the day (since I have not had time to do that)
2:00am - backup images onto two solid state drives and one hard drive
2:15am - go to bed

As weird as this is, there is almost no wasted time at the Olympics. I am writing this blog post at one in the morning, while hanging out in the cafeteria tent by our building (see the photo above - taken just now). I am surrounded by a whole bunch of other photographers who are editing their photos, and writers who are posting stories. Many are just having their dinners now. It is not uncommon to text or talk to my contacts at USA Hockey or other photographers at 1:30am.

Somewhere in between all of this, I have to make time to do laundry (which takes 3 hours!). My buddy from the Associated Press was doing his laundry at 3:30am yesterday.

Sleep is at a minimum here, but we are at the biggest sporting event in the world. We are all driven to cover as much as we can.

Phew - I am tired just writing and looking at this! is now time to push another blog, backup images, recharge batteries, shower and go to bed! good night everyone!

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Marc TheBean said...

I Jeff,

Always a real pleasure to follow you around your journeys at the olympic. Get a bit rest though :)

Great shots, glad to hear an happy ending of the sleeve disappearance.



Don Balansky said...

And, I'm sure, you wouldn't have to think twice about doing it again. What an adrenaline rush. Who needs sleep, anyhow? It's more than it's cracked up to be. I always loved photographing homecomings and other multi-venue events because you don't have time to think about anything beyond getting the images. No time to worry or second guess what you've done, only getting to next event.

Penny Rogers said...

Thanks for sharing this!! Amazing opportunity.