Monday, March 1, 2010

Looking back at the last two and a half weeks of the Olympics

Wow! The last two and a half weeks of being at the Olympics have been a combination of hard work, great opportunity, inspiration and education. It was an amazing experience, being there for so many marquee moments of the games. People have asked me: "What was your favorite event to photograph?" and really I can't think of one event that stands out that much more than the others. The short track speed skating was really exciting, the hockey was filled with energy as expected, and even curling was interesting to watch for the first time.

Each sport had it's own challenges photographically. I had to determine the correct shutter speeds for each event to capture the essence of the game. I had to determine which lenses to use (and carry) to grab that moment of time, either really tight on the athlete, or showing the athlete and the surrounding environment. And most importantly, within the limitations of the venue, where to stand to get the best shots with the most interesting backgrounds. I had all of these challenges while dealing with the Olympic sized logistics (security, special clearances, ticketed events, transportation, geographically spread events, deadlines...). And of course, it was not easy being away from home for 2 1/2 weeks.

Was it worth it? Absolutely! It was an honor to be selected to photograph the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and it was an experience that I will never forget.

In those two and a half weeks, I covered more than 20 different sporting events, numerous press conferences, the Team USA party and even a small amount of site seeing. I shot more than 40,000 images, keeping almost 13,000 of them in the final collection that I brought back with me. Of this collection, I have 419 images which are my favorite edits and 178 that I feel are "the best of the lot".

I was really lucky. I did not have any technical issues with any of my equipment (cameras, lenses, memory cards, bags...) and for that I am really thankful. Throughout the frantic pace of these couple of weeks, the only item which I managed to lose was a lens cap for my fish eye lens (which I left in the cup holder of my seat at the hockey game). I can deal with that.

Now I am back home and getting ready to enter the real world again, back to the daily routine that seems so foreign already.

As I leave the Winter Olympics behind, and bid the city of Vancouver farewell, I will leave you with a couple of last images from this adventure.

A shot of Lions Gate Bridge at night. This is the bridge that leads from Vancouver to both Cypress and Whistler, so this was a bridge that I crossed many times.

This is a shot of the International Broadcast Center (taken from the MPC). You will probably recognize this building as the one that NBC was broadcasting from. You can see the Olympic rings in the background.

On my last night at the Main Press Center, I made it a point to borrow one of the press rooms to get this shot of me with the Olympic backdrop. It was the last image taken on my trip, so it belongs at the end of this Olympic blog, but I apologize to all of you for ending this portion with my ugly mug shot.

And now...back to reality...


Marc said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH!! it was a great time following your blog, i checked it every 2 hours to see if you uploaded something new ;P
i'm sad that the olympic games are over, because now i won't see any more pictures of you :(
Thanks again and i wish you all the best!

Marc from Abu Dhabi, UAE

Rohan's Photography Blog said...

Hey Jeff,

Thank you for a wonderful journey!! Your blog has been my lunchtime entertainment. Love you how describe how you have taken the shots and what was going through your mind. From the guy that has given me the photography bug it was like being with you over there.

Hope you can make it to PMA down Oz again and we can go and shoot!!