Friday, August 3, 2012

2012 Summer Olympics: Kayak (Canoe) / 2 man and women's - One of my favorite sports so far!

I am finally getting around to editing the images from my trip to the Lee Valley White Water Centre to photograph the 2 man and single women kayaking (which they call canoeing over here). It was an awesome venue and probably the most relaxing place to shoot the Olympics. We had great weather, not too hot and not too cold. The day before, it had poured rain at this venue. I was so happy to shoot these cool images and be around the soothing sounds of rushing water. Even the bus ride from the press center to the venue was really pretty. It was nice to see something outside the city of London.

The man-made river, which gave us great opportunities to capture photos. We were allowed to shoot almost anywhere along the river, as long as we stood back two feet from the edge.

The French team coming down, and trying to avoid hitting the post (which is a penalty).

And this time it was the Aussie's turn.

I love the relaxed look on the lead paddler while his Polish counterpart looks like he is in anguish in the back of the boat.

The Slovakian team taking their turn heading through one of the gates.

Towards the beginning of the course, there is a bridge which we could climb to shoot overhead shots. I climbed up and shot some photos from that vantage point, but really did not like the compositions from this location. But, before descending the bridge, I noticed that the Olympic Rings, which were over each gate, would be in the foreground as the paddlers would turn to go through this one particular gate. So I zoomed in at 560mm (using the upcoming Canon 200-400 lens with the built in 1.4x teleadaptor) and framed this shot. It is not great, but at least it is different from what most of the other people were getting.

After the men's pairs came through, it was the women's turn to come down.

I was really happy to see the flags of each country on the blades of their paddles since this added a nice benefit to the images. In this image, I was lucky enough to get a criss-cross of the paddles forming a nice synergy.

Another favorite image of the day with the guys working hard and the water splashing everywhere.

I caught this shot of the French team trying their best to avoid hitting a pole. I guess you could say that they would bend over backwards to win a medal. :)

This last shot was another example of me trying to capture something different. While walking up and down the banks of this man-made river, I noticed that there was this one gate where the boaters would come very close to the edge. So, I put on my fish eye lens, got down on the ground, held the camera over the bank, and shot a series of shots as the next kayak came through the gate. It sure didn't hurt that I had the blue skies and those nice clouds in the background.


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