Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer Olympics: My mixed emotions about the end of the Games

It is now 5:15 pm here in London on the eve of closing ceremonies. This is the first Olympics where I have stayed to the very end, and it comes with very mixed emotions. After being gone for almost a month, I am VERY excited to get home to see the family and get back to a normal routine (and maybe even sleep a little). At the same time, it is sad to say goodbye to many of my friends who I am now used to seeing every two years. I just left the water polo facility after spending almost 3 weeks there. It was a weird feeling to clean out my locker and walk away. I am now sitting in the main press center (MPC) and preparing for my last Olympic shoot during the Closing Ceremonies. I am happy and sad at the same time.

Even though I have a couple more posts from London (closing ceremonies and some night shots in along the Thames), I would like to thank all of you who followed the blog and sent me encouragement to keep going. I have to admit that there were times when I thought of skipping a blog or two, but then I would get an email from someone telling me that they were enjoying the images and stories. And so, I gave up a little more sleep and kept going.

There were times during the last three weeks when I wrote comments about the challenges of shooting the Olympic Games, but I hope you all know that I am not complaining. I do feel lucky to have these opportunities and I never take them for granted. I get a chance to see some friends from all over the globe, and I get a chance to meet new friends too. I even meet people (virtually) through this blog and on Facebook and try to answer as many questions as I can. I feel that it is my responsibility to share as much as I can, so that others can experience the same exhilaration as I do when I get that "killer shot".

The Olympics are also a time to remind myself that I have a long way to go, to be a great photographer. I walk around the press areas and see what other people are capturing and think to myself, "Damn - those are amazing images - why didn't I see that?" There are even times when I get frustrated, seeing what some of the agency photographers capture with their robotic mounted cameras and priority access. These are shots which I can not get, even if I wanted to. But, all the rest of us regular old credentialed photographer still share our ideas and inspire each other to do even more the next time.

People have asked me if I would do this again. After the the long 3 weeks of going non-stop, it is hard to fathom the thought of doing this again. But, when I was upstairs at the USOC a couple of hours ago, getting my tickets to the Closing Ceremonies, I was asked to submit for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The deadline is 2 weeks away! Oh no - here we go again!!!

Lastly, I would like to thank the following people who helped me make this all happen. First of all, my family who has to put up with me being gone for so long and for having to handle everything while I go AWOL. To Lexar not only for the amazing 1000x 128GB memory cards and readers, but for letting me be away from my real job for an extended period of time. To Western Digital for sending me with a bunch of 2TB USB 3.0 drives which were absolutely needed since the 512GB SSD in this Mac has been overloaded from day 4. To PocketWizard for getting me the wireless transceivers to set up my remote cameras. To the good folks at Gitzo who make sure that I have the very best monopod (which was used every single day) and tripods. To LowePro for supplying me with the rolling bag and backpack which saved my back so many times. To Wacom for sending me a couple of graphics tablets, since I refuse to edit without them! And lastly, to the amazing people at Canon who not only hooked me up with two of the new 1DX cameras, but a seemingly endless supply of lenses to capture the images that you have all seen.

I feel so lucky to be here, to have all of this best-of-breed equipment, and to add this Olympic experience to my life. I even got my wife access to the Olympic Park for a couple of days to see what all this is about. That was a bonus for this trip!

Thanks for joining me on yet another Olympic experience. I hope we have more together.



Iain said...

Thank you for all of the great images and insights... It added another dimension to the events!

Feureau said...

>I was asked to submit for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The deadline is 2 weeks away! Oh no - here we go again!!!

Speaking of which, how does one sign up to be an olympics photographer btw? Is there a website we could fill a form in or something?

Thanks for everything, Jeff

Unknown said...

thanks for sharing all that amazing photos and precious information!

Hope you do the same on winter games


Christer Hägglund said...

Thank you Jeff for all your great blog posts from the Olympics! It's great for us mortals to get an insight in your hard work. Hope to see read your blog from Sochi and Rio too!