LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 4 Wild Horses

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Today was a change of pace which is sometimes nice to have in the grind of the Olympic Games. I spent the morning getting my underwater housing ready up to FINA specs and approved so I could submerge it later that evening. After I spent a couple hours on that project I headed to the Equestrian Cross-Country event which I have never shot at the Olympics before, but heard it was a great venue from Photo Manager Rich Lam. So after a couple trains and a nice walk through the very quaint town of Greenwich, I landed at the Equestrian venue without a minute to spare before the start.

The beautiful course cuts through the 185 acre Greenwich Park, with sweeping views of the city and surrounding areas. I would compare the London Olympics cross-country equestrian event to covering a golf major – about 70 thousand people walking behind ropes and barriers along fairways of grass carved out of the hillside. But instead of watching guys hitting a little plastic  ball all over the place, horse fans saw cool amazing animals clearing jumps and obstacles. They had everything from moon and planets, to the customary chess set, to different miniature landmarks from London and English folk…

But after walking around for most of the day I found the last picture right before I left for the bus. I literally envisioned where the photo could happen, with the fans shadows interacting with the horse’s, ran to the spot, took the photo, knew I had a good one, and walked off with a smile on my face before anyone else copied it (I think). The funny thing about the Olympics or any multiday multisport event is that when people see a nice picture on the wire or website, they usual go out and try to copy or emulate it. I’ve done it before and many photographers do it at these events. Some intelligent photographers keep their cards close to their chest and don’t play there hand or photo until the last day so no one has a chance to go back and do it. Others try to go out and find something new. I was tempted not to post this picture until the Equestrian event was over in the hope no one would emulate it, but I am now sure someone else will figure it out and get a similar one…

Enjoy the pics and post comments so I know you’re looking!

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 4 Photo of the Day

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 30:  Sandra Auffarth of Germany competes during Equestrian Individual and Team Eventing Final, Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 at the Aquatics Center in Greenwich Park, London, England. (Photo by Donald Miralle) Nikon D4  Lens:70mm  Fstop:5.6  Shutter:1/2500th sec  ISO:200 


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LONG DAY…Hit up white water canoe and kayak which was good, but made me a bit late for Swimming Finals which is always stressful. But worked out in end after my initial B finish line position wasn’t accessible the A position gave me some good jube angles and shots which was fine. Thanks to Costas and Aquatics Center crew for accomodating. Sorry to say that todays blog will be a bit short because it’s 4am and got to get some sleep but for now I’ll let these pictures do the talking…nite!!

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 3 Photo of the Day

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 29:   Vavrinec Hradilek of the Czech Republic competes in the Men’s Kayak Slalom Prelims during Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 29, 2012 at the Lee Valley White Water Center Center in Hertfordshire, England. (Photo by Donald Miralle) Nikon D4  Lens: 500mm   Fstop:5.6   Shutter: 1/2000th sec   ISO 200

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 2 Photo of the Day

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 28:  Sarah Menezes of Brazil celebrates winning the gold medal over Alina Dumitru in the women’s Judo Final during Day 2 of the Womens Judo Finals as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 at the Excel Center in London, England. (Photo by Donald Miralle) Nikon D4  Lens:200-400mm   Fstop:4   Shutter: 1/1000th sec   ISO 1600

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 2 Judo Lightweights Attack

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While riding on the Jubilee line of the underground today late as usual, I was reading the photographers manual (A thick booklet printed by LOCOG that like the Photographers handguide and Olympic bible) and saw that I was passing the Judo venue and there was two gold medal matches about to start. I spontaneously jumped off the train and ran a good 3/4 miles with 75 lbs of camera and computer gear to get to the Excel Arena minutes before the martial artists “kicked off”. Ended up being a good decision because I witnessed a little history as Russia won a gold medal for the first time in Olympic Judo History thanks to Olympian Arsen Galstyan. Galstyan was able to defeat Japanese super medalist Hiroaki Hiraoka in the finals. And then in an unexpected Olympic moment, Galstyan ran directly toward me and I thought he was coming to hug me and sitting right behind me was his family. I was literally caught in the middle of a group hug without any wide angle lens to shoot the great moment, but apparently I got a good 15 seconds of TV time instead. In Women’s 48-kilogram Judo, 22-year-old Brazilian Sarah Menezes defeated the defending Olympic champion Alina Dumitru. It was a heated battle while both contenders worked hard to get a dominate grip, but Menezes was able to throw Dumitru and secure the gold. Here are the pics, hope you enjoy and please chime in with comments too I would love to hear them!!!

Screen shot of me (left smiling) stuck in a gold medalist hug….

First World Record of the Games – Men’s Archery

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The first actual event of the 2012 Olympics set a precedent with 26 year-old South Korean archer Im Dong-Hyun setting a world record with a score of 699 out of a possible 700 during the Men’s Archery Qualifying Rounds. Something you wouldn’t expect from this accurate archer is that he is legally blind! Im Dong-Hyum was 76 yards away from his target and could only really see blurred colors and lines. Yet even though he seemed to be at a disadvantage, he was able to hit the yellow bulls-eye multiple times. Great performance ending with a frenzy of photographers shooting him as there was no other event that morning….

Im Dong Hyun of Korea celebrates breaking the World Record during the Men’s Individual Archery Ranking Round on Olympics Opening Day as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Lord’s Cricket Ground on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Donald Miralle)

Let the Games Begin! – Opening Ceremony

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Let the games begin! The Opening Ceremony started the 2012 London Olympics off with a bang with tens of thousands of athletes and fans in attendance at the Olympic stadium. And what a show it was from the pyrotechnics, to a little dose of English history, to the great montage of British Music (from a tear jerking rendition of Jerusalem that always reminds me of my favorite sports movie Chariots of Fire) to Bowie, the Beatles and Zepp. The London Organizing Committee did a fantastic job and set the tone for what should be a great games. I’m gonna keep this post short as I am still a bit jetlagged and only had 2 hours of sleep last night, woke up at 5am and it is now 6 am as I write this having just returned from an very empty Olympic Park. Enjoy the photos it was a great night I hope my pics captured it. Special thanks to Sean Cullen for lending me a much needed Nikon cable release, to Clive Rose for some peanuts that held me over for a bit, to Jackie Chan for stopping for a second to take some photos, and to Lucy Nicholson for always being helpful and pleasant to be around…Time to get some sleep!!!

Day 1 – Photo of the Day

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 27:  General view of the fireworks during the Opening Ceremonies as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Donald Miralle) Shot With Nikon D800  Lens:16mm   Shutter: 2.5 seconds  Aperture: F20  Triggered  with Pocket Wizard Plus III

Opening Ceremony was so impressive there needed to be two Pictures of the Day….

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 27:  General view of the fireworks as seen on the Tower Bridge during the Opening Ceremonies as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Donald Miralle) Shot With Canon 5D Mark II  Lens: 24-105mm @50  Shutter: 2 seconds  Aperture: F5  Triggered  with Pocket Wizard Plus III

LONDON CALLING – Olympic Preview

BEIJING- AUGUST 8: The Olympic Rings are seen during the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing Summer Olympic Games on August 8, 2008 at the National Stadium in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Donald Miralle)

After a five hour delay in Vancouver, 10 hours in a cramped coach seat, 1 sleeping pill, and a couple beers I landed in London a bit jetlagged and under the weather but happy to be on the otherside of the pond. After collecting my 5 camera cases filled with remotes, underwater gear, long lens, bodies, powerbars, and other essential items, I settled in the luxury flat in Westend of London (reminscent of Austin Power’s apartment) setup by my longtime friend David Leah, CEO of Mexsport.

My longtime firend David Leah and I give it the thumbs-up in the MPC…

After a solid six hours of sleep, I headed over to the MPC via tube and bus for my first experience of London public transport. I have to admit it was a pretty smooth but long hour and 15 minute experience, and it will be very different with tons of gear and early starting times. After getting checking into the Photographer help desk and receiving my camera vest, swinging by USOC and picking up my Opening Ceremonies ticket,  I attended the Photographer Briefing by Head Photo Chief Bob Martin. Bob is a legendary sports photographer who worked for Allsport Photography back in the day (my first employer) and has been a Sports Illustrated staff photographer for years. He and his crew did a fantastic job making this Olympics as “photo friendly” as possible, and my hopes that I will come away from this game with some great iconic images are very high.

Off to attend the Canon and Nikon Parties, and then a get a little more rest, before the fireworks go off tomorrow night!!!

Head Photo Chief Bob Martin speaks to the Olympic Photographers about the do’s and don’t of the London Olympics in the Photo Meeting.