Day 1: Swimming 

Spent the day on (and under the pool deck), an exciting day with a couple broken world records in Men’s 100m breast and Women’s 400im. Here’s a few of my underwater photos, which I was happy with. While shooting for Sports Illustrated at Rio, our images are being directly ingested from our cameras as they are shooting through an ethernet cable into their servers, a great system for ease of transfer for photographers and editors! So many of my photos from the events I don’t see until a day or two later. But I will post them as I back them up, so you can follow along!

Let the Games Begin!

After a bit of a hectic bus ride, with our bus driver getting lost en route to Maracana Stadium, I got in cue with thousands of other media members trying to find our seats for the opening ceremonies. I thought five hours would be enough to lead time to beat the traffic and crowds and get into my position ready to cover, but I was wrong. With inexperienced bus drivers along routes that are blocked by police, no signage and staff to direct foot traffic at venues, and long lines at security, I’m going to get used to allocating a lot more time to get into events.

The best part was once I found my marked seat in the photographer position and finally prepared all my cameras in anticipation for these art of the ceremony, with one minute left before the kickoff all hell broke loose. Several irate Brazilian ticket holders tried to kick the media out of our seats, waving their tickets in our faces saying we stole their seats. As we also had identical tickets it became quite apparent that someone had double ticketed our section which was supposed to be for photographers. After the commotion settled and we missed much of the opening minutes of the ceremony, we all just found empty seats and continued on.

The ceremony itself was entertaining, with a nice mix of Brazilian culture and colorful costumes and fireworks. Gisele Bunchen walked the longest runway if her life in a tight fitting dress, an early airplane flying out of the stadium and virtually continuing through the the famous parts of Rio, and the Olympic Rings exploding upward via fireworks were some of the highlights. After a very long procession of athletes (2.5 hours) some nice performances and speeches were given, especially by the President of the BOC to commence the games. 

Here’s some more of my favorite photos…enjoy!


 Hours away before the start of the Games!!!

With the Olympic flame making its way to Maracana Stadium to light the Olympic cauldron, you can feel the excitement in the media center and around town. I just jumped into one of several packed buses of journalists and photographers making their pilgrimage to document the “official” start of the Rio Olympics. 

Here’s a selection of some of the other fireworks displays from the Opening Ceremonies I’ve had a chance to cover…

Setting up underwater cameras at Rio 2016 Olympic Aquatics

We always have to get the Olympics several days before the start to get acclimated, scope out venues and schedule, and start setting up cameras. The underwater venues take extra time in setting up the underwater remote cameras. Back when I started doing the underwater cameras 16 years ago, there was only a couple of us in the water, now the coverage under the surface since the Beijing games has really expanded with up to 10 cameras down there at a time, including large and expensive robotic rigs, that can shoot at any 180 degree angle with zoom, focus, liveview and preset shot functions as well.

Shooting for Sports Illustrated at these Olympics, the plan has been to have my static Aquatech camera in the swimming venue and the robust robotics rig in the diving/water polo/synchronized swimming venue. Here’s a couple behind the scenes photos and videos of our underwater setup, which wouldn’t be possible without the help of the consummate professionals like dive master Simon Lodge that the BOC and FINA place on the pool deck to facilitate the installation.

Be sure to check out my instagram feed @donaldmiralle as well as Sports Illustrated’s and the rest of the team of great photographers we have here covering Rio!

Gallery: “World Champion Sebastien Kienle” – LAVA Magazine Cover

Triathlete Sebastian Kienle

If the phrase “World Champion” precedes your name you’re pretty much a bad-ass. Sebastien Kienle is no exception. The 2012 70.3 World Champion hailing from Germany was in the lead at his first Kona Ironman World Championships last year, en route to crush the bike course record, when not only did he manage to get one flat tire, but two. And he still finished fourth at the end of the day.

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I caught up with Kienle in St. George Utah before his 70.3 race there, to shoot him for the July cover of Lava Magazine. After hanging out with him for a couple days I realized the guy’s a machine, down to earth, and he will be in the lead again in Kona. I used my Nikon D800 paired with the Pocket Wizard Flex TT with the new beta firmware, to consistently freeze action shooting over 1000th of a second synched with profoto 7b strobes! Here are some of my favorite pics from our shoot, hope you enjoy!

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Washington Nationals Spring Training Shoot 2013

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National League Rookie of the Year, Bryce Harper standing strong with the curly W.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to fly out to Florida for a week to shoot my fourth campaign for the Washington Nationals  before their spring training began. The Nats have a great young squad, including National League Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper, and they picked up some key position players in the off season. In 2012 the Washington Nats won 98 games which is more then most expected and is a great sign of possibly an even better 2013 season. And with this being Davey Johnson’s final year as a baseball manager for the Nats, I’m sure everyone on the team is going to push themselves that much harder.

For the first couple of days we set up our lighting equipment on the open practice field like years past on the pitchers mound and on homplate, then ran through a series of shots with most of the athletes. The lighting setup consisted of two beauty dishes with diffusers over them to soften the light a bit and a light with narrow grid spot to focus the light on the face. A large scrim jim reflector was also used to cut the face shadow and add a little more detail. All of this was used with Profoto lights and 7b Profoto battery packs, synched with pocket wizard FlexTT on hypersynch to freeze the action.

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Behind the scenes with Jordan Zimmerman…

From this setup we would move to another location nearby to shoot players gritty portraits of players in dugout as well as looking out on the field. The lighting on the majority of these shots was much more simple using a reflector and maybe one strobe with softbox. Being able to move and shoot as quickly as possible was important when moving with these athletes from location to location, because you don’t want to loose their interest or waste their time!

But having the ability to improvise is very important as a photographer. Once we realized it was going to rain on our final 3 days of the shoot we had to move our main setup to the concourse of Space Coast Stadium so we could keep everything dry. Luckily for us there was an open area for a clear shot of the sky in the background, where we could position the players ontop of large steel benches to create the illusion that we were shooting on the field with a blue sky day (when actually it was really cold and wet outside). The rain ended up being  a blessing in disguise because these shots ended up being my favorites with a very heroic feel larger-than-life players dramatically lit against a beautiful sky.

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The days were long and started before sunrise and ended near sunset, but it was such a great experience getting to work with these players once again. Having the players be on first name basis and be comfortable with you, is a huge asset which really translates into the photos. This was my 4th campaign with the Nats and it has been a pleasure to see them grow, see their huge upside and the potential they have towards making it to the World Series. Big thanks to Chad Kurz, John Guagliano, Jacqueline Coleman, Dave Lundin, Meghan Garner, Lara Potter and Andrew Feffer of the Washington Nationals, my man John Trotter from 40/40, my assistants Octavian Cantilli and Brandon Magnus, and Stash & Dan and the video crew at East Pleasant. And of course the Washington Nationals Players!

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Dick’s Sporting Goods Running Shoot

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Panoramic view of runners on the boardwalk in the Palmetto Marsh.

Once again I had the great opportunity to do a campaign with Dick’s Sporting Goods for their upcoming 2013 Running Catalogue and commercial imagery. The assignment was in Charleston, South Carolina for about 4 days where we had the chance to shoot in some very beautiful spots which included the streets of old plantation houses, Palmetto Marsh, and the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. Shooting running was similar to shooting golf, looking for the right light is key for making the picture successful.

NRM_shotT_run13-0124loresABeautiful evening for a run at Shem Creek in Charleston, SC.

The weather was all over the place, one moment it would be sunny with some scattered clouds, the next it would be dumping buckets of rain. Luckily we decided to take some pictures in the late afternoon after the 1st day of scouting and ended up with some beautiful running shots with the sun setting in the background over the marsh and some shrimping boats. On the 2nd day we had pumped out most of the shots that we needed at the marsh trails in the morning and the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge before the rain started coming down hard around noon. At one point we sat in the trailer with the crew and all the models trying to wait for the rain to pass.

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The crew waits out the rain in our production trailer. Thankfully we had good company and good food!

The highlights of the shoot for me were watching the sun come up over the Palmetto Marsh (and squeezing in our shots before the rain came!) and closing down the streets of downtown Charleston for our marathon shot. Here’s a funny video my assistant Brandon Magnus took of me directing traffic:

We also had one free shoot day when we decided to shoot youth soccer to fill in some content for the Dicks library. It’s always a nice change of pace when you go from shooting refined professional athletes-slash-models to young kids who just want to play sport. We couldn’t hope to direct or even contain the little monsters, so for the most part we set up game situations and had them run through it while I shot, which worked perfectly.

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General view of marathon with street closure in the streets of downtown Charleston.

This was another fantastic experience and pleasure to work with Dick’s Sporting Goods team, and I look forward to our next shoot together! Big thanks to Scott Lenz, Peter Ahi, Kim McEniry, Barry Berenson, Pat Hugg, Zach Schefer, Brandon Magnus and most of all to local photographer John Smoak who made this great shoot come together and did everything from scouting, to permits, to holding a reflector…

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My First Image in National Geographic Magazine

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Since I was a child and my parents had a subscription to National Geographic Magazine, escaping to remote locations, excavating ruins and experiencing exotic animals was always just a page flip away. For me NGM has always been the gold standard for not only nature and conservation but also great photography. David Dubilet’s surreal underwater scenes, Steve McCurry’s Afghan girl, Chris Johns Camel’s crossing the Sahara, Paul Nicklin’s Emperor Penguins, and the list of amazing photography in the magazines 125 year history goes on and on. I am honored to have one of my favorite images, the underwater view of the mass swim start from the 2011 Kona Ironman World Champs that won World Press Photo in 2012, published as a double page spread in the March edition of National Geographic Magazine’s Visions of Earth section. It’s always been a dream of mine to be published in the magazine and can’t thank NGM enough for deeming my photograph worthy to be in the same pages as the greats. Pick up your copy of National Geographic today or go to their website here and order your own custom print of my image!

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Behind the Scenes in Chopper for Outside Magazine Spread

Here’s a little clip my assistant Brandon Magnus put together of some POV behind the scenes shot from the helicopter during the 2012 Ironman World Championship. Nothing too fancy but you get a good idea of the height and the perspective from the chopper, and I was just happy that it wasn’t too windy with the door off while I was hanging outside with my camera! Shot with GoPro HD2 mounted on helmet and pole with safety strap, special thanks to Rick Loughery from GoPro! Hope you enjoy, and more videos to come!

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Golf Digest Shoot with Ricky Fowler

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We just did a photo shoot for Golf Digest with Ricky Fowler at Bear Creek Golf Course. It was an instructional for GD, so we went through a myriad of different swing sequences of do’s and don’ts, and ended with a couple portraits. Video was also shot during the session. Ricky was super easy to work with, and it was great to see the Golf Digest crew again. Special thanks to Golf Digest Director of Photography Christian Iooss, Staff Writer Max Adler, lighting assistant Shawn Cullen, and my Rep Jim Lee. The magazine issue isn’t out yet so I can’t put up any of the pictures but they turned out great! Here is a couple of behind the scenes shots for you guys:

Shoot with Ricky FowlerShooting Ricky Fowler from below

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