LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 13 Recap, BMX

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today London held the men’s and women’s BMX qualifying rounds at the awesome BMX venue in Olympic Park.  I missed BMX’s inaugural Olympic run in Beijing four years ago, so I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present than to cover the event today. In order to determine the seeding, each rider has to complete one lap around the Olympic Park BMX Track, filled with turns, burms, and jumps that remind me of playing old school Atari Motorcross games. This is really the closest that the Olympics gets to the X-Games and the IOC should probably start infusing more younger generations sports like this and replacing ones like badminton and table tennis. If golf is going to be added to the Olympics soon which I think is very smart by the IOC, shouldn’t surfing be added as well over ping-pong? I’ve never heard of “Table Tennis Digest” or “Ping-Ponger”, but there are a multitude of surfing magazines, websites, sponsors, and breaks at any country that would host the Olympics including England or say BRAZIL! Seems like a no brainer that surfing should be in the Olympics, how rad would it be to see Kelly Slater crying on the Olympic podium? Anyways, the BMX course was fun to shoot, challenging to find something really nice, although it was a luxury to be able to place the remote cameras on different jumps on the course…

After grabbing a later lunch (or was it a early dinner?) I headed over to hockey and got there to realize I missed the game. Was bummed I couldn’t shoot girls in short skirts smacking a hard ball around a wet synthetic grass field,  but it wasn’t a biggie as I just took the bus over to the Olympic stadium and to try to shoot athletics in some nice light. But when I got there I forgot that the sun doesn’t get over the Olympic Stadiums walls for the finals and it’s all in shadows. No worries, it was my 38th birthday today and I decided I was not going to stress out.

But that lasted about an hour because during the women’s 1500M semifinals, a fan decided to hit me in the back of the head and shoulder to inform me that I was blocking him while doing his job. I really had to restrain myself and told him as calmly as I could that his seat was behind photographers and media seating which means he may get blocked by our cameras every now and then and if he hit me again I would get the police to escort him out. The guys’ checks were about the same red as in the Union Jacks, his eye’s had more baggage than an airplane, and I felt sorry that he was such an angry dude, and probably the only mean person I had run into since I was in London.

I quickly forgot the mean dude as soon as Jamaican Usain Bolt jumped back on the track, and had no problem today making it into the men’s 200 meter final after charging hard in the first 100 meters and letting up towards the end. But the highlight of the night for me was watching Cali native Allison Felix finally win the Women’s 200M Final, after she repeated as silver medalist in that event in the last games. It’s always great to see good things happen to good people, and she’s deserved that gold for sometime and will now forever be an Olympic Champion.

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day Thirteen Photo of the Day

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 8:  A competitor on track during the BMX Seeding Phase Runs, Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 8, 2012 at BMX Track Olympic Park in London, England. (Photo by Donald Miralle) Nikon D4  Lens: 16mm  Aperture F4.5  Shutter: 1/2500 sec ISO: 100

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 12 Recap, Two for Tri

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today was a big day for British Triathlon with the Brownlee Bros going gold and bronze in the Men’s Triathlon Final in Hyde Park. I had the pleasure of shooting Alistair and Jonathan back in January in their hometown for LAVA Magazine, and I knew back then, even after Alistair injured his achilles tendon a month later, that they would be on the podium today. The two of them along with  Javier Gomez of Spain  have completely dominated the ITU scene the last two years, and as soon as they got off their bike today, the three of them ran away with the race.

Special thanks to Lila Sotiriou and Delly Carr for securing me positions on the finish line and medal podium! here are my picks, only a couple days left of shooting! Can’t believe the finish is in site!!!

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 12 Photo of the Day

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 7:  Richard Varga of Slovakia collapses at the finish line during the Men’s Triathlon Final, Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 7, 2012 at Hyde Park in London, England. (Photo by Donald Miralle) Nikon D4  Lens: 70-200mm Aperture: F8  Shutter: 1/1600th sec  ISO: 250

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 11 Recap, Speed and Grace

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today was a fun day, starting off at the athletics prelims in the morning trying to work on a couple good general views of the Olympics stadium and chauldron, and then moving onto the raucous and exciting Cycling Velodrome. It was a challenge getting the angles of the Olympic flame as a giant telescoping boom parked in the front of it kept swinging by as the athletes ran on track. I finally came a with one that kind of worked and took the bus to the Velodrome with was adjacent to the basketball and bmx stadiums, which gave me a good chance to speak to those venue photo marshall in regards to remote cameras I was hoping to set up n the next couple days.

After getting settled at the velodrome, I checked out the photo positions and chose the two that I thought would give me the best change of the photo I wanted to work on. I started with a pan with a super wide 16mm at about 1/4 of a second which is very slow for a handheld camera, but a cool effect if you can get one frame that works. after I finally got one that was sharp and properly composed with the right colors, I moved on to a more head on position for the finals and gold medal races. GB came through again with another gold and the house rocked!!!

Here are some of my photos, hope you enjoy, only a couple days left and I am going home!!!

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 11 Photo of the Day

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 6:  Annette Edmonson of Australia bikes during the Women’s Omnium during the Cycling Velodrome Competition, Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Donald Miralle) Nikon D4 Lens: 16mm  Aperture : F18 Shutter: 1/4th sec ISO: 100

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 10 Recap, Bolt Strikes Again

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s amazing how many people get excited, amped, and stressed over a race that last under 10 seconds. If you accidentally change the channel, or go to the bathroom, you could miss the entire thing. From a photographic standpoint, it really is quite boring. You got action shots, maybe a pan shot form the side, head on from moat when they cross, around the bend for jubo, and about 200 remote cameras at the finish line and in tribune (half of which are Bill Frakes from SI). Their are photographers that get there four hours before, stress over setting up multiple remotes and marking off their spots, and there are some that turn up right before the race and try to shoot with one camera in any spot they can find. There are snappers who are highstrung and nightmares to be around, and others who are as cool as the otherside of the pillow and a pleasure to be around. No matter what type of photog you are,  we all have the same problem,  that is the 100M and the entire Olympics for that matter, has become a TV show. The minute the athletes cross the line they have 3-5 handheld OBS Cameras descend on the athletes with wide angle lenses about an inch from their faces, completely blocking all other cameras from an angle. Even if you don’t have a spot reserved in the field moat for a head on shot and you go upstairs, one of the many gigantic telescoping booms on the field will swing out and get in your shot.  Photographers are an afterthought on this TV stage, and even though Head Photo Marshall Bob Martin has done an absolutely fantastic job securing the best positions for us, with the cleanest backdrops or landmarks, TV is king and they pay the big money to have the throne at the Olympics.

Here are some of my pics from the “set” of the 100M Final, as well as the much more enjoyable Women’s Marathon in the morning. It’s all downhill at the Olympics after tonight!!!

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 10 Photo of the Day

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 5:  during the Women’s Marathon Final, Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Donald Miralle) Cannon EOS 5D Mark II Lens: 14mm Aperture : F22 Shutter: 1/5th sec ISO: 50

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 9 Photo of the Day

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 4:  Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan of the USA win the Men’s Doubles Tennis Final over Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Michael Llondra of France, Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 at Wimbledon Tennis Club in London, England. (Photo by Donald Miralle) Camera: Nikon D4  Lens: 70-200mm  Aperture : F4.5  Shutter: 1/1250th sec  ISO: 500

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 9, One More Thing off Bucket List

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have always wanted to go to Wimbledon and have shot many a tennis tournament but never was considered a tennis photographer, so going to the Lawn and Tennis Club was always out of reach. But having he London Olympics held at some of the most iconic sports venues in Europe, today I was able to check Wimbledon off the bucket list.

Serena Williams of the US crushed Maria Sharapova of Russia in the Women’s Gold Medal Final, and the Men’s doubles finals were won by  Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan of the USA win the Men’s Doubles Tennis Final over Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Michael Llondra of France. I didn’t shoot that much, just picked and chose my spots, and more just soaked in the atmosphere and stadium that I have always seen on TV and may never see in  person again.

My day started off very earlier with the Women’s triathlon in Hyde Park, which was a challenge to cover, as the distance between the start finish line and the Wellington Arch was a good 2 miles I had to sprint in full gear through massive crowds of people. It was the closest tri finish I’ve watched, and they actually had to go to the photo strip camera to figure out who actually won.

Here are my pics, hope you enjoy…