BEST OF LONDON OLYMPICS

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After 18 days of sleep and food deprivation chasing around the world’s greatest athletes at the London Olympic Games, my cameras shot over 20,000 images at my seventh Olympic Games I have covered as a photographer. The hardest part of the assignment other than logistics and transport is the editing of these photos and cutting them down to the best of the best, which is about .5% or less than a hundred photos. Now that the dust has settled and I am back in sunny San Diego with my family, looking back at my experiences and I realize how blessed I am to have documented the spectacle of the Olympics again. There were some great memories and images made over the course of two and a half weeks, and here is a gallery highlighting my adventures in London. Thank you all for reading my posts, looking at the photos, and motivating me with your kind notes during my journey. Special thanks to Beth Johnson and Katherine Harris from NEWSWEEK Daily Beast for having me cover the games for them, David Leah of Mexsport for sorting out my accommodations in the UK, Simon Lodge and the crew at Lodge Scuba for assisting in the underwater camera placement and aquatics, Head Photo Chief Bob Martin and his support staff that made great angles possible, William Pekala and Sarah Moosbrugger of Nikon, Brandon Magnus in my San Diego office making sure the photos and posts were published, all my fellow photographer for their friendship, and most importantly my wife and kids for dealing with my absence and supporting me along the way. As the Olympic motto states Citius, Altius and Fortius “Faster, Higher, Stronger”, the games really brings out the best of what humans are capable of, whether it be in sports, photography, or the human spirit. Thanks for following my journey and hope to  do it again in a couple years body and mind willing!!!

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 7 Phelps Continues to Make History

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Despite his shortcomings in the 400-meter individual medley, Michael Phelps was able to grab gold in the 200-meter individual medley with Ryan Lochte getting silver. Phelps won with a time of 1:54.27 with Lochte right behind him at 1:54.90.  By receiving Gold in the 200 meter individual medley, Phelps is now the first male swimmer to win the same swimming event three Olympics in a row. In the women’s 200-meter breaststroke, Rebecca Soni broke the world record with a time of 2:19:59 and received her 11th gold medal in just the first 6 days. Soni won this same event 4 years ago in Beijing and now is the first woman to defend a breaststroke title in the Olympics.

It was another great day at the swimming pool as the USA dominated once again and luckily my underwater  worked without any problems. I was finally happy with some of my underwater shots, and the only downer of the day was catching a photographer (who will remain unnamed) trying to steal my finish line spot which I had reserved immediately after the morning session with about $40K of camera gear, which he decided he could move over. Luckily nice guy and great snapper Andrew Mills of The Star-Ledger stuck up for me. I don’t know how photographers think they can move other people stuff around, lie to your face, and not think karma will get them in the end. The same kook photographer was talking smack about another photographer in the media room unaware that people could hear him, and then skyped to his family on speaker so everyone could hear say to his wife that “it is harder for me at the Olympics than you at home with all the crying kids.” Are you f’in kldding me? If I said that to my wife the locks would be changed when I got home. Three strikes and you’re out buddy! As a photographer, writer, media member or a human being for the matter, you to be aware of your surroundings and what you say to people. 

Anyways, thought that was worth a mention, and hear are my favorite pics from the day, hope you enjoy and love the feedback!!!

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 7 Photo of the Day

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 2:  Chad le Clos of South Africa swims in the Semi-Finals of the Men’s 100M Butterfly during the Swimming Finals, Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Donald Miralle) Camera: Nikon F4  Lens: 15mm  Aperture: F4  Shutter: 2000th of sec.  Aquatech NY-4 housing with a LP-3 Dome Port. Triggered with Pocket Wizard Plus III’s via cable.

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 5 Phelps Greatest Ever

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30 minutes after Michael Phelps fell to a young South African kid who no one had heard of before, Phelps rebounded after his loss in his baby the 200M Butterfly to become the most decorated Olympic athlete ever by achieving 19 Olympic medals. After receiving gold in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay, Phelps broke the record for an athlete with the most Olympics medals (18) which was held by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina. He now holds 15 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals. 9 of Phelps gold medals were won by individual events and 8 of them were won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which I had the pleasure of witnessing.

The coolest part of the night was when I and Al Bello were in the hallway getting our scuba kits ready when we ran into Phelps, gave him a hug and congratulated him on his unbelievable accomplishment. Of course neither of us had a camera or iphone on us! I remember shooting him 14 years ago at the US Nationals in Seattle when he was an ackward 14 year-old kid who won the US title in the 200M Butterfly. You knew he was going to be a stud, but never dreamt he would be the best ever…Congrats to Michael and his accomplishment, unbelievable!!!

LONDON OLYMPICS – Day 3 Recap

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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 2 Phelps Misses Medal #17, Lochte strikes Gold

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First night of Swimming Finals at the Pool was without drama as Phelps in a position he is not used to got knocked off the podium in the 400m IM and finished in 4th! Ryan Lochte struck gold in the Men’s 400-meter Individual Medley and utterly defeated Michael Phelps, who did not look like himself. Lochte finished with a time of 4:05.18, which is the second fastest only to Phelps’ world and Olympic record 4:03.84 from Beijing. Excellent performance from Ryan Lochte, and I’m sure Phelps will find his 17th soon, maybe on sunday in the Medley Relay…Great to see the Getty crew of Al Bello, Adam Pretty, and Clive Rose and the rest of the familiar faces I see on the pool deck every four years. I love shooting swimming and it feels great to be at the pool again. Here are some of the photos from today, hope you enjoy and as always your feedback and comments are appreciated!!!

Olympic Story on CNN.com

I recently had an interview with CNN on my work and experiences from the Olympic Games, and they published an article and gallery on their website. Good read and preview for the quickly approaching London Olympics, you can got to the front page of cnn.com or click here to read…enjoy!