Paul’s Sports Photo Rule #2

In the past I have mentioned that I have rules, I don’t have very many but there are a few that are really important. Perhaps the best known rule is that You have to shoot the cute girls! I mean, who wants to look at old guys like me?

A more complete explanation is that if you shoot the best looking athletes, with the best form, your photos will be most appealing.

Finding a group to shoot is easy in Triathlon and especially around the time of the Women’s Athlete Briefing. Greg Welch of Ironman fame and with Oakley was on hand to distribute Sunnies with frames in team colors for the girls that sponsored by Oakley.

Hanging out with Welchy is like a magnet for attracting the athletes. I just had to stand there and shoot. Here are a few relaxed and very happy snaps from the day.

The man of the day – Greg Welch, Ironman World Champion!

Team Australia Erin Densham, Emma Moffatt and Emma Jackson.

Canada’s Paula Findlay.

Sarah Groff with the huge Triathlon Grandstand in the background.

Oakley’s in team colors with the commemorative London cases.

Canada’s Kathy Tremblay.

And of course, my friend Sweden’s Lisa Norden.

More soon – off to the Olympic Park again today!

Cheers from London!

Damp and Dull Day in Guildford

As only the British weather forecasters could say, It will be a Damp and Dull in Guildford today. While the weather was a bit gloomy, the day was anything but dull.

Thanks to great facility at the Surrey Sports Park, Hunter headed to the pool for an early morning swim.

While local master’s swimmers have the left 4 lanes, we have right half of the pool. This morning it was all for Hunter.

After his swim and a good breakfast, Hunter settled in to watch the swim heats live from the Olympic Aquatic Center. While he was watching, he thought he might as well put in a couple of hours on the CompuTrainer.

When Hunter finished his spin, the CompuTrainer moved to Gwen’s room. Under the watchful eye of Gwen’s Coach Cindi Bannink, they are both watching the rowing heats!

Just an easy ride, with a few pick ups. What is that cadence?

Right from her bike Gwen and Cindi headed out to the Rugby fields for a few long laps. Cindi was kind enough to give me a few minutes warning as to when they were wrapping up, so I can get a head start getting to the field.

The Surrey Sports Park is the home of the Pro Rugby Team, the Harlequins. Gwen and Cindi caught their attention on the run.

As always, Gwen displayed her excellent form.

Manny Huerta and training partner, Leonardo Chacon, Costa Rican Olympian were wrapping up their ride.

After lunch and a siesta Manny did a light run for a NBC / Telemundo Interview.
Here their cameraman left his HD camera and used his skateboard and GoPro for some actions shots.

Manny took a few minutes to check email before his interview.

Finally an in depth interview (in Spanish of course) with Francisco Cuevas from NBC / Telemundo.

Post interview, I headed back to London with John Martin.

Today, I am heading back to Olympic Park and Central London.

Cheers!

Training Camp – Surrey Sports Park

Away from the hustle of downtown London and the excitement of the Olympic Village the USA Triathlon Team has their pre-race residence camp in Guildford, at the Surrey Sports Park, part of the University of Surrey.  In addition to their 50 meter pool, there is a testing lab, soccer I mean football fields and an assortment of squash courts, rock climbing and other facilities.

The flags in the window represent the nations of the athletes training here. No one is actually representing the Nation of Starbucks, but it is great to have it here.

This gives the USA Triathletes an opportunity to work with their individual coaches and get some rest in a very relaxed atmosphere. In addition to having great meals, the team masseuse and chiropractor are also here to provide some TLC.

This morning started with a 7:00 swim where we were joined by an ABC News crew.

Having raced in Hamburg, Matt Chrabot came into Guildford as the Men’s Team alternate.
Both Gwen and Manny started their day in wetsuits, just in case their is cold water on race day.

Gwen was filmed for an upcoming ABC News feature.

Jeffery Kofman from ABC News interviewed Gwen.

Hunter passed on the early morning swim, headed for the Surrey Performance Lab for his workout.

The results of Hunter’s effort is seen by the sweat dripping from his top tube.

You have to look closely, if you want to see Hunter’s feet.

Manny and his training partner, Costa Rican Olympian Leonardo Chacon, did a mid afternoon trail run.

Upon returning from their run, an Olympic Broadcast Services crew had arrived for a planned interview.

Although the Team will be here a few more days, I will head back to London after tomorrow’s morning workout.   We are working on getting access to a few things that you will likely never see on TV – Hopefully we will have some exciting images do share!

Cheers from Guildford.

London Calling

Over the last two years I have been in London for the ITU pre-Olympic events and have loved it, so I was eager to get back into the more central area, particularly to see the Tower Bridge with the Olympic Rings suspended.

It was really a quick trip into London from the Olympic Park, just a couple of changes on the DLR and I was at the Tower Hill Gateway station.

I was walking around and saw a couple with an Ironman Logo on their backpack.

Although Nick had recently done Ironman Switzerland, he did not fare as well as Rebecca who qualified for Kona at Ironman UK.

As it turns out Rebecca is Rebecca Romero two-time Olympic Medalist. Rebecca was a Silver Medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics in Rowing and a Gold Medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in Pursuit Track Cycling. All in all, not a bad background for an Age Group Triathlete!

With the farewell of  See you in Kona, I headed to find a Starbucks.  Near the end of the day, I ran into Rebecca and Nick one more time and chatted a bit more. Rebecca asked if I had ever seen a Gold Medal, and although I had, I would love to see her’s if she had it with her. As it turns out, Rebecca had made several media stops during the day and did have her medals with her.

Where do you keep your Olympic Gold Medal? Well in your Team GB sock that you wore when you won, of course!

The evening light on the Tower Bridge is truly spectacular, first with a French tall ship in the foreground, certainly gives an idea of a much earlier time.

At a bit later (after an amazing dinner, sitting along the Thames) closer to sunset, I tried a few shots using HDR. I hope you like it.

Although I don’t often use HDR, it is great fun when the right situation presents itself.

Here is another new building, still under construction that to me begged for a moderate HDR effect.

This afternoon I will be heading out to Guildford to re-connect with the team at their training camp away from the distraction of the Olympic Village and pressure of the media.

More soon!

Cheers!

My Day Off – I think I Will Take a Few Photos

Friday night was late for everyone for those who attended the Opening Ceremonies it was even later. While I spend my evening watching the telly (am I sounding British yet?) with the staff at the University of East London, many photographers ended up working at the Main Press Center until 3:00 AM and then slept of the floor of the workroom for a few hours until it was time to go again.

The Team also had a late night, slept in and then traveled to Guilford, which will be their training base for the next few days, away from the distractions of the Olympic Park and the pressure of the media.

While they were traveling, I had the day off! What better time to go tour the Olympic Park and head in to London.

The London Olympics set up a great system to get the media around to the venues, but mostly to the back entrances. Since I am only credentialed for common areas and the Triathlon, I am unable to go through the stadium to get to the park. I was able to find my way through via the entrance to the Aquatic center.

Although I arrived early, I was still somehow surprised by the size of the crowds. Many moving from one ticketed venue to another; but many just out enjoying the beautiful day and the fabulous venues.

Here is the view of the Park from the Aquatic Center.

There are waterways, running throughout the park, here between the Stadium and the Aquatic Center.

Substantial park and flower gardens.

Inspire a Generation is the theme of the London Olympics and is prevalent throughout the park, here at the Velodrome.

The Olympic Basketball Arena can only be captured with a fish-eye lens.

An ocean away, I met a family from the Minneapolis area here to enjoy the games and support Team USA.

This Austrian couple came to support their athletes!

Unless you are sitting at home in front of your telly, you cannot possibly see all that you would like to see. British Airways helps solve the problem by having an outdoor viewing area that can be seen from both sides of the River Walk area.

Corporate Sponsors have major presence at teams from Coca Cola are out entertaining the crowds, doing dance and rap routines – all with a recycling theme!

Coca Cola also has sculptured building that combines design and music.

Before heading into London, I stopped at the MPC for a while to watch the end of the Men’s Road Race, and then on to the DLR.

Media Day for USA Triathlon

Although I am still not really sure what day it is, other than Olympic Opening day, I know that it was USAT Media Day.
After checking into the Main Press Center and receiving the final packet of materials and my photo vest, I met Hunter Kemper on the Olympic Village set of NBC’s Today Show. Hunter laughed when they sent him to Hair & Make Up.

He was relaxed and everyone on the set had a great time, while he was demonstrating to Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie how they should cheer for him at the Olympic Triathlon on August 7th.

A quick unguided tour of the International Broadcast Center proved that even the broadcast guys like to have there photo taken.

Next I headed up to the Canon Professional Services area to have my fish-eye lens checked.

“Well it seems to work up close, but the distance seems to be a tad off – we will fix it overnight and have it for you in the morning”

Now it is time for the Press Conference with Gwen Jorgensen and Manny Huerta, both were delightful and individually fielded questions and told stories for 45 minutes.

I made a new friend on the way back to my lodging!

Tonight I have a fabulous view of the Opening Ceremonies (on TV) watching with the UEL staff.
Tomorrow I will be exploring a bit of London and checking all of the places that I can find Olympic Rings.  Sunday, I head out to the Guildford Training camp to rejoin the team.

Follow me on Twitter @CompImagePhoto for photo updates.

Cheers!

On the Ground in London

The adventure has finally begun!  Easy overnight flight to London and I was even to get a few hours of sleep.

As we arrived in London and heading toward Customer, there was a table of Olympic Staff there to validate our credentials and answer any questions, as well as directing us to a Games Only lane at Passport Control.  Wow rank does have its privileges!

My new favorite passport stamp:

From there I headed to the Heathrow Express, again courtesy of the Games. Easy Peasey, in fact it was a little too easy. Now the work begins as I go from Paddington Station to the Tower Hill Station, to the Tower Gateway, to DLR (Docklands Light Rail), change at Canning Town and finally to Cyprus, across the street from the University of East London (UEL) USOC housing.

As you have seen from my prior posts, I do not travel light. Upon arriving at UEL to my 3rd floor walk-up dorm room, I sat town and thought that the most physically demanding part of my Olympics is probably over!

A quick shower and then over the meet members of the US Triathlon Team while the when through their initial processing. Jonathan Hall, Hunter Kemper, Gwen Jorgensen, Manny Huerta and Andy Schmitz are ready to begin.

Hunter selecting his 4th Olympic ring.

Manny sitting on just some of his Olympic apparel that he needs to try on, here wearing his Podium uniform.