Two Cover Shots in 00:00:11

Everyone who knows me or has read my blog understands that I truly believe that every shot is a lucky shot.

No matter how great your equipment, how spectacular the venue or how good you think you are; if there is no action there is no shot. But to paraphrase Luis Pasteur: ‘Luck favors the prepared mind.’

Sometimes with a lot of planning and some help you do get lucky, really lucky.

In preparing to shoot the ITU World Triathlon Series Race in San Diego in April, my driver and partner in crime for the weekend, Bruno and I checked out locations, backgrounds, access and the time it would take us to get from one location to another.

During the Men’s race on Saturday we knew we would miss the leaders at our first stop, they were just going too fast to make it there in time, we headed right to our second location. When the men had passed us, we move to our other spot, waited about 1 minute for their arrival, shot for less than 3 minutes and the went back to our other location. Arriving only 2 minutes later, we had already missed Ali Brownlee who was running away from the field.

I spent the next two minutes shooting and headed to the finish. When I arrived at the finish the other photographers were already on the photo stand. I was the only one who had gotten out on the run course to try to get some a few shots, which I  could have never done without the help and skill of my driver/partner Bruno.

As luck would have it, not only did I get some cool shots, I got two cover shots, both in the span of 11 seconds!

220 Triathlon - July 2013 Issue #287 published May 28, 2013
220 Triathlon Magazine – July 2013 – Issue #287 published May 28, 2013 – Olympic Gold Medalist Alistair Brownlee running away from the field.
Triathlon Plus Magazine – July 2013 – Issue #55, published May 28, 2013 – South African Richard Murry running into second place.

Just for good measure, here is one more that was also published on May 28, 2013!

Triathlon Plus Magazine - Kona Supplement - Published May 28, 2-13. Pete Jacobs on the way back from Hawi and on his way to becoming the 2012 Ironman World Champion.
Triathlon Plus Magazine – Kona Supplement – Published May 28, 2-13. Pete Jacobs on the way back from Hawi and on his way to becoming the 2012 Ironman World Champion.

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!

Course Familiarization

Even though the London course has been set for the last couple of years and many of the women have raced here, some even had their qualifying race one this course, there have been many miles in between.

From 6:30 to 7:15 AM, they girls had a chance to get out and ride a couple of easy laps of the complete course.  Some rode alone, some with teammates and many with coaches.

Here are a few snaps from their preview ride.

I would be worried if Sarah Groff were not in her typical playful mood.

Sarah and Laura Bennett settled in for a couple of easy laps.

Gwen Jorgensen rode with USAT High Performance Leader Jono Hall.

Paula Findlay was out early.

Reigning World Champion and local Gold Medal favorite knows the course but takes advantage of the available time.

After their ride the girls had a chance to swim the course.

Just beyond the first turn of the one lap swim, the Olympic Rings glow in the early morning sun.

Jono meets Gwen at the swim exit. Laura and Sarah opted out of the swim this morning.

Not only were the girls practicing on the course but so were the operators of the remote TV camera which runs on cable stretched over kilometer moves over the swim course and transition area.

I couldn’t help but stop and drool over the row of BMW F650 GS motos, which is my ideal to shoot from. Unfortunately, I will not get one for the races.

More soon.

Cheers from London.

It is Very Quiet in Hyde Park

Although the course familiarization is not until Thursday morning, I headed to the race venue to look around. I have shot on this course the last two years, but from the previews I knew that everything at the start finish area would be bigger.

I walked in through the media room, which was also for the Open Water Swimming events, but it is at least four times the size of the room we had for the ITU events the last two years.

Here is the view upon walking out into the grandstand.

Great finish line grandstand seating 3,000.

The blue carpet is still covered, but the finish line is ready to go, with photo stands for 96 photographers!

Part of my reason to be on site today was identify the spots I want to shoot on race day. This one looks good to me. Unfortunately, I subsequently learned this spot is not available, and I had to submit a written request for the swim exit positions on the sides.

The Olympic greets the athletes as they exit the water.

Running into T-1 they will see 3,000 screaming fans!

The bike racks are in place, just waiting for placards and bikes.

Even from across the Serpentine, the magnitude of the stadium area can be seen.


Although the race is centered within Hyde Park, on the seven lap bike course, the racers exit the park, go through Wellington Arch and the around the circle in front of Buckingham Palace, and back through the Arch and into the park.

 

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.

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.