Nikon D3, 165mm, 400iso, f5.6, 1/1250th

After a very late evening the prior night it was a tough 7am wakeup call to head over to the BMX finals. Bike racing was certainly a sport right up my alley so I was more than happy to head out there.

Nikon D3, 200mm, 400iso, f5.6, 1/3200th

The one problem with the racing was I had not made it out of there for any of the practice days so I had no clue what to expect for the semi finals and finals. Talked a bit with photographer Sol Neelman, who had been out there a previous day, and he suggested turn one as the spot where I would get what I came for.

Nikon D3, 200mm, 400iso, f5.6, 1/2500th

Nikon D3, 32mm, 200iso, f6.3, 1/5000th

Nikon D3, 80mm, 400iso, f5.6, 1/800th

What did I come for you ask?


About 75% of the semi final heats resulted in a turn 1 crash which delighted me along with all the other sadistic shooters around me who giggled like little school girls when it happened.

Nikon D3, 155mm, 400iso, f5.6, 1/2000th

The best crash occurred when 2 guys crashed in turn one and as the one guy stumbled down the track another rider who had crashed earlier was trying to catch up ran directly into the guy stumbling down the banking.

Nikon D3, 130mm, 400iso, f5.6, 1/1600th

For your viewing pleasure I made a sequence showing exactly what occurred.

After that I had my crash appetite fulfilled so for the final rounds I moved to a different spot to try and get decent shots of the racers in the money round.

Nikon D3, 100mm, 400iso, f5.6, 1/3200th

It was a decent spot to shoot since you could get a nice head on angle of the riders coming over jumps right at you followed by a wider shot looking down on one of the turns. For some reason though all I was thinking about was the part in the movie E.T. where Elliott is doing jumps on his BMX bike as he tried outrunning the government with the little alien riding in a basket on the front. Sadly E.T. wasn’t at BMX racing this day.  

Nikon D3, 24mm, 200iso, f7.1, 1/4000th

It ended up being a good thing I didn’t wait in turn one for crashes in the final because not much happened there.

Nikon D3, 400mm, 400iso, f2.8, 1/3200th

In an upset USA didn’t win the gold medal in the mens final but instead finished second and third.

Nikon D3, 400mm, 400iso, f2.8, 1/3200th

Hopped on the bus immediately after the finals for the hour long bus ride back to the main press center. I was able to finish my full edit on the bus ride back which was good and gave me plenty of time to relax before my next shoot.

While hanging out at the media center my editor asked me to go cover a press conference upstairs with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) where they were talking about their performance in these games as well as taking questions from the media.

Nikon D3, 24mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/1250th

Anyone (probably everyone) who has shot a press conference knowa how incredibly boring they usually are and the lack of cool things you can shoot at them. This one was no different from the hundreds of others Ive covered during my career. Bleh!

Nikon D3, 36mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/800th

After finishing up there I headed over to one of the venues to shoot horse jumping for a few minutes before heading to my final shoot of the night, water polo.

Nikon D3, 400mm, 400iso, f3.5, 1/1000th

Horse jumping was a lot cooler than I originally expected it to be. The shooting positions weren’t too great but it was a stress free relaxing time outside on a pretty nice day.

Nikon D3, 400mm, 400iso, f2.8, 1/1250th

After shooting awhile I started to realize my shot I planned on getting (horse bucking rider off) doesn’t happen too often. Since everything I had been shooting was nearly the same I tried some slow shutter speed shots to pass the time. I probably should have gone to a slower shutter speed but I was on the right track.

Nikon D3, 400mm, 100iso, f8, 1/25th

Instead of waiting for the shuttle that wasn’t to arrive for about 30 minutes I took a 20 minute walk over to the next venue. When I got to water polo I had about an hour to kill so I spent it laying back and watching some tv shows on my Ipod.

Finally it was time for my water polo match. I shot a few decent pictures prior to the start of Serbian players getting ready for their match.

Nikon D3, 400mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/1250th

The lights of the scoreboard reflecting off the water gave a cool redish glow to the water looking like the scene of a shark attack with blood everywhere (or so I imagine).

Nikon D3, 400mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/1250th

It was your standard water polo match with some decent images but yet again nothing I hadn’t already shot a thousand times this month.

Nikon D3, 200mm, 400iso, f5.6, 1/3200th

Nikon D3, 200mm, 400iso, f5.6, 1/3200th

Nikon D3, 200mm, 400iso, f5.6, 1/3200th

Nikon D3, 200mm, 400iso, f5.6, 1/3200th

Two days to go!!!

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Posted in China, Olympics, Sports   | 3 Comments

3 responses to “Flying Bikes, Flying Horses and more water polo”

  1. Joey Wilson says:

    Great “light pocket” on the first jumping horse shot!!


  2. Kelsey from the plane says:

    Hey! Remember me? I sat next to you on the flight to Arizona. I love you’re pictures, they’re so crisp and clear, and the color quality is fantastic. Sorry you didn’t get the shot you wanted with a rider coming off a horse, but the other ones turned out pretty well!

  3. Dave Lane says:

    Dear Mark

    Could you please email as regaurd’s to using your imaghes in a UK BMX racing magazine..

    Top work as always..
    Hope to hear from you soon

    sorry to post here but could not find an email link..

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