Nikon D3, 135mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/1250th

Had the morning off from shooting so I caught up on some sleep and spent time chatting with friends back in the states on instant messenger before heading off to shoot the womens water polo gold medal game between the USA and Netherlands.

I have been doing way too much water polo as of late and have grown tired of shooting it but you don’t always get what you want in life so oh well.

I got to the match towards the tail end of the bronze medal match and got a few nice jube and dejection images.

Nikon D3, 600mm, 3200iso, f4, 1/1250th

Nikon D3, 600mm, 3200iso, f4, 1/1250th

Then it was time to shoot the match I was there for. Unlike most other matches I really didn’t get anything I liked much.

Nikon D3, 165mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/1600th

At halftime they had these women drummers come out who were called the water drummers. I didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised with the images you could shoot of their performance.

Nikon D3, 100mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/1250th

It was a close game that went back and forth but with 26 seconds remaining in the game the Netherlands scored a goal to win the match. Now obviously as a photographer you want to shoot the good celebration by the winning team, but since the time I am hired to shoot lost I also have to cover them as well. So it was a game of switching back and forth to try and capture all the raw emotions of the gold medal match.

Netherlands coaches

Nikon D3, 600mm, 3200iso, f4, 1/1250th

USA coach

Nikon D3, 600mm, 3200iso, f4, 1/1000th

Netherlands players

Nikon D3, 24mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/400th

USA players

Nikon D3, 600mm, 3200iso, f4, 1/1000th

While surrounded by photographers shooting close ups of the Netherlands celebrating a couple of photographers got into a shoving match as they screamed and cussed at each other with the photo chief having to separate them. Most photographers just watched as the skirmish ensued. Screw that, if there’s a fight I’m gonna shoot that! (note the look on the face of Dan Powers in the red shirt on the left as he gets an up close view of the photographers fighting)

Nikon D3, 24mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/400th

Things calmed down eventually and we shot the medal ceremony with a very happy Netherlands team.

Nikon D3, 135mm, 2000iso, f2.8, 1/800th

I saw a nice reflection of the girls in the pool so I shot that. It wasn’t as cool as I had envisioned prior to shooting it.

Nikon D3, 200mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/1250th

Finished up there and hustled outside to find a cab (didn’t have time to wait for the media shuttle) and off I went to shoot the womens soccer gold medal game across town. The cabbie dropped me off in front of the stadium and I went through security on my way into the stadium. Well I noticed after all my stuff went through the x-ray that the security guards were calling over other guards. Great, I thought! Then they are looking at my photo pass and flipping it back and forth multiple times as if something is going to change on it. Then they ask me why my cameras don’t have the camera sticker (only video cameras require that). Then they tell me to give them my monopod because as they said “your stick is too big, it can’t go in.” If I got a dollar every time I heard that one! I started getting very angry due to being tired from my previous shoot as well as being late to this game. I demanded their supervisor and they just looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language or something……oh wait I was. Finally I told them never mind and grabbed my gear and exited the checkpoint out of the stadium. I walked about a half mile around the stadiums perimeter with all my stuff and found the media entrance (where I should have gone to begin with) Got in with no problem and headed to the field to shoot the game.

The sidelines were very crowded but I eventually found a seat and went to work.

Nikon D3, 600mm, 2500iso, f4, 1/1250th

The game had some pretty good action so I was no longer angry and started having some fun.

Nikon D3, 135mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/1250th

Nikon D3, 200mm, 1600iso, f2.8, 1/1250th

The game ended regulation with a score of 0-0. We went into overtime where USA scored a goal and held on to win the match in a pretty big upset over Brazil, a country where soccer is life for most people.

As expected the USA jube was pretty good.

Nikon D3, 600mm, 2500iso, f4, 1/1250th

While shooting the celebration on the field I saw a few players hop the wall and head to the stands so I ran over there to shoot some close ups. One of the players was handed an American flag by a fan and she threw it up and ran back towards the field. I ran alongside blindly aiming the camera in front of her and firing off some shots. I would have had a few very nice pictures except I had one problem. EVERY damn photo was way out of focus because I didn’t put the camera back on auto focus from a previous shot earlier!

You win some you lose some I guess.

Back on the field again so I shot with my long glass and got a few more images.

Brazil players were heartbroken by the loss that shouldn’t have happened. One of my favorite photos of the day was of Brazilian player Marta (voted many times as the best female player in the world) on the victory podium with her silver medal. You can totally see the pain and disappointment written all over her face.

Photography Directory by PhotoLinks

Posted in China, Olympics   | 5 Comments

5 responses to “Happy Girls, Sad Girls, Angry Photographers and my big stick”

  1. Joey Wilson says:

    My vote for best line of the Olympics so far is the “big stick” line !! LOL!!


  2. Pete Tiley says:

    Great story over the security. I once had over zealous french customs insist that I could not bring back my manfrotto pod from a game I covered in the South of France. I told them as it came out with me it was going back with me and that if they wanted to keep it they would have to buy it from me. Needless to say it got on the plane.

    Great work as ever.

  3. dirk dewachter says:

    Mark as always it was a pleasure viewing your work of these 29th Olympics

  4. Steve Reid says:

    Great Olympic images. Particularly enjoyed your rehash of the “fight” that broke out between photogs. Nice capture there too.

  5. Calvin says:

    Really enjoyed that! Thanks for taking time out to post.

Leave a Reply

Check out my Facebook page devoted my photography where I routinely share my favorite photos from each shoot as well as favorite photos from the past. Click the below banner to check it out. Be sure to "like" the page so you can be kept up to date on all the events I am doing!