Coming to Tokyo, I knew I’d be shooting DSLR (D6) and lots of long glass. There’s certainly a role for wide glass at the Olympics, but for action and reach, if you are not a pool shooter and on the field of play, it’s pretty much telephoto city. I brought wide lenses with me, and for weight purposes, they are my (relatively) newly acquired Z lenses, for the Z 6 and Z 7II cameras. All good. “Pool” photographers, by the way, generally work for the larger agencies and newspapers, such as Getty, AFP, AP, or the NY Times. They have priority, given the huge audiences they serve and reach.
Almost as an afterthought, I brought the DSLR 8-15 zoom, which is a lens that when announced, caused me to scratch my head as in “Why?” But I’ve come to love it, on a selective basis, and was happy to have it in Tokyo. I shot the banner pic of the opening ceremonies with it, as a remote camera, while I worked long glass for the actors and dancers on the ground. Tech notes on below…monopod, 200-400mm, f4, 1/100th of a second.
The 8-15 was handy for an establishing pic at the Velodrome.
And, at volleyball, typical me, I got caught short. Didn’t bring my Z cameras with me, only D6. Which left me one option for wide–the 8-15.
When the Swiss team won bronze, and the Americans, April Ross and Alex Klineman won gold, there was jubilation galore, and a typical photo gaggle around the winners. Somebody once said the best lens you can use is the one you got, so I plunged into the press melee locked into an atypical point of view.
When they turned around, I went tighter, which admittedly, ain’t all that tight.
Which actually worked out ok. When Team Switzerland (Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre) finished their celebration and started to walk back onto the sand, all of the press backed up (it was mandated we stay distant from the athletes) and I found myself with very little backpedal room. I made myself as small as possible, and kept shooting, albeit with the camera down by my chest, not looking through the lens.
AFC to the rescue! All I did was shrink and turn and try not to fall.
Even though I looked like a creature out of Dune, I was not allowed to go on the sand. They estimate the temp out there was in the +110 degree range.
The cameras got hot to touch. Everything was blasted by the sun. Tip of the hat to the athletes who played magnificently through it all.
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