Time to go home. Time to ask: Did I do ok? What do I want to remember? What do I take home with me? What remains?
To summarize: c. 13 000 images, panoramas, videos, multimedias… Lots of friends, old and new, great conversations with some of the best photographers in the world, good times… great images by colleagues which remind you how much harder you have to try next time… occasional moments when you yourself felt you had done something worth showing… more often moments of desperation when you thought you had nothing…
Too much coffee, too little sleep. Back aching from sitting too long in front of the computer… Light coke from the vending machines, pizza on the hotel room floor.
Learning new things, the best part of as assignment like this. This was my fifth olympics and I think I learned (again) more than ever before.
The first feedback I got (third day, I guess): “I just had a look at your galleries. You suck and your images suck. And the same in English!” A fan back home, obviously.
The latest feedback I got (yesterday morning): “You’re the guy doing those 360°s? Awesome work, everybody has the action shots, but when somebody makes something different…” Rick Etkin, the venue photo manager at WMC took the trouble of finding out who I was yesterday morning just to tell me this.
For this and all the support I have had during these three weeks – all the mail, FB and commentary I have received – my sincerest thanks. When working this kind of assignment, you need that. It is appreciated more than you probably can imagine.
The image starting this post is from 7th heaven on Whistler. Shot with an iPhone. Yes, I am a true professional, I shoot with an iPhone. Mrk4’s are just to keep up the image of a professional… On sunday, after the womens GS training I took couple of hours off and went skiing. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. The skiing area lived totally up to its name. A cup of coffee in the late afternoon, a good conversation with somebody I met on top of the mountain (a nice girl from Hawaii), then the last decent slowly to the valley.
A total contrast to the rain and fog which has been the dominant weather in the venues I have covered. Luckily I got my not-so-official hat – thanks to the guys from Reuters for pointing me to the right shop to get it.
Somebody asked me where are my images of hockey… Sorry, no hockey, no snowboard, no freestyle, no figure skating. I did not cover them. I did Whistler only and only the sports where we had Finnish athletes competing. I do this professionally: I cover what my client asks me to do – not necesarily what maybe I would like to do or what would make great portfolio shots. If they want me in X-country, that’s what’ll I do. Even though it is so much “easier” to make the WOW-image for the portfolio in – say – moguls or aerials.
Finland losing 6-1 to USA in hockey. Saw it in the press center between the rounds of women’s slalom competition. Then winning the bronze last night – awesome moments.
Lots of thanks – don’t even try to list them all here, just a few which come to mind: JC, Porter, Rick (both of you), Tom (both of you), Rob, Clive, Bruce, Joosep, Michael, Eriika, Timo, Sami, Antti, CPS, etc… all the volunteers, always happy to help, never giving you the attitude… Santtu, my journalist, twenty years younger than me, doing his first games and doing them well. We shared an apartment for three weeks and not once raised voices to each other (well, there still remains the trip home… ;-))
Equipment (Canon&Apple): everything worked and worked flawlessly. The only thing broken was my glasses (just dropped them one day in the press center) – we’ll see what the insurance company says about that as the last time I did the same thing was the Beijing Olympics… and one totally jammed Multimax Pocket Wizard remote.
My work is on the sidebar – and on the papers of the past couple of weeks. I feel I am just too tired to push any further. I promise to be back this blog later next week, discussing what to do and especially what NOT to do when covering an event like this, taking maybe a bit more in-depth look into our media and our coverage on these games – maybe some thoughts on the future of the printed media and the individual photographer working in a venue like this. We’ll see.
It has been a pleasure and an honor to share the Vancouver 2010 and the Whistler experience with you. I close with the – literally – last image I shot today. I share the feeling…