Vancouver Olympics: Getting ready

The most heard sentence in our house before I head to a major assignment: “Where are my crampons, raincovers, spare batteries, cards…. Sari just hates it – and with a reason.  So this time I have thought I spare her – and everyone else – and aim all my packing so that it’ll be ready on Saturday, although I fly out on Monday. Gives me the extra day I always have wanted…

In Sölden last fall

Kind of stupid to fly over to Vancouver – with no snow  over there –  to the winter olympics… when there is a record amount over where I live. I have been actually training for these olympics myself, especially by doing x-country, but also some alpine, as well as swimming. The way I work is pretty physical – like someone commented the other day that “do you take your skies with you for the days off?” No, I don’t… well, maybe partly… but mainly it is for the training days with the alpine team. I put my gear on the backpack, take the 400mm into my hands, skies on… and try to keep up with Tanja and Sanni. In Salt Lake City I lost like 4-5 k’s of weight…

Torino Olympics 2006. Who said size does not matter? 1200mm&600mm

Getting the gear over will be a challenge. I decided I go with a bare minimum, ie. 8mm, 14mm, 16-35mm, 24-105mm, 70-200mm, 400mm, 800mm and 1200mm…. Ok, just kidding, as the 800mm is about 14 000 euros – and I do not own one – and the 1200mm (discontinued) was something like 130 000 euros when they were still selling them – and I do not own one either. Huge monster, weighs about 18kilos. I have worked with both though, and I have to say, if I had the extra 14 000 I’d know where to spend it.

But all the others I will take with me – along with two Canon EOS 1DMK4’s and one 5Dmk2. Only one computer (and a copy of it on an external harddrive) plus several hard disks and A6 size Wacom. Two audio sets. Multimax remotes.  And all kind of this and that…

And all this should be packed into you allowed 20K. Right… not going to happen. But I manage somewhow, I always have. And, as another photographer (Leo Mason from Newsweek)taught me in Athens: experience shows in the fact that you do not carry unnecessary stuff with you. It’s three weeks, you have to maintain yourself fit throughout the competition and not exhaust yourself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Been really busy the past month. I covered the European Championships of Figureskating in Tallinn, Estonia,  and that sort of messed up my preparation for the Olympics. We did some image-galleries from there – and actually got quite a decent amount of traffic into my site, something like 160 000 different viewers in five days.

The same will continue from Vancouver. I have been preparing several multimedia pieces for the games and I will show them couple of days before the appropriate competition. So far, it’ll be freestyle, skating, ski jumping… and most probably also X-country and alpine. But we’ll see… Unfortunately nothing from the city of Vancouver, as I am stuck on the mountain.


So stay tuned. I am still thinking about the format of this blog; i.e. should I make a separate blog or just stick to this one or what? A friend asked me yesterday that I wouldn’t do any UPDATES as most of the RSS-readers do not recognize them – and he has a point.

But, if you have any ideas, please let me know. I will also update facebook daily, so look me up over there, if you are interested.

Until next time – from Vancouver.


  1. louster
    February 5, 2010

    Ha! I was just looking through photo blogs, came across yours and spotted my friend Jonathan Newton of the Washington Post in your photo header. You probably already know him, but he’s the guy using Nikon gear on right in light blue shirt mugging for photo. Small world.
    Good luck in Vancouver. Truly one of the most beautiful and livable cities on the planet.

  2. kkuukka
    February 5, 2010

    Hi there –

    thanks for the comment. Yup, it is a small world. If you have not seen the header picture projected in flash, check this this one:

    Takes a while to load, but you might find some other familiar faces there.

  3. Tomas
    February 5, 2010

    Have a great time mate and I wish all the very best. I’ll be looking forward to your posts as they come in ;)


  4. louster
    February 5, 2010

    Thanks for the link, awesome panorama.

  5. Edvard Wendelin
    February 5, 2010

    Moikka! No wonder you look so happy when you have a 1200 on your shoulder.. Thanks for interesting blog posts and for sharing your impressions of the Mark 4. I wish you the best of luck in Vancouver!


  6. Rami Saarikorpi
    February 6, 2010

    Heps. Pistähän tulemaan linkkejä 360 panoraamoihin paikanpäältä! Tolla kalustolla luulis pärjäävän tuolla :)

    • kkuukka
      February 6, 2010

      Tulee, tulee… kunhan ensin pääsee paikan päälle ja saa jotain tehtyäkin. Mutta luvassa on vaikka mitä – myös 360°- kamaa. Mielenkiintoinen juttu muuten mitä ei ehkä tule ajatelleeksi: saan kyllä kuvata mitä tahansa, myös 360° sillä se on vain valokuvaa, mutta kaikki äänittäminen on akreditoidulla alueella kielletty. Myös ambientti ääni. Pikkusen harmittaa… mutta koitetaan keksiä porsaanreikä (eli aidan toiselle puolelle ja suuntaava mikki kisa-alueelle ;-)

      Seurailehan missä mennään – viiltävä palaute on tervetullutta…


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