First, I would like to sincerely thank Rich Connolly of Eastman Kodak for offering me a spot on the Kodak Olympic Team. I'll have great memories of this Olympic Experience for the rest of my life. This was the ultimate assignment. The 22,000 square foot Kodak Image Center and its staff, which served the needs of 1,500 professional photographers and news agencies, was truly incredible.
I ALSO WISH TO EXTEND MY THANKS TO:
Many thanks to Bill Pekala and Anne Cahill of Nikon Professional Services. Anne told me I would be happy with the Nikon D3 and other Nikon gear, and she was absolutely right. They sent me the following equipment for a test drive (see gear box). Everything performed flawlessly, and the 200-400 F4 was my favorite lens. It allowed me to capture sharp images at ISO levels I would never have thought to use in the past.
I traveled to the Games with a MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz 15-inch with the Multi-Touch trackpad loaded with Aperture 2 photo editing and management software. The built-in iSight video camera and iChat allowed me to communicate with my family back home, and it really helped me stay in touch during the four weeks in which I was away. I used Apple Aperture throughout the games. It delivered a simple, integrated workflow with uncompromising quality every step of the way. I've published some of my Olympic photos to my MobileMe Web Gallery every couple of days. I'm now in the process of fully adding captions, keywords and ratings to over 46,000 images from the games with Aperture 2. Aperture also provides all the tools I will need to create a custom-designed book from the Games.
The SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition CompactFlash cards performed exceptionally. Reported to be the fastest CompactFlash card on the market at 40MB per second, they made fast-action sports photography with the Nikon D3 much easier. I was also able to quickly offload images through the SanDisk Extreme FireWire Reader which supports FireWire 400 and 800. I traveled with a total of 70 Gigabytes of storage. I 've just added the Extreme Pro Card with Superior speed at 90 MB-WOW! and the Extreme CompactFlash with speed at 60 MB.
Western Digital (http://www.westerndigital.com/en/)
Thanks to Western Digital I was able to extend my sleep time at the Games. During the 2004 Games I backed up all my photos on CDs and DVDs, which added hours to my workflow. At the Beijing games I carried two 320GB My Passport Studio portable hard drives. They are sleek, bus-powered and portable drives with dual interfaces (FireWire and USB). While traveling from venue to venue I would just drag my images folder from my laptop to the Passport, and when I returned to my hotel at the end of the day I had a WD My Book Studio Edition II (2 TB) for backing up the folder again. All of the Western Digital products I used at the games were exceptionally reliable.
Bogen Imaging (http://www.bogenimaging.us)
Tripods were not allowed at any of the Olympic venues, so the Manfrotto 682B Self-Standing Pro Monopod with three retractable legs was an ideal substitute. And for my remote setups, Manfrotto’s Variable Friction Arm and Super Clamps were invaluable.
Hoodman Corporation (http://www.hoodmanusa.com)
On the topic of remotes, creative low angle, and hard to reach viewfinder shots were made much easier for me at the games thanks to Hoodman’s Universal Right Angle Viewer. It comes with four universal mounting attachments, which meant that I could use it for the Nikon D3. I also look forward to seeing the new HoodLoupe 3.0; it has a +-3 diopter to accommodate those with less than perfect vision.
Part of our agreement was to assist Kodak representatives in establishing film and lighting recommendations for general photographic press use prior to the start of individual events and the opening of various venues. I used the Sekonic L-758 D Digitalmaster lightmeter to do these tests. It is the world's first multi-function light meter than can be programmed to match the sensitivity of digital camera sensors, and it performed extremely well throughout the Games.
While at the Games, I used the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition as my cell phone. The 8830 helped me perform the following tasks: phone, email, web browsing and instant messaging. Being away for 30 days provided serious communication challenges. With the BlackBerry, I was able to respond right away to any of my clients’ requests. Whether by phone or email, I was also in close contact with my wife and kids throughout each day.
As I moved from venue to venue, the lighting also constantly changed. I relied on the One-shot 14" and 24" PhotoVision Digital Calibration Targets to help me custom white balance every scene. They are easy to use: I just popped them out, photographed the target in the venue lighting, adjusted my exposure to the histogram, and set my custom white balance.
Interarchy, with its powerful, intuitive, easy-to-use interface, made file transfer simple during the Games. Built for Mac, transferring my photos to my agency, Zuma Press, was fast and effortless.
In my hotel room, I used the pacsafe 55 anti-theft backpack & bag protector along with their retractasafe 200 (a retractable cable lock) to secure my bags in my room. While in the field, the retractasafe 200 was ideal for locking my bags at different venues.
Nik Software (http://www.niksoftware.com)
I used Nik Software’s Sharpener Pro 3.0 and Color Efex Pro 3.0 after the Games to bring out the best from selected Olympic images. I really like the intuitive interface of all of the Nik plug-ins, and I’m now using Silver Efex Pro. The black and white images I’m creating with it are blowing me away!
Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 2 The Book & DVD (http://www.peachpit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0321539931)
Knowing that I would be shooting a large amount of photos at the Olympics, I chose Aperture 2 to handle the workflow. The Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 2 starts with the basics of image management and takes you step by step through Aperture's powerful editing, retouching, proofing, publishing, and archiving features. It delivers comprehensive training-the equivalent of a two-day course-in one project-based book. The book, together with some one-on-one training, enabled me to do everything I needed to do to get my images into Aperture 2, rename, edit, caption, keyword and deliver them in high and low res for my stock agency and my personal website.
Being a creative genius is good.
Being a well-paid creative genius is awesome
Blinkbid estimating and invoicing software is an easy to use yet, powerful application to aide creative professionals with the business side of their lives.
FotoQuote is the only source of photo pricing information for photographers that includes powerful coaching and negotiating help for every category. FotoQuote not only helps you come up with a fair price for your image license, but it also gives you the negotiation information you need to help you close the sale. For nearly twenty years, fotoQuote has been the industry standard for pricing photos. The latest version of fotoQuote includes Quote Packs for licensing rights packages, over 30 dedicated web uses, a new a video stock footage section and much more.
For more information and to download a demo visit the website at www.fotoquote.com http://www.fotoquote.com
The DYMO LabelWriter 450 label printer maximizes productivity by printing professional looking address labels, shipping labels, file folder labels, name badges, postage and more – all without the extra work and hassles of printing sheet labels on a standard desktop printer. LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo connects via USB to both PC and Mac systems, features a two roll printing capability and prints up to 71 labels per minute.
Pelican Storm Cases (http://www.pelican.com)
“The Pelican Storm Case iM2500 is the perfect case for on-the-go. Made from a lightweight, proprietary resin, the iM2500 is unconditionally guaranteed for life. With a telescoping handle that locks in place and rugged in-line wheels, the iM2500 is easily maneuverable in any situation. Watertight, dust- and crush-proof, Pelican Storm Case is designed, engineered and manufactured in the USA"
Lowepro x200 (http://www.lowepro.com)
The Pro Roller x200-Series is an airline-compatible rolling case that looks like fine luggage. For extra security the x200 comes with the exclusive Lowepro's Lock & Go System™ that features a 3-digit combination lock and one retractable cable to keep all gear secure. The Travel Sentry™ lock is recognized and accepted by TSA. It's for the photographer who relies on a rolling camera bag to get gear securely and easily from point A to point B. By the way the smooth-working handle doubles as a tripod mount. Be sure to check out the removable backpack feature.
Savage Paper (http://www.savagepaper.com)
Savage Infinity ProScrim is the ideal location light modification system. It is both lightweight, yet strong in windy conditions and is extremely quick to set-up and break down. The collapsable rust-resistant aluminum frame features a cord that runs through for easy setup, and prevents lost pieces. 4 Different reflective surfaces, a diffusing sleeve and carrying bag is included in the kit.
Canvas On Demand
CanvasOnDemand.com is the industrys premier custom canvas printing and photo on canvas experts. They take your cherished photo (digital or print) and create a totally unique canvas painting from it! When you think custom canvas art, think Canvas on Demand.
Topaz Labs http://www.topazlabs.com
The Topaz Labs Photoshop plug-in lineup gives photographers quick, effective, and absolute control over their creative vision.
Dynalite Jackrabbit II http://www.dynalite.com
The Portable DC JackRabbitpack II extends battery life and provides ultra fast recycle time for you on-camera flash.
Photomatrix Pro (http://hdrsoft.com) A stand-along program that creates and processes HDR images. It merges bracketed exposures into one image with details in both highlights and shadow.
Bokeh (http://www.alienskin.com)The plug-in is a realistic lens simulator that allows you to alter the depth-of-field of a photograph after it has been taken.
It can also be used to simulate tilt-shift and vignetting effects commonly used by photographers to draw the viewer’s attention to certain areas of a photograph.
Delkin Fat Gecko (http://delkin.com)
Delkin's Camera Mount is a revolutionary new camera mounting kit designed for use in motorsports of all categories. Strong enough to remain securely in place, rugged enough to hold an expensive camera, and light enough to go un-noticed while in use. With its universal tripod mound and suction cup, this Delkin Camera Mount can be used with any camera and on any surface.
ColorRight Pro (http://www.colorright.com)
COLORRIGHT & COLORRIGHT PRO are very simple to use. It takes less than 15 seconds to take a proper color reading. It is designed to be used in the easiest way possible, by simply pointing toward your subject.Universal Size, one size works with all lenses. COLORRIGHT is backed by a two year warranty and is guaranteed to work with all digital slr cameras and lenses
Focal Press (http://www.focalpress.com/photography.aspx)
Focal Press publishes the best Photography and Digital Imaging books covering Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Lightroom, Apple Aperture, Corel Painter and much more. Our books are written by creative experts for creative people.
Photoflex Inc. (http://www.photoflex.com) manufactures and distributes high-quality, versatile lighting equipment for the worldwide photography, video, film, and digital-imaging industries. Based in Watsonville, Calif., it also offers the Web Photo School as the largest online source of photography and digital-imaging lessons to all levels of photographers, taught by leading professional photographers.
Web Photo School (http://www.webphotoschool.com), a Photoflex operating unit that is the world's largest online resource for photography and digital-imaging lessons. Taught by leading professional photographers, it features more than 275 on-line lessons of interest to photographers at any level of the profession.