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  #1  
Old 4th August 2012
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al_kaholik al_kaholik is offline
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My Olympics experience so far

So its been a very busy week, these are mostly just straight out of the camera JPEG - I haven't had the time to sort out any RAW and was a little short on card space so swapped to JPEG early on.

Myself and my girlfriend managed to get some tickets for 62kg Men's weightlifting and some of the preliminary Beach Volleyball matches along with a night in the Hilton, Kensington. It has thus far been the only way we've been able to get tickets.

So here they are...

We start with a Gamesmaker ushering us towards the ExCeL centre after alighting the DLR - needless to say the transport issues were non-existent (Save a couple of niggles on the Central line later this week...) A bit blown out on the sky but it was just a passing shot - think I fancy a polarizing filter.


Gamesmaker by a_t_b321, on Flickr

And more of the same when we arrived where are the queues and chaos we were warned about? It was an on and off sunny day but still quite bright.


Olympic Queues at the ExCeL by a_t_b321, on Flickr

We got inside and sat down, a really great arena, a complete transformation from when I was last inside the ExCeL - we used it for a full scale room mock-up at work before some building work/construction took place!


weight lifting at the ExCeL by a_t_b321, on Flickr

And some excellent lifts


South Korea by a_t_b321, on Flickr


China by a_t_b321, on Flickr


South Korea by a_t_b321, on Flickr

And some big disappointments


Turkmenistan crashing out by a_t_b321, on Flickr

We saw two Olympic records and a world record broken too, for total weight lifted over snatch and clean and jerk and for snatching in the weight category


A new world record for Cuba by a_t_b321, on Flickr

The medallists after a tough time and a very tense couple of hours. Everyone there was in good spirit and supporting all contestants.


Medals by a_t_b321, on Flickr

PRK celebrating a gold medal on a total chance shot between transitioning a picture of him and the flags on a giant screen


People's Republic of Korea by a_t_b321, on Flickr

And finishing the day with a fantastic sunset over Prince Regent DLR. I set all the photos to upload before going to the gym earlier, when I came back this one had already been added as a favourite by someone, my first so I'm really pleased All that was done to this was an unsharpen mask applied in GIMP.


DLR sunset by a_t_b321, on Flickr

A trip back across London to the Hilton on Holland Park Road and a very disrupted nights sleep in the hotel. Don't get me wrong, it is nice, the staff are friendly etc. But it is dated, tired and nothing is free. Having travelled a bit recently with work in other three and four star hotels you get much more, such as bottled water, snacks, internet and so on. But then that isn't how you get rich making a hotel empire. I just think Hilton is perhaps a little behind the times and caters for those for whom money isn't a concern...
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Old 4th August 2012
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al_kaholik al_kaholik is offline
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Re: My Olympics experience so far

The next morning started – we had to be at Horseguard's for 0900. Breakfast was a consolation prize for the less than good night. Plentiful, but I forgot the camera. Usually we are very into foody pictures!


I snapped this one outside, I wasn't timing it for the bus but it was the best of the shots I got



Hilton Bus by a_t_b321, on Flickr


A slight problem trying to get on the Central line in the morning at Shepherd's Bush but just popped over to the Overground and got straight there – West Brompton and then the District line out to St. James' Park. We trotted over the park again, a simple and familiar route for me and once inside saw some sand sculptures. These are made from a little of the surplus sand from the volleyball arena.



Olympic sand sculptures by a_t_b321, on Flickr



Olympic sand sculptures by a_t_b321, on Flickr


And one still in progress! Truly art in motion.



Olympic sand sculptures by a_t_b321, on Flickr


Finally inside the Horseguard's area from the spectator holding area in St. James' Park and now betwixt that and the parade area as we know it. Again where are these crowds?



Outside the arena by a_t_b321, on Flickr


I really like the graphics for each sport at 2012 – they have a modern but very classic look to me. There is also some excellent temporary lifts installed for mobility impaired access. These are disguised behind areas such as these.



Beach Volleyball by a_t_b321, on Flickr


The day started with an enthusiastic commentator/compare and some dancers who entertained throughout technical time outs and matches. They were a bit of a “summer/beach” touch...



The dancers by a_t_b321, on Flickr



Sun and Beachballs by a_t_b321, on Flickr


Only some of the more interesting action shots here, I did take a lot!



Switzerland vs Brazil by a_t_b321, on Flickr



Spain vs Argentina by a_t_b321, on Flickr


And Spain celebrating. A very good feeling throughout the day, again everyone friendly (except the corporate hospitality packages, unfortunately two groups of Americans from the same company. Not at all our experience of anyone including the other US residents at the games.



The victors celebrating with the fans by a_t_b321, on Flickr

A chap was painting on the roof, presumably trying to capture the once in a lifetime arena on the parade square – he looks tiny here.



Painter on the roof by a_t_b321, on Flickr


And a rather overcast sky about halfway through the session



Horseguard's Parade Beach Volleyball by a_t_b321, on Flickr

And a really saddening end for Austria after coming back with 11 set and game points against Brazil


Brazil vs Austria by a_t_b321, on Flickr


Finishing up with a shot looking towards the Royal residence down the closed Mall



The Mall by a_t_b321, on Flickr





So what are my impressions?


Truly a brilliant experience. I am looking forward even more to going to the stadium for Paralympic athletics towards the end of the games period.


My only disappointment?


I wish I had a 14-54. Don't get me wrong the 14-42 has done a brilliant job of capturing everything that I would like it to do but I wanted a little more zoom but didn't want to bulk up with another lens. I can cope with the extra size and weight. And now I have the bitter-sweet issue of wanting to upgrade. I've not once used the 40-150 and had a shot that I was happy with. Perhaps time to move this on. I'm still unsure whether it has a problem or is OK, I need to compare it, maybe at the next London meet..
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Old 4th August 2012
Rocknroll59 Rocknroll59 is offline
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Re: My Olympics experience so far

It's nice to have a perspective of the events and I liked your pics showing a story. I am there tomorrow but have no tickets, just could not get any, but will be watching the ladies marathon from somewhere....no ticket required for that..!!
A friend of mine said before the games that you are not allowed in with 'Prof' camera gear !! Meaning interchangeable lenses presumably...but you don't seem to have had a problem and i've seen many people on the TV with Canons Nikons etc....

Am taking my camera and the two lenses I have 14-54 and the 40-150 mk1...hope i can get a few shots...

Cheers

Peter
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Old 4th August 2012
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al_kaholik al_kaholik is offline
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Re: My Olympics experience so far

Good luck and I hope you enjoy it I've seen the other side working too. Even then people were friendly and with all the usual Friday night travellers last night everything was fine and people were on top of the world
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Old 4th August 2012
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Ian Ian is offline
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Re: My Olympics experience so far

Any Chance of posting some of your brilliant shots on DPNow?:

http://dpnow.com/forum2/showthread.php?t=13677

If you register I will look out for you and fast track your account so you can post photos and links straight away

Ian
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Old 4th August 2012
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Re: My Olympics experience so far

Sure, I'll have a look. And thanks for the praise
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Old 4th August 2012
Ulfric M Douglas Ulfric M Douglas is offline
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Re: My Olympics experience so far

Great thread, actually I like the awesomely detailed sand sculptures the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocknroll59 View Post
... A friend of mine said before the games that you are not allowed in with 'Prof' camera gear !! Meaning interchangeable lenses presumably...
I read there was a 30cm rule : anything shorter than that is fine, meaning practically everything with a kit lens or smaller zoom, so that's a lot of leeway and something good about it all.
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Old 4th August 2012
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Re: My Olympics experience so far

Wonderful images, thanks for posting.
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Old 4th August 2012
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al_kaholik al_kaholik is offline
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Re: My Olympics experience so far

Thanks guys. Ulfric - did you notice the people in the top right of the mounted soldier sculpture?...

Shame I can't get back in to see the work in progress finished
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Old 4th August 2012
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Re: My Olympics experience so far

Thanks for sharing! Great to have a look from some different angles then those provided on TV. I like the painter on the roof - and I think it says something about your perception, that you noticed him/her at all. Well done!
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Old 5th August 2012
maccabeej maccabeej is offline
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Great story. I was at the athletics yesterday (pics later) and used OMD with 50-200 and mmf2. I had no problem getting that in.
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