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Best Seat in the House

Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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July 15, 2008 7:05 PM

Olympics: Lull Before the Storm.

Posted by Rod Mar

Nope, this ain't a post about the Seattle Storm. If you're looking for news about your favorite local WNBA team, look no further than our Storm blog.

But I am back from vacation and getting ready to go to Beijing for the Olympics.

Obviously, covering a 17-day event half-way around the world isn't an easy undertaking, but I had no idea just how much preparation I'd be doing before boarding the plane for China.

Over the next week I'll try to detail my preparation, since I won't be shooting very many assignments until I leave (so, if you're here for the pictures, come back in August).

When I'm covering the Seahawks, Sonics, Mariners or Huskies, I have decades of built-in knowledge I can rely upon when I'm deciding what to shoot, who or what is important, and what is significant about the event.

With the Olympics, I'm at a lot more of a loss. It's as if these things only occur every four years or something.

I'm fairly well-acquainted with the "big-names" -- Michael Phelps, Tyson Gay, Dara Torres, Natalie Coughlin, Jennie Finch, Kobe Bryant, etc.

But I'm still learning about the local stars in other events I'll likely be covering -- Bernard Lagat, Hope Solo, Megan Jendrick, Brad Walker and others.

Each day I check a multitude of sites, among them:

The Official Beijing Olympics site can be found here.

The media page from the official site is a valuable stop for all visiting journalists.

For information about the sports and athletes, you can't beat the New York Times site.

Their "Rings" blog is updated frequently.

Deciding what equipment I'll be bringing is a subject of a future post, but Dan Powers of the Appleton Post-Crescent wrote about his choices on

Elsewhere on Sportsshooter is an informative article by David McIntyre, a former Arizona Republic photographer now living in China.

Frank Folwell, a former deputy managing editor for USA Today, shares his thoughts about navigating China, though not necessarily the Olympics.

On non-photographic equipment, this story by George Bridges of McClatchy provides some good information.

The final link I'll leave you with for now is a blog by Zach Honig, from

As we get closer to the Opening Ceremonies, there will be more and more on the web, and once I get to China, I'll be posting as often as I can.

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