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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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August 10, 2008 11:57 PM

Olympics: Phelps Wasn't the Only One in the Pool

Posted by Rod Mar

Here's a couple of shots from this morning's swim session that was dominated by Michael Phelps and the incredible come-from-behind swim he and the relay team used to win the gold medal and set a world record.

Kozuki Kitajima of Japan celebrates after he defended his gold from Athens, swimming 58.9 In the men's 100 breaststroke and setting a world record:



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens + 1.4x teleconverter = 550mm, ISO 2000, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

Megan Jendrick, who won gold in Sydney at the age of 16 but narrowly missed making the team in 2004, qualified for the finals in the 100 meter breast stroke. Columnist Steve Kelley writes about Jendrick today.



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens + 1.4x teleconverter = 550mm, ISO 2000, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

American Katie Hoff shows her disappointment at being out-touched at the wall by Rebecca Adlington of Great Britain in the women's 400 free, just missing out on a gold medal.



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens + 1.4x teleconverter = 550mm, ISO 2000, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

American Cullen Jones heads for the water in the third leg of USA's historic 4x100 freestyle relay swim. You can see photos of that incredible swim (I didn't say the incredible pictures, notice), here.



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens + 1.4x teleconverter = 550mm, ISO 2000, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

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August 10, 2008 9:00 PM

Olympics: Phelps Goes Gold Again

Posted by Rod Mar

USA's Michael Phelps just won his second gold medal as he and the rest of the 4x100 freestyle squad smashed a world record in a dramatic come-from-behind win.

I just finished transmitting on deadline from the Water Cube, and thought I'd do a quick little post of photos from the event (if these photos aren't toned very well, I moved them quickly back to the paper -- in fact, they had them 10 minutes after the race).

Jason Lezak had the swim of a lifetime as he erased a lead in the final 50 meters to seal the gold medal.



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens + 1.4 extender = 550mm, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

Up on the pool deck, Phelps and teammate Garrett Weber-Gale celebrated wildly.



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens + 1.4 extender = 550mm, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

The judges in the backgrounds are always a challenge:



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens + 1.4 extender = 550mm, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

A group hug after Lezak exited the pool made a nice frame, but the judge kinda messes with the background again.



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens + 1.4 extender = 550mm, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

My first assignment before the Phelps race was to shoot local swimmer Megan Jendrick in the breast stroke.



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens + 1.4 extender = 550mm, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens + 1.4 extender = 550mm, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

Yesterday, I'd shot from low to the pool deck, so today I'd chosen a high position looking down the lanes. I was in a good position to see her come out of the water on each stroke. It's hard, but I try to keep in mind shooting from different angles, even if I have to choose an angle that might not be "the best."

In this case, it worked out. Jendrick finished fourth in her heat to advance to the medal finals. I liked the angle and decided it would be good for the relay since I'd shot Phelps from low yesterday.

Now, where's breakfast?

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August 10, 2008 8:40 AM

Olympics: Dunk You Very Much

Posted by Rod Mar

Went out with 500 or so other photographers to shoot the USA vs. China men's basketball team.

Even though it was a preliminary game, it drew a huge amount of interest because of Yao Ming.

And Kobe.

And LeBron.

And D-Wade.

You get the point.

I'm pretty busy today, but thought I'd share some frames with you. It's a format I'll do now and again while I'm here. Want to post photos, but don't have the necessary time or energy to always write a lot to support them.

I hope you understand.

The opening tip did not feature Yao, but instead Yi Jianlian faced off against the USA's Dwight Howard. It was important to me to make at least one photo that gave the game a sense of place. I shot from a riser between superstud photographers Scott Strazzante from the Chicago Tribune and Sean Haffey from the San Diego Union-Tribune, who were nice enough to squeeze me in after my two hours of buses from covering weightlifting.



(Nikon D3, VR 70-200mm/f2.8 lens @ 200mm, ISO 1600, 1/640th sec.,f2.8)

China rode the crowd's partisan support and kept the game close early.

China's Chen Jianghua (4) drove through the lane and scored in the first quarter past flatfooted USA defenders Kobe Bryant (10), Dwayne Wade (9) and LeBron James (6).



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f2.8)

Things got a little physical as the US took it straight to Yao, once causing him to fall in to a crowd of photographers.



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f2.8)

The USA went to work in the second quarter. In quick succession, Kobe and LeBron had dunks, and Dwayne Wade scored on a layup. China's Sun Yue (9) was helpless as the USA's Kobe Bryant dunked on him:



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f2.8)

China's Sun Yue got up but can't stop a dunk by the USA's Chris Bosh:



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f2.8)

In the second half, China was struggling as the US turned up the defensive pressure and then used their superior athleticism to start the rout.

Kobe dunked as Yao watched:



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f2.8)

I was checking my watch because I had an early wake-call the next morning to cover swimming and LeBron had me headed for the shuttle bus back to the Media Village when he pounded this one home:



(Nikon D3, VR 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f2.8)

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August 10, 2008 7:41 AM

Olympics: Opening ceremony slideshow

Posted by Rod Mar


Finally had a bit of time and made a little slideshow of stuff from the opening ceremony.

I'd love to write an extended post, but the days are long and I've got to get rest since it's only Day 2.

So much I want to share with you all. For instance, today I shot road racing (that's bicycling), fencing and swimming. With all my requirements to shoot our local athletes, I also will find time to shoot the more "exotic" (for lack of a better term) sports like fencing, judo, etc.

Anyway, hope this looks okay (the audio was taken from my seat in the stadium -- you can hear camera shutters going off...):

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Recent entries

Aug 10, 08 - 11:57 PM
Olympics: Phelps Wasn't the Only One in the Pool

Aug 10, 08 - 09:00 PM
Olympics: Phelps Goes Gold Again

Aug 10, 08 - 08:40 AM
Olympics: Dunk You Very Much

Aug 10, 08 - 07:41 AM
Olympics: Opening ceremony slideshow

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