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

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August 11, 2008 8:49 PM

Olympics: Michael Phelps wins gold, is overexposed

Posted by Rod Mar

Thanks for all the comments about Michael Phelps needing to either a) hike up his speed suit or b) lower it slightly more when he's standing on the deck with half of it around his waist. Make that hips. He's got the body to show off, and darn if he won't do it in front of the world.

But that's not the overexposed I'm talking about.

The 200 freestyle figured to be Phelps' easiest race. I knew that. And still, I wasn't prepared enough.

I shot him tight off at the start, did some slow shutter-speed stuff for the first 100, then figured I'd bounce the shutter speed and ISO back up for the second half of the race.

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm/f4 lens, ISO 200, 1/60th sec., f5.6)

Entering the final 50, he had an open water lead. I looked up and saw my picture. Reached down between the shooters squished in with me and grabbed the 70-200 lens and shot away, trying to show his lead.

After the race, I looked at the images. Overexposed.

(Nikon D3, VR 70-200mm/f2.8 lens @ 130mm, ISO 1600, 1/500th sec.,f2.8)

When you mess up in the business, you quickly try to make some safe pictures to cover yourself.

I worked the medal ceremony, but this was a pretty routine race for Phelps, and lacked the emotion of yesterday's "instant classic" relay.

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm/f4 lens, ISO 1600, 1/640th sec.,f4.0)

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm/f4 lens, ISO 1600, 1/640th sec.,f4.0)

The overexposed frame is distressing. Need to move ahead.

Time to pack up and get some breakfast before the afternoon's assignment.

Should I choose boxing, white water kayak (good pix, long ways away), or something else? Men's gymnastics would have been good, but the finals were this morning during the swimming.

How do you say, "Double-shot of espresso, please", in Mandarin?

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