Pyeongchang 2018: A Different Cold

001_adifferentcold_021518View of the snow blown by the wind in run two of the ladies halfpipe qualification during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Phoenix Snow Park.

Growing up in the unforgiving winters of East Chicago, Indiana, I was pretty sure I’d felt and experienced it all with respect to frigid outdoor temperatures. I’ve had school cancelled for days because of negative wind chills. I’ve witnessed broken steel water pipes hemorrhaging their vital fluids into icy messes. I know the feeling of the inside of your nasal passages freezing seconds after stepping outside. I even know extreme cold on a first-name basis, “The Hawk.” This was the name given to the biting arctic wind that would reach around street corners in downtown Chicago and fly off with the breath from your chest clutched between its icy talons. Sound painful? It is.

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Pyeongchang 2018: Up The Course

001_upthecourse_021118Matt Graham (AUS) during mens’ moguls freestyle skiing moguls qualification during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Phoenix Snow Park.

Prior to joining the ranks of Olympics photographers, I recall reading hallowed tales from other shooters about what a grind the schedule was. The Summer Olympics was said to be the creme de la creme of punishment and physical tumult in the name of storytelling and all things visual. If you enjoy getting more than two hours of sleep a night over a three week span, they warned, stay far and clear from wielding a camera there.

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Realizations: 2016 Retrospective

The sun sets over Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

I didn’t imagine one of my final moments of 2016 would entail being mocked by a jar of gummy bears. Alas, here I am, hole up in a hotel room in downtown Atlanta (on the road once more lighting R&B singer Anthony Hamilton) where a decidedly tempting mini bar spread has been left for my perusal. Of course, there are the usual confections – Snickers, pretzels, Pringles, and just about every beverage that might quench a thirsty desire. At the forefront, however, is a jar filled to the brim with colorful gummy bears (the jar itself shaped like – what else – a bear). Try as I might, I just cannot justify parting with $7 of my per diem to conquer these viciously flavorful critters, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t tempting.

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Rio 2016: Antique Eye

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Aug 17, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; A BMX demonstration group performs prior to competition at Olympics BMX Centre during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

One of the most challenging aspects of covering a major sporting event for a professional photographer is coming away with images that are unique to you. Back in August, during my coverage of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, things were no different. I often found myself in photo positions shoulder to shoulder with 20 or more photographers, most of them shooting on the same digital camera bodies and using the exact same lenses as myself. The result? Everyone walks away with essentially the same photo. For tightly-cropped finish line jubilation or dejection, sometimes being in “the pack” is a necessary evil at the games. To walk away from the experience with something unique, however – something that made me feel that I really tried – being in the pack simply wouldn’t suffice.

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Posted in Experimental, Large Format Film, Photography, Rio Summer Olympics, Sports, Thoughts On Life, Travel on October 3rd, 2016. Comments Off.