Here are my 22 favorite pictures from London 2012:

Most all of the panoramas I did:

My two favorite memories highlighted on (my third would be hanging out with all of my friends there):

From left to right at BMX – Vernon (Dallas Morning News), John Leyba (Denver Post), Brian Peterson (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Me (San Jose Mercury News), Smiley Pool (Houston Chronicle), and Paul Kitagaki (Zuma). – Photo by some random photo manager person.

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I got back from London!  First off – I realize that I am super lucky to have been able to cover the Olympics, for the fourth time.  For that I am very thankful to the powers-that-be that allow me to go.

What is it like to cover the Olympics – in a nutshell – get 3-5 hours of sleep – ride public transportation for 2-5 hours, eat a lot bad food, listen to this multiple times per day (it was played before, or after, every event – not the worst song but 2 1/2 weeks of it 2-4 times a day was a little much) and shoot a lot of pictures.  Most of the time it was fun, being sick (twice) was annoying.

The Olympics are always an amazing experience and I know this may sound cheesy but one of my favorite parts of the Olympic Games, and I alluded to this in an earlier post, are the relationships you make with other photographers – being able to experience and relate to how difficult it is to cover the Games.  It is like an accelerated summer camp.  John Leyba, from Denver, was great at helping me keep motivated – especially once I got sick – can’t thank him enough for that.  He would send me messages every morning “what are you doing today?”  Paul Kitagaki was fun to hangout with and we covered a lot of the same stuff, along with Scott McKiernan.  And it was always great seeing Robert Gauthier, Wally Skalij, Smiley Pool, Brian Peterson, etc… really too many to mention… Even seeing people from my past – like Elsa from Getty whom I went to school with – only saw her two or three times but was always neat to reconnect.

If you asked me what my favorite events were – Gold medal matches for:  Women’s Football, Women’s Beach Volleyball, and Women’s Gymnastics Team.

It was really great working with Elliott Almond and Mark Purdy – they are a ton of fun to work with and super talented writers.  Karl did a great job with his videos and jumping to events that I wasn’t able to make it to.  And Mark Conley did a great job coordinating things from the other side of the pond.

What did I use on a daily basis (Thanks to Sara and the other people from Nikon for helping me with all of the amazing Nikon gear – mostly the D4s and 200-400 f4) – I only set up remotes a few times:  soccer and track a few times:

2 – Nikon D4

1 – Canon 5d Mark II

1 – Nikon 200-400 f4

1 – Nikon 70-200 f2.8

1 – Canon 16-35 f2.8

A few facts:

*How much did I shoot – a lot – 302.94 gigs!

*Just about 62,283 frames!  (that includes frames for the panoramas) (these new cameras are super fast and I rarely deleted anything)

*Sent in over 889 images to the system!

*Produced 33 – 360 degree panoramas

*Didn’t take any days off – but did work a couple of half days (half days equal 8 hours)

*Average day – 12-14 hours (much shorter than normal)

*Longest day – 18 hours (my longest ever day was in Greece – 26 hours)

When I talk about how much I liked or didn’t like the Olympics – it has nothing to do with the city or the people – its the the logistical nature of the Games – and I hope it never sounded like I was complaining, I wasn’t, I was merely pointing out what the experience was like.  I thought London was an amazing city.  I thought the people were awesome – very nice, helpful.  It’s a place I’d like to visit some day (well when the pound and dollar level off).  I loved the subway system (except for the fact that it starts to close around 1:30 am) and the architecture.  That said, I will think of these as the Frustrating Games.  Nothing made sense.  Media workrooms were often on the opposite side of the entrance to the “field of play.”  Media entrances were closed one minute, open another.  Part of what made Beijing so great was NBC’s decision to change the times of certain events to fit their schedule.  For example swimming finals and Beach Volleyball were all done in the morning.  Those are two of our big events because of locals, so this freed up time in the evening to cover a bunch more events.  In London everything was at the same time – for example, one evening Women’s Football, Women’s Water Polo, Athletics, and a few other Gold medal events.  Being sick made this much more difficult – I guess the fact that there wasn’t much going in the morning allowed me to get more rest than usual.  Security was awesome in Beijing – buses drove into secure zones so we only had to go through security ONCE per day – I was hoping London would learn from that – but they went back to going through security before entering every venue (unless you were at Olympic Park).

Best:  Weather despite the occasional odd rain fall the weather was awesome – nice and cool, similar to San Francisco.  Co-workers, friends, amazing events and scenes.

Worst:  Location of everything in relation to each other, transportation, time of events, being sick twice with a chest infection.  bed.  food.

This is gonna be like a credits in a tv show – typically most people will change the channel – but that’s okay:

First and foremost – thanks to my Mom for guiding and supporting my love of photography from a very early age.  Thanks to my step-dad David and my brother Nol and sister-in-law Huyen for their support.

Huge thanks goes to Team Whitie Watch 2012:  Linda K., Nicole W., Nol & Huyen, Amonrut J. (and Anita A.), and Yolanda R.!!!

Thanks to Linda, our telecom guru, for getting us all set-up with cell phones and data plans on my iPhone – being able to use my iPhone to check when events were going on while on the bus was a huge bonus (nice London 2012 iPhone app).  I also wrote the majority of this blog on my iPhone and finished it off when I got back to my room.

Thanks to the paper for sending me and everyone back in photo who was supportive – Gary, Patrick, Jim, Dai, LiPo, Josie, our intern Lauren, – Josie for making sure I have the gear I need.  And recent former staffer Karen!  Thanks to my various bosses – Michael, Nick, Randy.  My former boss Geri for her guidance.  Also former bosses – Alex Burrows and Bob Lynn.  My former paper – The Virginian-Pilot.  Thanks multiple online people who posted all of my galleries and panoramas I produced.  Thanks to our executive editor Dave Butler for approving our trip.  Thanks to the picture editors in Walnut Creek – typically Jami and Cindi and Jane.  Thanks for the ton of people who sent me messages or other words of encouragement (in no particular order):  Sean Haffey, Michael Goulding, Jane Tyska, Anda Chu, John Iozano, Dennis Knight, Conan Low, James Tensuan, Wade Kwon, Joel Rosenbaum, John Boudreau, Linda Keller, Danielle Espinoza, Eric Fowles, Helen Davis, Caroline Couig, Stephanie Ross-Tomey, Jeff Chiu, Karen Borchers, Jami Smith, Yolanda Rodriguez, John Todd, Kathy Ho, Phuong Lo, Kelley Cox, Nicole Welsh Wick, Rachel Wettergreen Wilner, D. Ross Cameron, Jesse Garnier, Michelle Guido, Jill Arnone, Shmuel Thaler, Bob Lynn, Stephanie Klein Davis, Lina Broydo Travellina, Dan Mears, David Bianchi, Chris Chung, Katie Burroughs, MPhuong Pham, Mark Mulgrew, Philip & Lynette Holman, Deborah Hayes, Norm Shafer, Vicki Cronis, George Nyako, Dean Rutz, Joe Mahoney, CoTong Nguyen, Rich Bland, Doug Benc, Jasmin Lopez, Loyd Mowery, Dylan Entelis,  Jose Carlos Fajardo, Bettina Hansen, Doyen Dinh, Lloyd G Francis, Miles Garnier, Shaminder Dulai, Deanna Alexander, Jasna Hodzic, Madison Nguyen, John Kullhem, Pauline Lubens, Chris Stewart, Tim Ball, Jim Collins, Kevin Sullivan, Bill Tiernan and the many others who read this blog or “liked” any of my Facebook posts.

And Congratulations to my friends Sonny and Beth on your wedding – sorry I couldn’t make it!