Editor’s note: Friend of Lowepro and Getty Images sports photographer Ezra Shaw covered a variety of competitions, athletes and the celebratory mood in London. He took a quick moment in his hectic schedule to share his impressions with us as well as a few awesome images. Even though the Games ended a few days ago, we’re still thrilled by the excitement caught in Ezra’s stunning photographs. Check out his London 2012 Summer Olympics gallery on his web site.
Your schedule must have been pretty exhausting. What’s it like to cover the world of amazing athletes in this fascinating city?
Overall the Olympics were great. I had a variety of events to photograph – ranging from the main events such as the Bolt in the 100m Final and Michael Phelps in the pool – to the more obscure sports like Table Tennis and Fencing. I didn’t have much of chance to get out in central London, but I was amazed by how many people were at Olympic Park everyday. In addition to selling tickets to all of the events, they also sold tickets just to enter the Olympic Park and those were sold out everyday.
What was the most challenging venue?
The most challenging venue was the Cycling Road Race – it was the first day after the Opening Ceremony and because it started and finished near Buckingham Palace, there was even more security than normal. It was also difficult to cover because it started in the city and then went out about 50 miles before finishing back at the Palace. Getty Images had a total of six photographers covering the race which made life a little easier. My main assignment was to shoot the beginning of the race as the riders headed towards Buckingham Palace and then go get set up for the finish line. The race was pretty exciting because British cyclist Mark Cavendish was favored to win and spectators lined the streets about 10 people deep near the start/finish line. Unfortunately, for the British fans, Cavendish didn’t win, but it was still a great atmosphere.
Favorite Brit-food snack that kept you on-the-go?
We tried to eat whenever we had time – unfortunately, that means that dinner was usually around midnight when we were finished shooting for the day. During the day, I drank a lot of coffee, sneaking in a meal whenever possible. I was able to have some fish and chips the other night for dinner at a pub, which made me feel like I was in London, but for the most part, the food is pretty similar to what you can find in the States. We have a few photographers that love their food, and they have sorted out a few good spots near our hotel, so whenever we did have time for a real meal, we had some really nice food.
Most surprising moment you captured?
One of the most surprising moments was when Chad le Clos of South Africa beat Michael Phelps in the 200m Butterfly. Phelps was heavily favored, and was ahead the entire race, but was beaten .05 seconds. At the end of the race, Phelps looked over and watched le Clos celebrating.