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A breakdown on a broken down Olympic photographer by the numbers.

Steve Russell - Staff Photographer - @RussellPhotos

Here is a breakdown on a broken down Olympic Photographer and his daily, as the Brits call it here, kit.


1. HEAD - Full of picture ideas and dream as well as contempt for anyone who blocks a shot, and cloudy from lack of sleep. It is capped with a COC give away that proves invaluable whenever a Canadian athlete wins a medal!

2- T-SHIRT - The Star Games shirt it reads "Keep Calm and File Fast" and contains a tribute to Randy Starkman, the late Star Olympic writer. 

3. ACCREDITATION - The most import piece if kit. For photographers it contains two pieces, the laminated card and the photo vest. See 10.

4. CHESTVEST - A kind of camera bag that you can sling over a shoulder or wear out in front too. The later causes loads of belly sweat. It contains batteries, 300mm, 14mm, 17-35, food.

5. SORE BACK - My sciatica is in full force!

6.  CANON 1DX + 70-200 - Some days it is my widest lens used.

7. SHORTS - Lots of deep pockets, carries cards room keys and train passes.

8. SORE KNEE - Two days in my knee started to hurt, super painful, in a place that I had injured it previously during the G20 riots. Turns out I was just sitting strangely all the time in photo positions. Bottom row of swimming had an 8 inch space for feet. I'l size 12! Some gentle barrier nudging cured it.

9. SORE FEET - We walk a lot, everything is a hike and carrying all the kit does help. Blisters and falling toe nails are the norm.

10. PHOTO VEST - Because we look so good in them!, The photo vest is the second part of the photographer's accreditation. It has to be worn. Lose it and your Olympics is over. Near the end of the games everyone's vest gets very funky!

It has 14 pockets, so whenever you look for something, you find it in the 14th pocket you look in. Two front lower pockets are great for dropping a lens in when you have to make a switch. I keep my internet stick in in a berate pocket and my phone in the other. I keep my change in a pocket that zips. Anything else that might set off the metal detectors is also kept in the vest. The vest, like the Olympic accreditation, only comes off in the hotel room at night and to go through the x-ray machines.

11. THE ROLLIE - Carries a third camera body, remote gear, rain gear and a couple extra lenses.

12. CANON 1DX + 500mm - The work horse, I'd say about 75 percent of the 70,000 frames shot to date are done with these two buddies!

13. THE BACKPACK - Contains laptop, hood for those cold days, battery charger and other odds and ends.

Now for some pix,

Germany's Helena Fromm beat Vietnam's Hoang Dieu Linh Chu in Taekwondo at the London 2012 Olympic Games .

Karine Sergerie beats Farida Azizova of Azerbaijan in her opening bout in Taekwondo.

Great Britain waits for their scores in Team Synchronized Swimming final.

Japan performs in Team Synchronized Swimming final.

Japan competes in Team Synchronized Swimming, it's funny that an event that involves swimming also involves so much air time.

Team Australia's music included AC/DC.

Canada just falls short of the podium in Team Synchronized Swimming.

Canada dives into the Team Synchronized Swimming final.

Team Canada swims!

Canada finished fourth in Team Synchronized Swimming.

A dual spin was one of the high lights of Canada's routine.

Team Canada!

Team Canada thanks the crowd as they await their scores.

Matthew Gentry watchs the clock run out on him in the bronze medal match against Russian Denis Tsargush at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Matthew Gentry loses the bronze medal match in the 74kg weight class.

Jordan Burroughs  avoids Iranian Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi and wins the gold medal match in wrestling's 74 kg weight class.

Jordan Burroughs goes into the stands to hug his mother stops to pose with fans after winning the gold medal match against Iranian Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi in wrestling's 74 kg weight class.







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Great post Steve!

Love your insight… I am just glad I don't have sit beside you and smell your vest! (Just Joking).

Best Regards

Robert Dall

Great post, Steve, really interesting to see how the pros saw the London games. As a native, we Londoners enjoyed the games too.

saw pkenty of the accreditated photographers moving about. The amount of gear carried was staggering. Plus will form part of my Christmas list!
You showed some great images here. Some really stunning shots.

Just wondered what make the photo vest was?

all the best, Richard.

@Richard, the vests were made by Domke.

Amazing photos! Really professional work. Look at the sportsmen, they are so dynamic. Adorable photo set, honestly.

Just curious,you carry all that gear I see on the photo when you went to cover these events? What ISO do you shoot at and what speed average? By the way awsome shots..Will you be covering the Sochi Olympics? Looking forward to see your images.

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