Photographers' Blog

Underwater Olympics

By Michael Dalder

After shooting 15 days of swimming, diving and synchronized swimming, the staff of Simons Dive Lodge helped me with the final dive into the Olympic pool. We went down to take our remote controlled robotic underwater camera out of the water.

To get this special perspective from below, we brought 6 Peli Cases containing some 200 kg (440 pounds) of equipment including 150 meters (yards) of power and network cables to the Aquatics Centre to place the underwater camera in the water.

Covering swimming with the underwater unit guarantees long work days as the camera can only be accessed early in the morning or after 10pm at night after the last swimming competition is over.

To get different angles I jumped into the water almost every day to change positions and lenses. I spent almost 8 hours over the last two weeks in the Olympic pool doing 25 dives to adjust, replace or rescue the remote controlled underwater camera. This was definitely longer in the Olympic pool than stars like Michael Phelps from the U.S. spent.

The timeframe allotted for us to access the camera was determined by the Olympic Broadcasting Service – often on very short notice.

A goldless Michael Phelps

By David Gray

I have been photographing Michael Phelps for over 8 years, which has included 3 Olympic Games and 3 World Swimming Championships and I have never seen him like this – a goldless man.

I even saw him in a race that for the first time did not result in a podium finish. And then the U.S. team only finished second in the 4X100M freestyle relay race, which included Phelps and his now great rival team mate, Ryan Lochte. I never thought this would be possible.

But the perceived rivalry between Phelps and Lochte is a very interesting story here at the London Olympic Games. Whenever I photographed the two of them together in the past, they would always be laughing, joking, and never, ever ignoring one another. Since the first training session here in London last Monday afternoon, I’ve noticed the lack of talk, smiles, laughter, and even recognition.