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Getting ready for London 2012  
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | by Bob Martin
In Charge: Bob Martin, Photo Chief for London 2012
If you're a photographer covering the upcoming Olympics or Paralympics in London, here are a few things you'll want to know in advance of your trip to the UK capital, from Bob Martin, Photo Chief for London 2012. This is the first of several guest articles we'll be publishing by Martin leading up to the start of the Olympics on July 27.

We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce some members of the London 2012 Photo Operations Team and to provide some information to those accredited to the Games.

Our wish is to ensure that your experience at London 2012 is as trouble free as possible and that you leave with the best sports images possible.

The Team
  • Weather Although the Games are taking place in the middle of summer, remember this is the UK, so be prepared to face a variety of weather conditions, in particular make sure you have rain gear both for yourself and your gear.

  • Rate card orders We are rapidly reaching the conclusion of acceptance for rate card orders (with the exception of internet packages). If you have not yet ordered technology to photo positions and wish to do so, don’t delay. Since 31 December 2011 there is a late order fee on orders.

  • Internet access orders So far, only 1,579 orders for internet access have been placed. We anticipate 5,800 accredited press to cover the Games in London – and we expect 100 per cent of them will need internet access in venues. To avoid queuing up at the Service Centre with 4,220 others on your arrival, please place your order now!

  • Wi-Fi Do not expect to transmit photos via Wi-Fi or 3G. No Wi-Fi access is being provided at any field of play photo position, photo file centre or venue media centre. We do not recommend the use of any 3G or 4G devices. With the proliferation of radio signals at the venues, these will not give a reliable connection.

    As an advanced warning, it is not permitted to use Mi-Fi devices inside any of our venues. All wireless equipment needs to licensed by Spectrum with the exception of Pocket Wizards which will be authorised for use by the Photo Team, and stickered at the MPC.

  • Remotes The extensive use of remotes by sports photographers means that these will be closely controlled in London. All requests for remotes will need to be made to the Venue Photo Managers, in writing, not less than 24 hours prior to installation. Installation of remotes, particularly those used in overhead positions will be closely monitored and will be inspected by the Photo Manager.

    Clamps used in overhead positions will need to be of broadcast quality only – we will not accept the use of standard load Superclamps or Magic Arms in any positions above the field of play or spectator areas. Each piece of equipment will require a separate safety cable with a loading of at least four times that of the equipment it is attached to.
Almost Ready: The Olympic Stadium in London. Click to enlarge (Combined photo and rendering by Populous)

Our team has worked hard to provide the accredited media with some amazing photo opportunities in London, including both the sport itself and some great beauty locations. For example the equestrian cross country will provide views looking down on the Canary Wharf area, the cycling road race, marathon and race walk will have the background of Buckingham Palace, and beach volleyball will feature Horse Guards Parade, famous for The Changing of the Guard, to name but a few.

Over the coming months we will be providing further information for photographers attending the Games. All enquiries should be addressed to

Key dates for your diary
  • Main Press Centre opens – 27th June
  • Photo briefings: Olympics – 24th and 26th July
  • Photo briefing: Paralympics – 24th August
Multi Media: The Main Press Centre for London 2012. Click to enlarge (Rendering courtesy London 2012)

More information for photographers can be found in past London 2012 press operations PDF newsletters here and here. The Olympic Games begin on July 27 and run until August 12. The Paralympic Games start on August 29 and wind up on September 9.

Related articles  
Related coverage of this topic includes:
  • London 2012: Internet access pre-order deadline is April 30 (April 28, 2012)
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