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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2008-09-04

Olympic Moments: Mark J. Terrill
'I had planned this picture more than a year ago after seeing photographs of the honeycombed ceiling at the Water Cube in Beijing.'

By Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

Photo by Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

Photo by Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

Michael Phelps on his way to his first gold medal during the swimming competitions in the National Aquatics Center at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2008.
My pic shows an underwater view of Michael Phelps swimming the 400-meter IM, on his way to his first of eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.

Aside from the fact that it was the beginning of an amazing athletic feat, there are several elements that made this one of my favorites, some of which were planned by me and one that was a fortuitous accident.

I had planned this picture more than a year ago after seeing photographs of the honeycombed ceiling at the Water Cube in Beijing. I knew that the unique graphics up there would make a perfect scene setter to start off the Olympics and illustrate Phelps' quest for eight gold medals.

What I hadn't planned is what happened to the camera after it was placed on the bottom of the pool. The picture was originally supposed to have the lanes parallel to the horizontal frame of the camera. Sometime after is was set on the bottom the night before the race, the camera was moved into a diagonal position. Not sure if it was kicked or moved during cleaning, but it probably turned out better this way.

The photograph was shot with a Canon 1DS Mark III with a 15mm lens, inside an Aquatech housing. The camera was tripped using a 150 foot cable and was also tethered by a USB cable that went to my laptop at my pool deck shooting position. The USB cable allowed me to have control over the camera's focus and all exposure settings using Canon's EOS utility software.

My Olympic experience was extraordinary. I was fortunate enough to witness all eight of Phelps' gold medals and three world record runs by Usain Bolt in track & field. Something I'll probably never see again in my lifetime.

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