Higher, Faster, Stronger……Fail (Part 1)

The Olympic Games are now in full swing, here in the UK, so I’ve had a bit of a look back Having watched ‘Twenty Twelve’ on BBC1 it seems a case of art imitating life. Not so much a case of being very funny, but quite confusing to be exact; was it comedy? Satire? Social document? Reportage?

I did come across an article online about just this dilemma that you can read here, plus links to another peice making serious points about consumers, sponsorship, spectators and sporting ideals, here.

I also watched the Olympic Torch Relay as it was heading into Wolverhampton

in the afternoon.

I decided to go, not necessarily, as some have seen it, as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (which I suppose it is), but rather as it required the hardly-herculean effort of a short walk to town, it seemed a bit silly not to go and be a bit nosy.

I’d borrowed the camera from work not only to get photos of the torchbearer, but of the day in general. The Blue Peter Olympic Tour had hit West park. I decided against snapping away there, as I thought as a tall bloke on my own photographing children (albeit playing sport with families), probably wouldn’t go down very well.

That said, I kept walking & soon found a place on the corner of Beatties on Lichfield St and waited. And waited. I’d got a good position, just behind a small, very nice old lady & just watched the world. The atmosphere was great & good-natured, although there was a a bit of arguing with the local security about getting in the way of  people wanting to take photos. I personally found the guys really nice.

I was aware the police took up a lot of the team, as I’d seen some stuff on the news, but I didn’t realise how much & how long it would take for them to pass. The mood was lightened by the formation driving team ‘Granny Tourismo’ with their over-sized motorised ‘Biddy bags’, pumping out hard grooves.

Several police vans, trucks & riders later, the first part of the Torch motorcade emerges. I’d already taken photos of a number of subjects, crowds, people & families moving objects so I knew I’d be ready. Even after the Coca-cola bus rumbled round with the overly-eneregetic  people, trying to force the assembled crowd to be even more excited; I hate enforced jollity-everyone was happy, & wanted to be there – why did these corporate planks try to labour the point?

The Samsung float trundled close behind. The on-board LCD screen shows some random animation. Pointless.

Then, the big moment arrived; I spotted the runner, a small lad from the top of the road heading down from the Museum. I’d prepared; the pictures I’d taken previously proved I could track my subject; I’d got a good position – what could possibly go wrong?

As the boy floats into shot, I press; ‘BOOM’ – the young child on the shoulders of the adulkt next to me drops their arm/flag into shot, I quickly readjust still tracking; BOOM – someone next to me jogs my arm, & I fire off the camera just before he gets into shot. This time the camera seems to take an eternity to ready itself again – I’m still tracking the runner. By trhe time I get another shot, he’s just left the frame. Gutted.

That said, I did get to see the flame – one to tell the nephews & neices & their kids; for all the wrong reasons.

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