Monday, January 18, 2010

Olympic Torch comes to Calgary !!

On Monday, the Olympic torch came to Calgary and there was a big celebration down at the Olympic plaza. Way back in 1988 Calgary hosted the winter Olympic games and everyone was excited to see the torch make it's way through the city again. For Clare and Conor, this may be the only chance that they'll have to witness this kind of event. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't realize the significance of 1988 at the time that it was all going on.. but such is the curse of being an introvert like me.

Jen brought the kids downtown after school and I was going to meet them on Stephen Avenue after work. Walking down 9th Avenue, I saw that the flame atop the Calgary Tower was lit so I stopped a few times to take some shots before heading over to Olympic Plaza to meet them.

The flame on the Calgary Tower

Another shot of the tower.. this time, looking west.

Looking west on 9th Ave against the beautiful winter blue sky.

I got to the plaza, and it was pretty full already with lots of people excited to see the Olympic torch. The turnout was pretty impressive. I took some pics of the kids in the crowd.. we still had an hour or more to go. There was lots of entertainment on the plaza stage and people were handing out lots of free Olympic Sponsor advertisements like flags, glowing Coke bottles, and RBC tambourines to name a few. Time seemed to pass by pretty fast.

Jen had made some torches that resembled the 1988 torch with little tea-lights in them. The kids were waving them around.. Walking through the crowds after they were stopped many times by people looking to see where they they got their unique torches from.

Kids with their home-made torches, waiting for the real thing.

Before the torch bearer arrived I set and tested my camera settings, setting it manually, putting the flash on, changing lenses between the 35mm f1.8 and the 70-200 f2.8, taking test shots in anticipation of the torch bearer coming .. Not sure what to use I waffled back and forth in my mind.. in the end I put on the 70-200 and manually set iso3200, f2.8 and 1/80th shutter speed which was allowing for some nice ambient light, and the flash was illuminating my test subjects nicely. I was ready !

From where we were standing, we were able to hear cheering and yelling starting to get louder and louder as the torch bearer approached. All of a sudden, it was happening. The torch was here, and they were running it through the crowd. I snapped as many pictures as I could, and this is the best one..

The Olympic Torch arrives !!
I'm told that she was the one who lit the caludron at the opening ceromeny of the 1988 Olympic games.

 The reason this is the best (only!) one, is because after she took two more steps, a GIANT spotlight shone on her, which was way brighter than my camera could manage based on the settings that I'd manually configured.. In subsequent shots, she's nothing but a bright white burned out mass.. I was a little disappointed but in the end I'd learned something.. I'm not sure what it was that I'd learned but I'm sure it was something that I'll be able to use next time ;-)

After we walked around for a bit and looked at the displays that were setup by the supporting sponsors. Then we headed down to the parkade where I park my car. On the way there I got a shot of the kids with their 1988'esq torches amd the Calgary Tower in the background.

Kids with their home made torches.. Calgary tower in the background.

The rest of the processd pictures can be found here

Thanks for reading

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