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Talking Head Studio has headed to London, England to film a documentary for Maximized Living. We have been working with Maximized Living for almost ten years and as the preparation for their trip to London was taking place they decided they needed to film a documentary of their Olympic journey. We hope to post many blog entries during our trip from the perspective of Travis Hull who is directing the film. We left Orlando at approximately 5:30pm and after a sleepless night on the plane to London we hit the ground running. We needed to check out the city and research some site selections for shooting interviews. We landed in Gatwick and made it quickly through customs and found our tour guide. Somehow, the message that we had a lot of baggage and needed a van was not communicated to our tour guide. He had been given a Toyata Prius, which was a bit too small for the three of us and six pieces of luggage, but we made it work.

(iPhone 4s)

After a two-hour drive in London traffic we made it to our hotel near the Excel venue where you’ll see the wrestling, weightlifting and judo competitions.

(Canon 5D Mark II, 105mm, f/4.0, 1/800 sec, ISO 250)

The crowds near the venues were not too overwhelming and everything seemed well organized.

(Canon 5D Mark II, 85mm, f/6.3, 1/1000 sec, ISO 250)

Most of the taxis in Great Britain (GB) are called Black Tops, this pink one stood out so I had to grab a photo.

(Canon 5D Mark II, 24mm, f/4.0, 1/320sec, ISO 250)

Traffic really wasn’t that bad especially considering many road closures and traffic lanes that are normally public were being blocked for Official Olympic transportation. It has been reported that BMW has loaned approximately 4,000 vehicles to the London officials, so you see them frequently traveling in packs. As a BMW enthusiast, it is fun to see the athletes and delegates being driven in a fleet of BMW 5 Series Active Hybrids.

(Canon 5D Mark II, 45mm, f/4.0, 1/400 sec, ISO 1600)

The 02 Arena, where the basketball and volleyball competitions are held is a quick walk from our hotel and the weather on our first day was quite pleasant.

(Canon 5D Mark II, 105mm, f/4.0, 1/4000 sec, ISO 250)

We made our way to the public transport and began the trip to Central London. The crowds were a bit heavier at this time on the DLR and Underground but we found our way and took in the view of Parliament and Big Ben from across the river. We weren’t there at the best time of day to have light in our favor so this was a challenging shot to keep the contrast of the clouds and not underexpose the parliament building.

(Canon 5D Mark II, 35mm, f/9.0, 1/1000 sec, ISO 500)

Overall, it was a good day and we found a few sites for the interviews. I took all the photos using a Canon 5d Mark II with the Canon 24-105mm f/4L  and a iPhone 4S.