3rd of Jan, 2014.
After the long travel yesterday, and I mean day as it was 24 hours, house door to Rosario Hotel door, I slept heavy and short.
Today’s main task is not the most exciting of tasks, getting accreditation sorted.
A good taxi ride away is the City Centre Hotel/Casino where the driver, riders and teams will be. Everyone involved is here, sorting equipment, getting documents, having meetings, getting medicals, checking insurance, but mainly for the Press, it's lining up for Accreditations.
The amount of approvals to get checked off is a large one. Just from a photographer's point, there is so much for us to get approved so as to be involved in this great event that each photographer, videographer and writer must wait and wait and wait. Once you get to the front of the slow moving line (this took me 4 hours but I heard some waited 7 hours) and making sure that all of the many documents you have already filled out are correct and you have paid all the fees needed, then you get your accreditation.
But thats not it. You must use the pass you're given and go to another part of the hotel to get insurance, international clearance and another approval from their finance department then go back where you got your pass to get some more stamps on forms and then you're done. Easy? I don’t think so.
The sheer numbers of media from agencies like me, international papers/websites, specialist magazines, local press/websites not mentioning the media teams that actually follow a specific race team - all adds up to a lot of press. As a solo photographer on the Dakar, I think I have one of the easier accreditation processes to do, the drivers and riders have so much more to get checked and approved both personally and their rally equipment. The thing that does come across most is the safety aspect. As it is a dangerous event to compete in, every precaution is taken to ensure the drivers/riders, their teams, the following media and spectators are kept as safe as possible.
By the time I got everything I needed, the nice light outside had almost gone so I posted just a few preview snaps and will get the ball rolling tomorrow.
View Dean's coverage of the Dakar Rally 2014 on Getty ImagesSee more images
Editors Note: The 2014 Dakar Rally will be the 35th running of the event and the sixth successive year that the event is held in South America. The event starts in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina on January 5 and finishes in Valparaíso, Chile on January 18 after thirteen stages of competition. To find out more visit the official Dakar Rally 2014 website.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos is a Sports Photographer for Getty Images. Follow him on Twitter at @AllSportSnapper
About Dean Mouhtaropoulos
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Mouhtaropoulos' love for photography began when his godfather bought him a camera for his 12th birthday.
"My journey to become a photographer had started and led me to the Big Smoke as I always knew London would provide a good platform to start my career in the photography business.
Working full time in various non-photo related roles and shooting for magazines and newspapers on weekends, it was then that I discovered Getty Images. When visiting the Getty Gallery, which was in Chelsea at the time, and looking at all those amazing pictures I had an epiphany and knew this was the company I wanted to work for.
I started hounding Getty’s Human Resources department to give me a role, any role, in the company. A few months and hundreds of phone calls later a role came up doing coffees, spreadsheets and filing.
Thanks to my boss, who saw some potential in me, I became a Field Editor for Getty which is like the modern version of working in the Dark Room. I got to work with the best photographers around the world at events like the MTV Awards, Cannes Film Festival, both Football and Rugby World Cups, the Olympics, Champions League football, World Championships in Swimming, Diving, Hockey, Athletics and so on.
This has taught me more than I could ever imagine and after 7 years of absorbing information and applying it to my own photography, I earned the opportunity to become a staff photographer for Getty.
10 years in London came to an end at the start of 2012 and I am now based in the Netherlands covering sports and news in the Benelux, France and Germany. My knowledge of photography has progressed but my passion is as strong as it was when I picked up my first roll of Fuji film as a 12 year old."