4th of Jan. 

Today I got to see all the drivers, riders and their vehicles as they are unveiled to the waiting Rosario public. 

There are many things that have surprised me on this trip in the first few days and today is no different. 

On various websites, I read up to one million people will come and line the streets of Rosario for a look at the Dakar show. Today for me was just documenting the day and getting some photos of a few of the main competitors as well as getting some of the lesser known guys and girls from specific countries. 

I started at the City Centre Hotel/Casino at about 10am just shooting the mechanics and scrutineers doing the final check on the vehicles. 

While I get the basics with cars, the level of knowledge from these people is astonishing.  The amount of work that has gone in to every motorbike, car, buggy and truck is plain to see on any closer inspection. Hundreds if not thousands of hours getting every detail looked at and checked again and again. 

At midday I, along with other press get on the media bus to downtown Rosario, near the The National Flag Memorial where the Official Podium is set up. 

First is a media call for motorbike riders. Under the impressive monument, all the riders in their kit pose for a few photographers and about a thousand locals with point and shoot cameras and phones. While this is an easy thing to shoot, it gets more difficult when locals keep walking in front of you to get a photo to show their friends.  

After this is done, it's a quick edit from this mornings images and then time for the photocall when all competitors arrive to be unveiled on the Official Podium. I would say France have the most people competing along with the Spanish (for now I will put the Catalans in with the Spanish, sorry Catalans). 

I was trying to capture most of the Americans, Dutch, British, Aussies, Chinese and Japanese for our clients and offices there but with 700 pilots and co-pilots as they are called in the French based media guide, I did my best. This went from about 3pm until 9pm. 

Constantly checking the names and countries of the drivers/riders, shooting non-stop in 30 degrees celcius weather. Then the fun really begins - the editing and captioning. 

From 10pm until 1am I was editing, captioning and sending my images to the Getty feed and website. I got the main people out and decided to do the rest during a second edit tomorrow after rembering that I had a 4am start. 

As I am part of the official media group, I will be travelling with some other agency photographers so we work on a pretty tight schedule - you can’t be late. 

A quick trip back to the hotel, pack, sleep for 1 hour 50 minutes and the next blog will take off from here...

View Dean's coverage of the Dakar Rally 2014 on Getty Images

  • ROSARIO, ARGENTINA - JANUARY 04: (#500) Eduard Nikolaev, Evgeny Yakovlev and Vladimir Rybakov of Russia with team Kamaz Master pose on the official podium in front of The National Flag Memorial (Monumento Nacional a la Bandera) during the 2014 Dakar Rally Previews on January 4, 2014 in Rosario, Argentina. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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  • ROSARIO, ARGENTINA - JANUARY 04: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was processed using digital filters) (#348) Campbell Mathew, Luis Ramirez Payen Jr and Nicolas Ambriz Suarez of Canada for the Desert Warrior El Martillo make their way to the official podium during the 2014 Dakar Rally Previews on January 4, 2014 in Rosario, Argentina. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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  • Dean Mouhtaropoulos is a Sports Photographer for Getty Images. Follow him on Twitter at @AllSportSnapper
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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."

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