Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Austin triathlon


Dragged myself out of bed to go and shoot the Austin Triathlon this morning. Didn't get a whole lot of sleep the night before but pushed myself to go and start taking some more photos of the people I train with in T3. This shot of Jane above made it all worthwhile. She spent the whole race grinning happily and I happened to be in the right place at the right time for when she was getting soaked. Ended up having a lot of fun, lying in gutters to get good low angle shots of the bikes, dodging kids with squirt guns who were soaking the athletes and occasionally me. I was trying to go a bit beyond the safe, event style of shooting that usually gets done at these events. I'm not being paid for the photos so took more risks and had a lot less keepers than normal. Though also meant there are a few that worked better. Also found that a camera bag can make for a good impromptu tripod to lean the camera on if you are lying flat out in the road. Getting down really low with a longer lens can really work out well, as in the shot to the right, where the road starts to provide a bit of out of focus foreground. I was lucky with some mist in the air too that fades out the capitol building in the background. I found some great busy, colourful backdrops in south Austin, using the painted store fronts as backgrounds for the images. Panning tends to reduce the contrast a bit and in general mixes the colours up, as you can see in the shot below, so while the background is busy, the slow shutter speed and moving camera blends that background and makes it less confusing and helps the subject pop. I was shooting at about 1/50s at around 100mm focal length, so I have a lot of blurry, failed images. But there are a few that work that gives me hope if I just practice some more!
20070903_austin_tri_8552Was a good day to go and shoot in the end, too. Not too sunny, lots of bright, even light from the clouds. I did decide to leave my flash at home, which I'm not entirely sure was a good idea. There were a few times where it might have been useful, but you do tend to get a lot of reflective clothes that glow in odd ways with triathlon gear and bikes. Also decided to cut some weight and only take a 70-200 lens (with a 1.4x tele). I wish in the end I'd taken the 17-40 along too. A lesson in being too lazy I think. I walked about 5 miles up and down Congress Avenue shooting the bikes then caught the tail end of the run course. Getting a bit further away from the start area meant I had more space to shoot and not so many people to avoid in the backgrounds. The rest of the shots from the day are over on flickr.


Unknown said...

Hey Gordon, great pictures!! It was really good to see you out there. You really captured some awesome pictures. I was always surprised to see what position you had gotten yourself into for the pictures. Thanks for the support and the photos. Jim

Lulu said...

You continue to amaze me Gordon - some amazing shots in there.