Saturday, October 22, 2016

I photospectathaleted

The original plan for today was to run a marathon. I didn't. I didn't even do a half. Don't feel sorry for me. I overdid it in August and am still recovering from extremely tight and cranky legs. Maybe next year.

I knew one of my buddies was running a half so I had committed to cheering her on and taking photos. I'm going to babble about the photo bit for a minute, feel free to skip a couple paragraphs. When I was taking photos of Michelle, Antje, and Amy at the 70.3 this summer, I was using a 100 mm lens. The shots turned out beautifully, but with such great subjects what else could happen? The only problem was I had to be a long way away from them to get the various posing shots that happen, and people were walking in between. That lens doesn't zoom.

This time I was using the new lens, a 70 to 200 mm zoom lens. I love it, though it weighs a ton. Even at 70 mm I still needed to be a little further away than I liked for the pre and post-race 'milling around' shots. It worked beautifully for the out on the path shots. I just need to get better at framing the person I'm shooting. I'm still aiming too high. Plus when I'm starting to shoot at 200, I need to remember I can zoom in and continue to shoot. Several times I stopped shooting and looked up only to realize they were still a long ways away.

One of the better shots of the day happened before the race as I was dialing in, figuring out what settings to use, and saw this couple trying to stay warm. I've no idea who they are.


This was a challenging shoot for me, so it was good experience. Pre-race was cloudy, so that's one set of settings. I rode my bike to meet Patricia at Crowchild so she could drop any extra gear. That's under the bridge and really dark with construction scaffolding, so another set of settings. Then I waited for her to come back outside, with light cloud gradually clearing, so another set of settings. Then back to the finish line, under clear sunny skies, for another set of settings.

I spent some time trying to figure out how to get the classic finish line photo. From a photographers point of view it sucked. Shooting from the corral to the finish line, it was really hard to include both the clock and the finisher in the photo. If you were back there waiting you had essentially no warning your athlete was coming. You were shooting towards the sun so your athlete's face will be shadowed. Let's just say I'm not happy with the finish line shot. When we got to the front of the line for the finisher's podium the shadows were unfortunate. There are some shots I'm happy with, and I'm sharing them with the appropriate people.

I've been on a bit of a tear, both taking photos, and going back to develop older ones. One image in particular was in my head for a bunch of reasons. It's a shot of downtown at sunrise, but everything at the base of the image is dark, so it looks like the buildings are anchored in darkness, and rise up to the light. Perhaps it's an allegory of some kind; feel free to speculate in comments. This isn't quite how I had it pictured in my head, but pretty close.

Which leads me to keeping track of photos so I can find them again when I have imagery thoughts. One of the things that kills me in Apple's iPhoto and whatever they call the current abomination for collecting photos, is finding a particular one. Lightroom offers sophisticated ways to group photos in collections, and using keywords, and star ratings, and perhaps there are other functions I haven't explored yet. I haven't taken advantage of any of them yet, wanting to see what I actually end up shooting, and how I'd think about it after. I'm thinking I need keywords for this one like; skyline, downtown, sunrise, from bluff above Inglewood Golf course. That narrows it down to several hundred photos now, and there might be more next week. I need to start putting some thought into this. It might well be the first major project once I get Lightroom going on a new iMac. Soon.

This other one was shot just across the road a few days ago. It's a little overdeveloped, but I was looking for a bit of a painting feel.

While I was watching all the other runners, and I was surprised by another buddy I hadn't known was running, I was thinking it's been an excellent year for running. I was consistent, I built gradually, I had the support of the best running buddy in the world, and ended up running better than I've ever run since I was about 17. So that's all a learning to carry into next year. My legs are feeling better, enough so that I was thinking about a run this afternoon or tomorrow. We'll see.

Oh, and my buddy? She did awesome! A new PB at this distance, and missed her A goal by a minute or so. If she wants to blog about it, I'd be happy to guest blog her. (Hint, hint.)

Late update, no guest blog. But here she is, running strong just past the half way point.




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