Photo Shoot: 2012 Backcountry Wilderness 1/2 Marathon
Whenever I get the chance, I like to combine my love of photography with my love of racing and practice refining my shooting technique. I’m slowly finding my photographic ‘voice’ when it comes to race photos.
The Backcountry Wilderness 1/2 Marathon over in Highland’s Ranch provided a nice opportunity to get some more practice. With a relaxed 8:30 start time, I was also able to squeeze in a great 11 mile trail run of my own before getting in my first position around mile 1.5. My early morning run had mild temps in the upper 40’s, but by race time a cold front passed through and the weather turned nasty and cold.
I would describe the style I am trying to develop as an ‘action portrait’. I’m working in manual mode, RAW file format, low aperture, and a long zoom to limit the depth of field. In post-processing I do a fair amount of cropping, and lean towards deep/rich colors without superficial saturation. I still have a long way to go, but every time I do this type of thing I really learn a lot. Mostly how much more I need to learn…
Trying to manage the exposure was the most challenging thing this time. I was using the overcast sky as the background most of the morning and had to constantly check the histogram to make sure the subject was exposed properly, but without clipping the highlights.
The best part of the day was a brief snow shower that passed through towards the end of the race and added a cool new element to the shots.
I have a new appreciation for the guys/gals that stand out in the bad conditions all day to get photos like this. I was shivering pretty hard at the end and didn’t really stop until two hours later.
Check out some samples, the entire album is here.