Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Agile Fox Friday Foto – 11.16.2012

After a year and a half of including a ‘pic of the week’ at the end of my weekly training summary, I’ve decided to let it stand as a post of its own.  I’m also implementing a rule that the Friday Foto needs to have been taken sometime in the last week.  No recycling.  I am doing this to keep me engaged in building my photography skills, and to make me work harder to get fresh shots.  Click here to see my previous Friday Foto posts.

I have been approached over the past couple of years by people wanting to use my photos, video clips, or quotes in articles or other commercial ventures.  I have always enthusiastically agreed and in many cases have offered or delivered more than what was originally requested.  I like sharing my work, and enjoy seeing others get some use out of it.  Sadly, though – that is usually the last I ever hear from them and I never get to see the finished product.

I don’t watermark my images (though I have thought about it at times), and have resisted the whole “Firstname Lastname Photography” branding trend.  Nothing wrong with either of those things, and I may end up doing one or both at some point in the future, but for now I am content to consider what I’m doing as practice.  I want to be good at photography.  Really good, in fact.  I have a long way to go, and I’m not looking for any shortcuts.  Paying my dues, so to speak.

When I posted a batch of photos I shot at last week’s Backcountry Wilderness Half Marathon, I was contacted and asked for permission to use one as part of an interview being published by Simon on RunColo.com.  I agreed and sent a link to the high resolution version.

Then, for the first time ever, things came full circle when he sent me a message to let me know that the article was going live and credit had been given.  It’s a small thing, but I really appreciated that extra touch.

You can view the article here:
http://www.runcolo.com/content/interview-nicole-chyr-1281/

I didn’t realize that he was going to use such a large format, and the picture that appears on the site didn’t quite stand up to the quality I would have liked.  From a technical perspective it is a little soft (full zoom, wide aperture, and cropping in post left it lacking in sharpness).  My long zoom is a pretty mediocre lens, too.

Artistically, I love how it turned out.  Obviously it starts with good subject material.  Nicole won in a blazing fast time and took home some nice prize money.  I also like the golden tones, it reminds me of a scene out of the movie “300”.  I was happy to get anything decent at all on such a dark and gloomy morning.

If people want to use pics I take for blogs or whatever, I have no issues with that.  That’s why I make them available!  It’s nice when people give credit, but I don’t get overly militant about it, either.  Of course my feelings would probably be a lot different if I were trying to make a living this way.  I feel for those that have to wrestle with the dilemma of putting their work out on the web to be seen, but then have to defend it from being taken and used without credit or payment.  Fortunately, I am not in that position and nothing makes me happier than when someone likes a photo I have produced.

The exchange with RunColo.com was a great example of how collaboration can work in this day and age if someone simply takes the time to reach out.  He got a photo for his article, I got a little exposure in return.  A good experience on both sides.  We may never be in contact again, but the door is always open.  In my experience, that is worth a lot.  Thanks, Simon!  Well done.

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Fast Runner
1/500, f/5.6, 300mm @ ISO 400

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.

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2012 Training Log – Week 46

Slowly coming back.  .4 miles two weeks ago, 20 last week, and just over 40 this week.  Still have a LONG way to go, but I’m happy to feel like things are going somewhere now.

Other highlights:

Took some shots at a half marathon in Highland’s Ranch.  That was fun.

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Spent some time walking around the Fort Logan National Cemetery for Veteran’s Day.  I hadn’t ever been there even though it’s only about 20 minutes from where I live.  It was nice to walk around in the brisk air and reflect on the sacrifices of those that are buried there (96,000).

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