Thursday, March 25, 2010

GOYA - Dirty Spokes Trail Run

I've been thinking about getting back into running off road/trail running and found out about this event. Unfortunately it was the day before my half marathon, so I chose to bring my camera along, practice shooting another sporting event using off camera flash.
This was the first day of Spring and it was a perfect day to be outdoors. It's a day like this that I love working or playing outdoors.

The race was held at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, site of the 1st Olympic cross country mountain bike race during the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. I rode the course several years ago, so I was familiar with the location.

I arrived right before the start of the race. There was a 10k & 5k starting at the same time in opposite directions. I talked to the race director and he pointed me towards the woods where the runners would emerge before crossing the finish line.
I probably hiked about half a mile toward the woods and then another 1/4 mile before setting up. I packed light, only what would fit into my backpack. I brought a mini tripod and used it as a light stand.
I haven't shot without a modifier, so this was new. I was trying to balance natural light with the strobe adding fill. I found out that I didn't really need a lot. I was shooting at 1/16 power and got to witness the Inverse Square Law of Light.

Since the subjects are running toward the light, I had to find the sweet spot for the proper exposure. The closer to the light, the more the subject would be over exposed. Once I figured it out, it was only a matter of waiting for the runner to hit the mark.
I also changed my position to get a variety of angles.
It was a great learning experience. The only thing I would do differently is to bring an actual light stand. Since the flash was low to the ground, the lighting looks a bit unnatural. Although, for those that were wearing ball caps, I was able to illuminate the face better with a light at this angle. This GOYA assignment will help me out this weekend when I shoot the Atlanta Women's 5K for the Atlanta Track Club.
I'm looking forward to the next race. There's a duathlon in April I'm going to do, trail running and mountain biking. Looking forward to it, especially if it's as nice of a day like this.

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