Friday, June 18, 2010

GOYA - Atlanta Triathlon Club | davem photography

A couple weeks ago I went down to Macon to check out the Coliseum Rock N' Rollman Triathlon and shoot some photos for the Atlanta Triathlon Club.
I'm a member of the Atlanta Triathlon Club and I train with the club several times a week. I wanted to check this race out, so I can be familiar with this type of event, so that I'll be more informed when I compete in my races this year.

Arrived around 7:30am. Just in time to see the first group of swimmers come in. The second female out of the water was April Gellatly. She's the ATC head swim coach and a professional triathlete. April was doing a Half Ironman distance, 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike & 13.1 mile run.
I was able to photograph most of the ATC members competing during the swim. There were several race categories, including Half Ironman, Aquabike, Duathlon, & Sprint.
I was shooting with  a 17-40mm f/4 lens using a 580EXII on E-TTL mode. I'm not a fan of using E-TTL, but in this case it was required. When the action moves this fast and the distance to you subject changes, there's no way you're going to be able to manually control flash power. I set my shutter speed & aperture and let the camera figure out flash power.

I moved locations to capture images as they came in on the bike. Here are a couple shots form the athletes competing in the sprint distance. I switched out to my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens for the bike portion.
I'm now shooting with a Canon 7D. The improved autofocus and higher frame rate is definitely noticeable when shooting sports. I got a higher percentage of sharp images, I'm extremely happy with this upgrade.

Next up were the pros coming in from the 56 mile bike course. I got this series of shots of Amy Kloner who came in second over all behind Nina Kraft. As tough as this course is with the high temps and humidity, I'm surprised at her smiling. She obviously enjoys what she's doing and having a great time.

Next up was April. She's got a more focused and determined look.

As I already mentioned, the higher frame rate and fast focusing on the 7D made these images easier to capture.

I was also volunteering at one of the Aid Stations along with other Atlanta Triathlon Club members and I headed back to put the camera gear away. As I was walking back I was able to get a couple more shots of April starting her 13.1 mile run.
Congratulations to all the athletes that competed. April came in 5th place overall female. It was a tough course with temps in the mid 90's and high humidity. It was difficult to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Watching these athletes compete gave me a whole new respect for these athletes and I was inspired and motivated to compete in my first triathlon the following day. I had a great race and performed better than I expected. I've got to give credit to all the coaches in the Atlanta Triathlon Club, they had prepared me for my first race. If you've ever thought about training for a triathlon, I'd highly recommend joining the Atlanta Triathlon Club. I enjoyed it so much that I'm looking forward to my next race and have committed more time to training.

 When I'm not competing, I'll be shooting more events for the Atlanta Triathlon Club. I've also got some things in the works. Hopefully I'll be working with some of these pro athletes in the near future. I really like shooting these kind of images and I hope it'll lead to some editorial or feature work for some sports publications.

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