Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bike MS | davem photography

A while back I was informed of an opportunity to shoot the Bike MS event down at Callaway Gardens. So I signed up to help out and lend my skills in capturing images of this event.
Celebrating it's 24th year, the Bike MS: Cox Atlanta Ride is a two-day ride that benefits the Georgia Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Donations raised through this event benefits the Georgia Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and it's mission to end the devastating effects of MS.

I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough memory cards to shoot a whole day (8 hours) worth of images. I decided to shoot JPEG and forgo shooting RAW. I can typically shoot 300 RAW images on an 8GB CF card. Shooting JPEG allowed me to shoot about 1400. I shot around 1200 all day and never had to switch cards.
The day started with shooting team pictures. Teams varied in sizes and they were some large ones. Wrangling a group this size wasn't easy. Sometimes having to wait because someone was missing. Luckily there were family members also taking pictures so it was only a matter of timing it so that we were all there at the same time and only have to get the groups together once.

Next came the start of the ride. It wasn't a race, but a group ride with distances varying from 40 to 100 miles.
In the end I ended up with about 1000 great images. Can't show them all here, but too many not to share some of my favorites. If I have some time I'll put together a slide show/video of all the images.

After shooting the start, I got in the car and drove to the first break/aid station. I was able to get some nice portrait shots as the riders got to eat and rest.

I wanted to get some action shots, so I drove along the course and pulled into a parking lot. I was able to get some great shots. Even though they were going up hill, the riders were in great spirits and smiled for the camera. I also gave them some encouragement as they came by.

I sat on the side of the road, shooting with my 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 @ ƒ/4. Since I was shooting up, I was able to get some great facial expressions. I even like the reflection of the road on the reflective sunglasses.

I really like these next shots because they look like they could be in a bike catalog or magazine. These guys definitely looked like pro cyclists.

I made it back to the finish and was able to capture the joy of these riders crossing the finish line. These riders were doing the 60 mile and 100 mile routes. Having ridden 60 miles before, I know exactly how they feel.

It was a great day, with great weather even if it was in the mid-nineties. These riders did great and you can tell they really had a good time while raising money for a great cause.

They say you become a master in a skill when you've done it for 10,000 hours. On this day, I got  in 8 hours of shooting in manual mode, panning, zooming and capturing images of moving objects. I still have a ways to go, but I'm happy with these images and hope the riders enjoy them as well.

On a side note, I was just informed that the Shepherd Center , one of the teams (team pic above)  is having an article written up and will be published. They will be using some of my images from the day. I've requested a copy and I'll post as soon as I get a hold of it.

If you're looking for a portrait photographer in the Atlanta area, visit my portfolio.

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