Monday, June 20, 2011

On Assignment : Atlanta Track Club Women's 5k

Meant to post this blog a week or so ago, but got busy with some other projects. Anyway, I managed to get the cover of Wing Foot magazine for the month of May. This marks my  1 year anniversary shooting for the Atlanta Track Club and it was 1 year ago that I got my first cover shot.
As it turns out, she's the wife of Ray Mariner from the Cindy & Ray show on Star 94. This is a great race and I'm always surprised at how many great shots I get along the course.

It's an early morning start and since it's still winter, it's dark when I first arrive as well as those picking up  race numbers.

Women on the Move is the Atlanta Track Club's "... women's-only 5K training program that prepares novice and intermediate runners for the Atlanta Women’s 5K in March. The goal of the program is to provide a fun, motivating running environment that helps women start their journey towards health and fitness." This is their target race after all the hard work and weeks of training.

Of course I had to get a shot of the Atlanta Track Club's women's' team. They're fast and always line up in the front.

Before the start of the race I usually wander around and look for groups that are dressed similarly or alike. I didn't realize how big this group was until the end of the race. Check out the last picture in the blog.

I always like getting a shot of the start of the race. I think this angle provides a more unique shot. I can only get a few quick shots because I need to get out of the way. I know they don't want me in the way and as much as I like the idea of a group of women running towards me, it's best if I get out of their way.

This is a great course as it starts right next to Candler Park. As a photographer, it provides great access to several locations along the course. The course does a figure 8 kind of loop so that the participants come through an intersection twice. You can see from the shot below, the crowd behind one of the lead runners coming through the intersection on her way to the finish.
I have just enough time for the runners to clear the start before I get to this intersection. So that I can catch the lead runners at the start and about a half mile from the finish.

Once I'm at the intersection, I can catch the individual runners going toward the finish.

Then I can turn 180 degrees and catch the back of the pack, getting two different perspectives from the exact same spot.

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw this shot. Nothing better than seeing someone enjoying themselves and playing up for the camera.

I will typically use a 70-200 mm ƒ/2.8 lens to isolate the runners as they come through and then zoom out to get a larger group. I also try to switch it up shooting vertical, horizontal, low angle and at eye level.

After a while, I'll start walking back to the finish line. I'll stop several times on the way back to take additional shots from different angles.

The runners finish right past Candler Park, but they run along a scenic path that makes for some great photos.

Remember the group shot I mentioned earlier? I caught up with them at the end. Now that's what I call a group shot.

This is one of my favorite races to photograph and not only because I've gotten the cover from it 2 years in a row. Thanks to the Atlanta Track Club for allowing me to lend my services and see my work in your magazine. I'll never get tired of seeing my work in print.

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

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