Tuesday, July 5, 2011

GOYA - Atlanta Triathlon Club | davem photography

The GOYA shoot returns. For those of you just tuning in for the first time, GOYA stands for, Get Off Your A$$. I didn't coin the term, but liked it when I heard it from Zack Arias. Basically, it's when I give myself an assignment or just shoot for myself. It's always a learning experience, fun and keeps my skills sharp.
This was kind of the official start of triathlon race season. The Atlanta Triathlon Club had huge participation at this race. It was a chilly morning and the water temperature was actually warmer than the air. It was still wetsuit legal.

This is the first time that I was able to get some really nice shots of the athletes exiting the water. I used the 70-200 mm ƒ/2.8 and was worried that maybe my shots would be too tight. Turns out it worked out really nice. I was lucky that I had a clear shot to the water's edge. The drawback to the swim being wetsuit legal, is that it's difficult to recognize your team mates when they're wearing goggles, swim cap and a wetsuit that does not have the club logo on it. Best thing to do is to walk around before the start of the race and get familiar with everyone's wetsuit color, style & logo. When shooting, keep one eye in the viewfinder and the other looking out into the water and anticipate their exit.

Here are some of my favorites from the swim exit.

I still want to shoot a swim entry at the start of a race. Doing so would require me to be in the water and use some sort of waterproof housing for my camera. I'm still researching for an affordable housing that will still allow me to take some nice shots.

I moved outside the park area onto the road to catch the end of the bike portion. Since I shot the majority of the swim exit, I missed a lot of bike start. This was a sprint and it didn't take too long for the fast cyclists to start rolling in. Talk about keeping your skills sharp. Some of these athletes were doing 20-22 mph coming back into the park. This is where I love my Canon 7D's advanced focusing system.

You may notice that all these shots are in full sunlight and that's okay. Shooting in bright sunlight allows me to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. The most importantly thing to remember is to make sure you're shooting in consistent light, either full sun or full shade. Grabbing shots when they're in both lights makes for a very difficult lighting scenario and not very flattering for your subjects.

I was able to get the majority of them on the bike and then moved over to the run portion of the race. Once again, I chose to shoot under consistent light. Except for the first shot seen below, the run portion was shot in the shade. I took this as I was walking the course looking for a spot to setup. The athletes are not moving as fast as on the bike so I can use a slower shutter speed. Also, the shade is a much more pleasant (cooler) area to run in and it shows in their expression.

All of these shots were taken with the 70-200 ƒ/2.8. When it comes to sports photography, this lens is my go to lens. I ended up switching to the 17-40 mm ƒ/4 during the awards ceremony for wider group shots. Yes, there were several club members that came away with a podium finish. Congrats to all the winners and athletes that raced.

I was actually nervous at the start of this race as if I were racing. My big race (half iron distance - 70.3 miles) was the following weekend and I was getting anxious to race. I'm really lucky to have found a great club to train with, meet new friends and combine my passion for photography. Some would say, I'm living the dream. I can't argue with that.

If you're looking for an athletic photographer in the Atlanta area, visit my portfolio and contact me.

No comments: