Monday, December 12, 2011

On Assignment: Atlanta Track Club Grand Finale

There's been a lull in my blogging as of late and for that I apologize. I will be catching up in the next couple of weeks as I've got big news. I'll hold off the major one until later, but for now, I'll let you know that I'm planning on redesigning and relaunching my website and will move off Blogger onto my own blog right off my site. That's going to take a while, but it'll all makes sense in a couple weeks when I make the announcement and start off on a new adventure. You'll understand when you find out about the adventure.

Okay, back to the topic at hand. The Atlanta Track Club Grand Finale is one of my favorite events. Not only do they have a nice spread of food at the end, but there's an award ceremony. This was also a new course that took runners around Chastain Park. I've done training runs around here and there are some nice hills in the area.

Oh, I forgot to mention that one of those photos made the cover of Wing Foot magazine again.

As I shoot these races, the photos get kind of routine. You always shoot the start and get the early finishers crossing the finish line. There's nothing wrong with these shots. Sometimes they're not the most exciting or interesting.

Sometimes the most interesting shots are the ones where you can see an emotion. That emotion helps convey the story.

 I really love these shots. Whether it's relief, pain or a smile, those emotions make these photos memorable. It was a tough course with several hills and a climb at the finish and it's reflected in these photos.
One of the best things about these races are the volunteers. They are out on the course either directing traffic or providing water at the aid stations. They are always very helpful and these races would not be possible without their support. Always thank them if you can during the race and after. It's a rewarding experience and you'd be surprised what a simple thank you can mean to them.

There are a lot of runners who only do this for fun or a healthy lifestyle and it's inspiring to see them out along the course.

Once I've taken a majority of the photos at the finish, I always walk the course in the opposite direction looking for more photo opportunities.
As you can see from the image above, it's the one that made the cover. It pays to put in the extra effort and walk back to find some additional shots.

As I drove to the race site, I saw the golf course and park. I knew that it would make a great backdrop and because I would be shooting in that direction, I would need to use my flash to help balance out the sky.

These are some of my favorite shots. I only wish I had a more powerful flash/strobe so I could really underexpose the sky. I really love the one with the mother and daughter running together. Turns out that many in the Atlanta Track Club's office felt the same way.

I also like it when runners are out there having fun. It's not always about racing and being fast. It's about having fun, enjoying the company and the experience.

The best part of this event isn't so much the awards, but the recognition of the volunteers. Without them, none of these races would be possible. So, thank you to all the volunteers. I've done several of the races and it has always been a pleasure to see you all along the course.

I've got another Atlanta Track Club race to write about in the next coming weeks. Stay tuned.

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

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