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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 26 Aug 2016 (Friday) 16:12
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Gungnir
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Aug 26, 2016 16:12 |  #1

I have volunteered to photograph a weekly 5k run.

Having watched videos of previous events the finish line always looks the same with runners heads down checking time on their watch.

How would you grab their attention for the money shot?

If only they were dogs who can't see the squeaker taped to back of camera lol


Steve
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bseitz234
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Aug 30, 2016 17:14 |  #2

A couple thoughts, from the point of view of someone who has shot a lot of track and cross country, and a few road races, and probably raced just as many:
1) I don't think I've ever seen anyone trying to get people's attention at the finish line. It has never occurred to me to try it. If you do, you'll be unique in that. Let me know how it works! I'm genuinely intrigued.
2) I doubt you'll ever get everyone to look up. Be prepared for that.
3) I have always thought that the photos are for two main audiences: the runners, and the race organizers (promo material). The race organizers will certainly get enough from those who do look up to use for their promos for upcoming races. Thus, the only people losing out from shots of runners looking at watches, are those runners themselves. And they have only themselves to blame.

4) Setting this one apart, because it comes mostly from my point of view as a runner, not a photographer. Your real money shot is only at the finish line if it's a championship victory or a record time, AND the photo makes that apparent (clock in frame, breaking the tape, etc). Otherwise, people finishing a race look like crap! The whole goal of a race is to perfectly measure your energy output to be precisely spent when you cross the line. So people finishing are sprinting for their lives, form falling apart, and have death-mask grimaces on.
Instead, try for the first third of the race. Enough that it has thinned out a bit from the start, and everyone is in a good rhythm, but not yet tired. That's when you'll get people looking their best, having fun, and most likely to be alert and looking around (and therefore seeing you and smiling, waving, thumbs-up, etc).

Good luck!



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crbinson
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Aug 30, 2016 21:29 |  #3

I've been working a local triathlon for the last few years. They use the race organizers to communicate to the athletes in pre-race that photographers will be on the course and where to expect them. In your case it might simply be an announcement at the pre-race that a photog will be taking pics as they cross the finish line.

To beseitz234's point I can vouch for some great interaction with the athletes at the transitions. I shoot mile 1 out on the bike and then coming out of the corral to start the run. I'll give them a shout of encouragement and they are always returning an acknowledgement either verbally or with a photo op. I get lots of great shots this way with smiles, thumbs up, and show-off / funny faces. It makes for a lot of fun.

I also end up falling in as second shooter at the finish line. The photog is the last thing on their mind. They are usually focused on the finish or family members in the crowd. But I will tell you we take a pic of every athlete crossing the finish with the time clock in the shot. Actually when it comes to the finish there are usually a minimum of 2 shots; the final push to the finish and crossing the finish line.

Bearing in mind this is a 5k run; I would go with the finish line and just make sure they know in advance you will be there shooting to capture their grand finish line shot.


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AceCo55
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Aug 31, 2016 03:33 |  #4

If the "look" is the most important, what about taking shots of them 2 or 3m BEFORE they cross the line (or whatever distance from the line they are not starting to look at their times)?


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post edited over 5 years ago by Tom Reichner. (2 edits in all)
     
Aug 31, 2016 09:55 |  #5

.

Gungnir wrote in post #18107355 (external link)
How would you grab their attention for the money shot?


I would not want the runners looking at the camera. Why? because it is unnatural. If what runners do at the end of a race is to check their time, then I would want a photo of the runners checking their time if I were photographing them at the finish line. I would want my images to show how things really are in a race. Hence, photography is best utilized if it is used to show the thoughts and concerns of the subjects. If I wanted the runners looking up, then I would photograph a part of the race where they tend to be looking up, not the finish line.

I have photographed a lot of dog sled races. The finish line is a terrible place to shoot because the dogs are worn out and manifest no energy or charisma. At the start they are extremely lively, and look extremely intent on what they are doing. This might apply to a 5k race involving humans.

Hmmmmm . . . . . . . . "intent on what they are doing". That is what I would want to capture in a photograph of runners. I would not want to capture them at a moment when they are distracted by a photographer. An athlete distracted by a photographer is not a money shot at all.

The great thing about your situation is that it is a weekly run, and you should get many, many chances to photograph the run from many different locations and in many different conditions. What a wonderful opportunity to really learn an event and figure out a lot of interesting ways to photograph it!

.


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texkam
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Aug 31, 2016 11:04 |  #6

The winner breaking the tape with clock in shot would be my only must. After that, I would rather shoot them approaching the finish and concentrate on emotion. Something long, around 200mm focal length is my preference. I've captured wonderful images at turns, or even better, turn arounds. Any great image of a runner in action is a money shot IMHO. If you're planning on selling to runners, be warned don't expect a lot of sales in these "weekly" races. Destination marathons produce more sales.




  
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Gungnir
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Post edited over 5 years ago by Gungnir. (3 edits in all)
     
Sep 01, 2016 15:39 |  #7

Excellent. Thank you all :-)

The Parkrun is a scheme run by volunteers in communities across the world. 5k weekly runs each Saturday in the UK.

A means for people who wouldn't ordinarily excercise much to get fit, socialise and build community relations.

Will update after the weekend.

Thank you again!


Steve
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texkam
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Sep 01, 2016 23:43 |  #8

http://kamenish.weebly​.com/running.html (external link)

Here are some examples to help you get a few ideas. I believe a smiling face mid-race is better than an exhausted finish line face. Also, if you place yourself in an uncrowded conspicuous spot, many runners will notice you and reward you with a good pose.




  
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Gungnir
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Sep 03, 2016 16:09 |  #9

Thoroughly enjoyed it this morning. Great learning experience finding what works and what doesn't combined with an eclectic mix of runners varying from evil eyes 'don't you dare shoot me!’ to extrovert posers vieing for attention.

I rarely shoot ai servo but at some point in the past I'd altered case 1 to be less responsive resulting in less keepers. 1200 shots whittled down to a few hundred. Bit baffling 'til discovered that... Bit of a 'D'oh!' moment.

Alternated between burst and one shot to experiment. Both had merits but burst great when not wanting to embarrass people with weird facial expressions. Usually a smile between the grimaces later on in the run.


Steve
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Gungnir
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Post edited over 5 years ago by Gungnir. (6 edits in all)
     
Sep 04, 2016 15:27 |  #10

IMAGE: http://steveturnbullphotography.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/H6A8123.jpg

IMAGE: http://steveturnbullphotography.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/H6A8360.jpg

IMAGE: http://steveturnbullphotography.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/H6A7941.jpg

IMAGE: http://steveturnbullphotography.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/H6A7983.jpg

IMAGE: http://steveturnbullphotography.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/H6A8583.jpg

IMAGE: http://steveturnbullphotography.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/H6A8398.jpg


A few of the runners were eager to grab attention. Took heed of advice. Being a hot, sunny morning and after grabbing shots in harsh light the runners enter a section of course in woodland. Waited at the exit where they'd be feeling refreshed from the cool shade.

Steve
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texkam
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Sep 04, 2016 20:07 |  #11

There you go. Nice shootin!




  
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bseitz234
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Sep 06, 2016 12:40 |  #12

Nice shots, well done!



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Gungnir
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Sep 06, 2016 13:37 |  #13

Very kind but focus is off on most.

Will be better prepared for next time though :-)


Steve
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Gungnir
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Sep 16, 2016 15:59 |  #14

Second attempt tomorrow. It's their two year anniversary so fingers crossed I learnt something last time.

Adding this so I can't chicken out of posting images...


Steve
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wpaul98
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Sep 17, 2016 18:26 |  #15

Great captures!




  
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