How to shoot a 5k run?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Flatland2D, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. Flatland2D

    Flatland2D TPF Noob!

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    My mother-in-law asked me to shoot a 5k run for breast cancer this weekend that her Curves is helping sponsor. I was just wondering if anyone had some tips or advice for shooting this type of event. I'll be using my Sony A100 with 70-210mm f4 (beercan) but also have the 18-70mm kit lens. I was thinking the tele on the beercan would be a little better suited since I can't be getting in the way of the runners. Also, my pictures will be submitted to the local newspaper so is there anything I should consider when shooting for print? Should I send the raws/jpgs and let them do the post processing, or should I send them after I've worked them a little (I like to have control over my pics)? Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    send them edited jpegs. but don't put borders or anything cause they do that part themselves if they want.
     
  3. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    Enter the run yourself and while running, take the pictures:lol:. No, but seriously, stand somewhere at the sides, and focus on a person and snap a few pictures while they pass in front of you. Also, I've often seen pictures in newspapers of the start and finish of the run. Make sure to crop out any annoying things that may be in the picture. Good luck.
     
  4. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    Here is the basic template for success! Wide, medium and closeup. Get those shots first and try a artistic shoot after that, if there is a finish line make sure to get the person breaking through the tape. Try getting some photos of people having fun or someone trying their hardest and their all sweaty and about to give out. Other than that 5k runs are easy to shoot.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In this situation its hard to give very specific advice... I will try to share a few thoughts.

    Are you going to be mobile in a manner that will let you zip to various parts of the run faster than the participants? If so:

    - Starting line shots: One wide pic with great DOF, show a sign that displays the reason all these people are there.

    - Starting line shots: Many up close shots of the participant's faces, up tight, narrow DOF. Note their expressions... joy? Anticipation? Eagerness? Trepidation? Tell the story of their feelings!

    - Mid point in the race: Same recepie... full length body shots of runners struggling and straining. Up close shots, sweat on the foreheads shots from the rear of a group of runners. These events are not always super-competitive, and you can often find 1-2 runners helping another... a potentially very poignant shot.

    - End of the race: The finish line before anyone crosses, another of the first person crossing and perhaps a couple others. Don't focus too long on the finish line... follow the first few runners as they have now slowed down and are trying to recouperate. Pics of people bent over, tired, but happy (side or front, NOT from the rear). Pics of people celebrating, happy faces, emotions have to be visible.

    You may want to try to find out who are the fastest of the group, focus your shots on them, but do not make it appear as such. Tell their story from start to end in a short 4-5 frames and use other pics to supplement the story.

    Afterwards, post process all your own pictures. Your vision of the race may not be the same as theirs. Look at how your shots look in black & white, unless you know that all the pics you take will show in colour.

    Be as active and dynamic as the event and it's participants are, and as always...

    Enjoy and have fun!
     
  6. gpimages

    gpimages TPF Noob!

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    Great advice so far. I shoot my sons high school cross country meets (5k). I find it very useful to get to the meet about an hour before it starts if it is a course that I am unfamiliar with. Scout the course and look for good vantage points with uncluttered backgrounds (very difficult sometimes). Start pictures are good, but difficult to focus on individuals. At the start the runners are always very bunched up. Later in the race is better for individual shots when the pack thins out. The finish line is good for facial expressions. Usually have some runners that are just worn out and hoping to make it to the finish. Some courses are VERY difficult to get more than one or two vantage points. Here is a link to my galleries, they may give you some ideas.
    http://gpimages.smugmug.com/Amity%20Sports%202007-2008/377568

    Forgot one last point, yes you will need to PP your shots. I shoot wide and crop about 90% of my shots. It is just too difficult (for me any way) to get well framed shots out of the camera when you are moving around so much and trying to go from wide angle shots to closeups.
     
  7. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    If the Breast Cancer runs I've been involved with are any guide, there's a HUGE turnout*, so shots of all the runners queued up is pretty awesome to see. You can then get pictures of people 'starting to run' after the gun goes off. Many people here tend to dress up for the run, wearing a lot of pink, and/or the pink ribbon temporarily tattoed on their faces, and/or silly hats, feather boa's etc., ...so pics of groups of them smiling for the camera before/after the race look good. Many also carry banners, or wear a sign saying who/what they're running for, which can make for either a very moving (ie a little kid running in memory of a mother/grandmother) or very funny (ie the guy running for 'saving second base') picture. If you wave or give runners a thumb's up sign along the route, they'll likely do the same back, which can make for a good pic of an individual runner. These runs are generally not at all competitive and there's a wonderful feeling of comaraderie which you should be able to capture. There will also be many breast cancer survivors out for the event...they often have a different colour shirt to mark them as such. And there is often a 'wall' or banner to sign at the end, which can make for a good pic.

    Definitely process the shots before submitting them.



    *I'm from a big city...I think there were at least 10,000 runners/walkers in the event held earlier this month in Toronto. The starting chute was four lanes wide and 2 city blocks long, absolutely packed tight. It probably took about 8 minutes for the people at the back of the pack to even cross the start line. Your event may not be as big, but the point is that you'll probably have lots of time for pics before the race starts and you don't need to worry about rushing around.
     
  8. Flatland2D

    Flatland2D TPF Noob!

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    Wow, that's more advice than I thought I'd get. Thanks for all the info! I'll be studying the suggestions here and reviewing photos for the weekend. And I just found out it's a red ribbon (drug free) race, not for breast cancer. I guess somewhere along the communication to me the info got mixed up.
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good luck... and don't forget to post a link for us to see some of your favorites!
     

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