Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Serious cyclist

  1. #1
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,245
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Serious cyclist

    Took the camera out to the local Triathlon last weekend and caught a few tri-athletes at the tail end of their 40km cycle leg.

    Serious cyclist

    Serious cyclist

    Serious cyclist

    Things I learnt for next time/next year;
    + Get up and out MUCH earlier (they did!)
    + Look for even less distracting backgrounds (I did try)
    + Don't get lane markings in shot
    + Pick a site with less bunching and better advance viewing of what's coming
    + If you can't read their number, you won't know who they are

    Comments welcome

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Vanvouver Island, BC
    Posts
    70

    Re: Serious cyclist

    Nice work, and I'd say that you've already done pretty much all of the critique necessary.

  3. #3
    New Member daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Timisoara, Romania
    Posts
    8

    Re: Serious cyclist

    I really like the first one, the lighting effects on the wheels are very nice.

  4. #4
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,320
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: Serious cyclist

    I like the first shot and your own comments are all extremely relevant.

    The one about identifying riders is particularly so, one cyclist in a race will look much like the next and if you haven't got their details, then interesting them/their club/magazines in the pictures will be a whole lot more difficult.

    Even though I know many cyclists, sometimes they have their heads down or are all riding in club colours so identifying them individually can be a nightmare.

  5. #5

    Re: Serious cyclist

    good panning techniqueall the three pics are alike in all respects if you have seen one, you have seen them all the point of focus is not as sharp,as i would like these type of pics should be specially the first pic!! good,point of interest,in such actions sports pics is lacking.other than that.very good sports pics

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,245
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Serious cyclist

    Thank you all for your comments.

    I was experimenting with a few things here;
    - manual pre-focus vs auto; auto soon won the day as I couldn't predict where they'd be (between 7 and 20 feet in the side-on shots)
    - even with auto-focus, I suspect the delay between focus lock and exposure in pic 2 is what has resulted in the rearmost cyclist being sharper than the first.

    The first shot is auto-exposed at 1/160th & f3.8, the other two are shutter priority at 1/125 at f3.8 and f3.2 respectively. I believe the first shot is one of the wrong guessed pre-focussed ones, but content-wise, it's probably the best.
    All were taken (RAW) with a polarizer (mainly for the ND effect) and ISO100 to get the shutter speed that slow, largely because my camera only stops down to f8.

    I also agree with Taken that all the pics are a bit samey. Sadly, because I didn't get up early enough, I ran out of cyclists - literally; by the time I had re-located myself for a different viewpoint, they'd all gone.

    Pic 3 had some significant PP work to remove some ugly lane markings and to 'dull down' a very bright panel behind the fence, a close look will reveal my crude brushing on the brickwork.

    I have others technically better on focus, etc., but they all have too much other stuff in shot (ruining the composition) to be worth displaying. Ain't it always the way!

    Yeah, I'm getting better at the panning thanks, and Shreds has 'hit the nail on the head' about their numbers and ID problems limiting opportunities.

    Thank you one and all, Dave

  7. #7
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,320
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: Serious cyclist

    Dave,

    First off, can I ask what you are trying to 'achieve' (don't take that the wrong way) with your shots?

    Is it a record of the event?
    Do you shoot the other disciplines (running/swimming)?
    Is it the characters and the 'pain' on their faces?
    Is it the speed?
    Is it the 'feel' of the event?
    Is it from a photographic perspective alone?
    etc etc

    Firstly, dealing with my last post, a small video camera set up alongside you on a tripod can give a 'second glance' at the numbers and let you concentrate on shooting. In this country the numbers are generally pinned to the competitors shirts, but in continental europe the competitor number may be attached to the bike, often behind the handlebars on the cross bar. If videoing, bear this in mind.

    Alternately have an assistant/mate/wife/girlfriend etc do the number spotting for you.

    Speak to the organisers beforehand, they will know who is likely to be fastest and may be able to supply a list of competitors, so you have a good idea of who is coming when.

    To most people if not involved, cycle racing shots will be similar. Are you shooting for yourself or to sell to local papers, competitors etc Or purely from a photographic viewpoint?

    Consider hills, corners and places where competitors will be working hardest (and going slowest), giving you more chance to compose your shot.

    If you are looking at the event from a photographic viewpoint, what about being beyond the finish line, when the pain of defeat or joys of success are evident?

    Also, hanging around the competitors area when they are preparing or dismantling their steeds before and after can be interesting (just don't get in their way!)

    Judges, friends, spectators and family also make good shots to compliment the shots of the day; it is not just the competitors that makeup the event. Generally at Tri's though keep out of the way of changeover areas otherwise you might find a bike thrown at you!

    Not all cycle events are early morning, some are evenings and weekends but bear in mind that with most road events these are timed to avoid other traffic if possible. Therefore early mornings are often chosen.

    Other cycling events, if that is what you are after, can include racing, distance events, time trials and cross country (cyclo-cross) as well as the ever popular mountain biking events. There are loads of variations, some held all day (try www.Audax.uk.net for long distance events) Some are held indoors - Manchester velodrome - try the British cycling website (www.britishcycling.org.uk) for details of these and events around the country.

    I find the autumn-winter season of cyclo-cross very challenging not only because of the light, but because the conditions are often extremely tough for the competitors making for some great expressions and shots.

    Anyway I hope I have given a few pointers on the cycling scene and that you get the shots you are after.

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,245
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Serious cyclist

    Hi shreds,

    Well that's a good question (not taken the wrong way at all), I'm honestly not sure where photography will take me.

    At this event, it was a first time outing, purely for photographic reasons to see if I could take record shots of the cyclists, with an illustration of speed. I did get 3 wide shots of athletes running, but they were so bad they're deleted already!
    The swimming was 0600 - 0800, so by 0930 it was all over!

    Having a spotter is a good idea and it crossed my mind (after the event!), but my wife has her own life and I couldn't think of anyone else who'd want to stand around while I snapped for hours. I like the video camera idea, I hadn't thought of that. I guess another option would be to team up with another photog' and snap and spot for each other in alternate shifts (possible on a long event like this), not that I know anyone with similar interests round these parts.

    Regarding other photographic opportunities; the pain, joy, candids and people shots, this isn't something I have so far summoned the courage to try, but these kind of events would probably be a good place to start. I do fully appreciate the 'not getting in the way' aspect though; consideration and politeness go a long way I find.

    I am fortunate to be in a full time job I enjoy, so I'm not looking to earn a living from photography, but I guess the ultimate compliment anyone can pay is to buy your images, so the thought of selling to a publication is not without its attractions. That said, there are thousands more photog's out there with better skills than I have. I also blame my budget kit for having 'issues' that will limit publication possibilities (what d'ya mean 'a bad workman always blames his tools'), but I know I shouldn't.

    I'd settle for people just enjoying/appreciating my photos, particularly if I can give them something or provide a service they wouldn't otherwise have, say to volunteer style groups doing things. But these days, digital compacts have pretty much removed the need for someone else to provide that kind of thing.

    I do feel my photography is somewhat purposeless at the moment, so I'm trying a little of everything to see;
    - what I am better at,
    - enjoy the most, or perhaps
    - where I find a niche that means I can offer something different.

    That's all a bit 'heavy' for here, but you did ask! (and I don't mind)
    One last thing I will say is that all the members kind comments here have been a boost to my confidence to get out there again and take things further (and better) next time.

    Thanks for the links, there's certainly lots to follow up from there.

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,245
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Serious cyclist

    Encouraged by the support received here (shreds gets a special thank you), I took myself out to a multilap Road Race event last Sunday and have just posted the best shots on my Picasa web album.

    In pure photography terms, they are not up to the high standards we have here, so please bear in mind they are primarily for cycle enthusiast viewing, i.e. for the benefit of the riders and clubs involved.

    That said, I have done what I can to make them into decent images (starting from jpg, not RAW), straightening, re-framing, dealing with excessive contrast, sharpening, cloning out distracting detritus, branding with copyright, etc. and learnt a lot doing it.

    I learnt a lot on the day too;
    • make sure you know EXACTLY where the start is!
    • don't lug too much around with you on foot (may take bike next time)
    • don't get to the finish 10 riders after the winner!


    Nevertheless, I had a good time in the sun and count the day as largely successful.

    Thanks to all, Dave

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •