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Thread: Bicycle tour questions

  1. #1
    BCrose's Avatar
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    Monte Comeau

    Bicycle tour questions

    I am going to shoot a charity event this weekend for the MS Society as a volunteer, the photographer they booked had a paying gig and had to drop out at the last minute. I have no experience with cycling event shooting.

    I shoot birds, Use a 200-400 Nikon mounted on the D4. The only other lens I have will be the 14-24 mounted on the D300s. Or maybe I will switch that around to take advantage of the FX and DX with those two lenses.

    I think I can handle this as far as the fast moving shots with the 200-400 but will be missing a critical focal length under 200mm. Will probably keep the 200-400 on the D4 just for that reason.

    Has anyone ever done any panning with the 14-24 with success? My plan is to get the long shots as they approach then wide angle close ups as they pass and hopefully do some panning as they go by.

    Would love to have my old 70-200VR right now but no longer have it.

    Anyone shoot a lot of cycling have any advice for what I have to work with?

    It is a 200km run with 80 riders. I am expected to get shots of them all. I will be leapfrogging ahead of them along the route.

    I typically use spot focus and metering for birds, what settings would be best for cycling? Maybe 21 focus points? Metering? Matrix?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Bicycle tour questions

    I have always liked the compression long focal length lenses provide for groups of riders. This is especially true if you can get an slightly elevated shot of the pack waiting to start the race...

    I would definitely practice using the Nikon auto-focus modes designed for moving subjects...

    The Canon 7D has a few bells and whistles that makes this camera great for racing type photography. Perhaps your Nikon also has some specialized auto-focus settings. YouTube videos often can often provide specific information that is not covered in the camera/lens manuals...

    I don't know if your lens has stabilization 1 and 2 settings for still and moving subjects. I will use the setting #2 for panning. A great way to hone the panning skill is to stand by the side of a street and practice following cars. Panning with a slightly slower shutter speed can often accentuate the sense of movement if it is done correctly!

    A shallow DOF can greatly impact creativity by using selective focus (when applicable) to isolate single riders or even portions of a rider such as the head bending over the handlebars...

    Don't neglect a shot of the finish line with a banner above (if there is one) and also the presentation of any trophy to the winner/winners...

    Shots of the crowd are also part of race coverage...

    IMO, this should be obvious, but with the proliferation of live-view aficionados, I will mention it... I recommend shooting with the eye level viewfinder rather than using live-view for action...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 16th August 2013 at 07:12 PM.

  3. #3
    BCrose's Avatar
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    Re: Bicycle tour questions

    Well...I got lots of closeups! 200-400 not the best tool for this job

    Bicycle tour questions

  4. #4

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    David

    Re: Bicycle tour questions

    I'm going to photograph my son at Ironman Canada on Sunday, Aug 26.
    This is the first time with my new camera set up.

    Any suggestions, or tips to improve my chances of capturing images worth keeping?

    I have a Canon 7D and a 70 to 200 mm zoom.

    Standing on the street corner photographing cars has been valuable practice.
    Being on the sidewalk and catching subjects as they come straight towards me seems OK.
    I like the results from panning cars travelling in the other direction better, but find it difficult to hold them in the center of the frame.

    I find the subjects are moving too fast, and I see them for too short a time to play with the zoom. I just set the lens to 200 and fire away. Setting the shutter to capture 8 frames per second provides lots for me to choose from.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated.

  5. #5
    BCrose's Avatar
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    Re: Bicycle tour questions

    Is this the one in Penticton? I may be there next weekend and if I have the time I will definitely try to take in some of this.

    The only thing I can suggest is to watch your backgrounds. They can be killers in street photography. I would scope out a location with the lake in the background or some foliage.
    And the most important thing of course is the light. It will be harsh sunlight so try to get in a position with the sun behind you. Otherwise you will get some real harsh shadows on the face to deal with.

    I am sure you are aware of camera settings but Continuous focus is a must. I use single point dynamic AF using the surrounding 9 focus points. I would play with the metering as well to see what works best for your camera.

    If you are going to shoot more than one location then have a plan. These athletes can fly so leap-frogging ahead of them can be difficult as they might be going faster than you can go in traffic. I would look at the route and then pick your spots.

    On this shot below I wanted to shoot with the lake in the background but the sun was so harsh the shadows were just too much when i shot from the other side of the road. I ended up taking a couple wide angles to get some of the lake in and have good light.

    Bicycle tour questions

  6. #6
    Henk33's Avatar
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    Henk Hijdra

    Re: Bicycle tour questions

    both lenses are useful, the 200-400mm is great for long shots in front. Use a wide aperture (F5.6) to loose the subject from the background. Use AF-C.

    The 14-24mm (what a lens! I like it very much) you can use for very close shots from aside. You have to move the camera with the subject. Use a small aperture to get it all sharp.

    For both I show you an example that I made last year in the Paris-Roubaix race.

    Henk
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