Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Inspiration three ways to Sunday

"A competitor begins the 17.5 mi. bike following the swimming portion of the Iron Girl Triathlon at Centennial Park in Columbia."

I'll admit that I was not looking forward to having a 6:30 a.m. assignment 45 minutes away Sunday morning. The only thing motivating me to get out of bed was the thought of nice morning light at the triathlon.

Earlier in the week I had the pleasure of shooting a triathlete train for the The Aflac Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon. She was really excited and was hoping I'd get to cover it. What I didn't know was I would be there, too.

Held in Centennial Park in Ellicott City on Sunday, the race put contestants up against a swim of 0.62 miles, a bike of 17.5 miles and run of about 3.4 miles.

I had never shot a triathlon before, so I wasn't quite sure how to prepare for the event. All I knew was it hosted more than 2,000 athletes of all ages and they would be competing in the water and on land with bikes and their feet.

After careful consideration (read: still half asleep) and a cup of yogurt at 5 a.m., I decided to use only one body, my Nikon D3, and two lenses, a 70-200mm and a 17-35mm. This would eliminate too much gear syndrome, which I do too oftensometimes. I also wanted either tight images or really wide, so these would do the trick.

In addition, I also brought along my Canon G9 with underwater housing, which I put in my waist pouch with my unused lens. I wasn't sure how I'd use it, but figured I'd bring it along for fun.

After parking in a dusty field, I made my way to the starting block where contestants jumped into the water for the swim as the sun rised. I figured I go for the underwater housing first to get my creative juices flowing.

As I laid on the wooden dock area by myself, I felt a presence over top of me.

"OK, ladies. Get ready. We got The Baltimore Sun here with his underwater camera shooting you," echoed the microphone man.

I have never been called out on an assignment like that, so I got a good chuckle out of it. When I looked at him and laughed, he said, "Hey, might sell you guys some papers tomorrow."

Might have been true, but I am normally one who tries to blend in, not stick out. That doesn't go to say the latter is probably how I normally appear beyond my inner belief.

Anyways, everyone that entered the water looked right at me after that loud speaker comment, so I decided to pack it up and try it on the exit area of the swim on the other side of the lake.

It was a good idea to move to the other side of the lake, as I wasn't bothered and ended up with a couple frames I liked. Such as this frame. OK, aside from the fact I was shooting blindly and at one frame every five seconds or so.

As the day went on I found myself inspired not only by the upbeat music, but the girls themselves. I was questioning whether or not I'd be able to complete the course. This coming from the guy who just got back into mountain biking after a long hiatus off of a bike.

Following shooting the swim, I treked back and forth between the run at the finish line and the bike. Finally bumped into Todd Spoth from Texas, who is working for Patuxent Publishing Company. Good to finally meet you, man.

For my images, I love how I saw things throughout the day, especially near the beginning of the biking portion of the course. I abused the bright pink fencing, but what are you going to do. I had to work it, even though I am partial of the posted and this image here.


Post a Comment

<< Home