My first bike race

This past weekend while photographing for the Photographic Center Northwest’s Longshot event, I wandered over into the great neighborhood of Ballard in Seattle. One of my favorite outdoor stores (Second Ascent) was sponsoring a bicycle criterium race. The event was timed and with some fast riders so lots of laps. This was my first time (not my last as it was a blast), to photograph a bike race. Too much fun!!

While I road a bike back in college with a cycling club, I never really got serious about it but cycling has always held my interest. And while not an rabid fan, I do watch the Tour and growing up in Colorado we would spend some weekends in the summer hitting the local races as my buddy Mark was a rabid fan. All of those memories gave me an idea of what I what I thought I wanted to shoot as the race started.
Of course as with most things you learn, the gap between what you think you can do and what actually happens can be pretty wide. This experience was no different. I thought oh, I’ll go out and get on some corners and get some great shots of the pack, individual riders or small breakaways. I was pretty proud of myself looking at the back of the LCD at the race. Things were looking good. Then at home on the monitor at home…well…not so much. Of the hundreds of photographs I took, there were a FEW (ok maybe a few more than few) of out of focus, half a bike, missing tires, half of a helmet, bad light, bad backgrounds, or my favorite images with the guy at the back of the pack in focus and not anyone in the front. The experience reminded of my my days playing golf. It only took a few good ones to keep you coming back in the future.

So here are a couple of images from the race that show off my mad photo skills. I am between these two images below I almost have a full rider. What more could you want?

Hope that you enjoyed these, and I’m looking forward to my second bike race and post. Learning what to do better the second time is what it is all about. That is what makes photography so great. The more you shoot the more you learn and the better you get. 10,000 hours is just around the corner.

June 7, 2012

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