Finding a good position to shoot from was pretty important, particularly in these conditions as there was so much dust. I found some corners where both sun and wind were behind me, which helped. Background is very important in sports coverage - you want your subject to leap out of the background. You can just see some power cables in the sky behind the rider, but they're not significant in the shot. With a long lens (300mm) and a small f-stop (f4) the DoF is nice and short. I moved the camera's active AF spot to north of centre to try and land on the rider and not the front of the bike. The camera is hand-held - its just too difficult to follow the action with even a monopod. Camera is set to Av (aperture priority) with AI Servo (continuous) focus and its highest frame rate (although I only rarely take bursts of more than a couple of frames). I dialled the ISO down to its lowest since I was already getting shutter speeds in excess of 1/1000th.
#2 Tue July 19, 2005 8:33am
All your pics are great shots. Although they do seem all pretty similar. Have you tried doing a few unconventional things? Very low angles etc??? Panning etc..
Yes, I have tried some of those suggestions. And end up binning them as they look naff! I sometimes take a fisheye, although on my DSLR you don't get the effect anywhere near as much. I also normally have a wide zoom with me.
You have to be a little bit careful when using a narrow depth of field because sometimes the front wheel is in focus, but the rider's face is not. I sometimes shift the active AF sensor up from the middle so that it lands on the rider.
Nicely captured, vibrant colors. I shoot bicycle racing with a DSLR and a wide angle lens. I find that shooting at low angles around curves with the riders just entering the frame (either left or right, depending on their travel) makes for some interesting comp.
Steve Luminous Visions Centerpiece Photography for Every Room LuminousVisions.com