A couple more photography tips

Fritz of cyclicio.us listed some photography tips while pointing out Eric Reagan's new cycling photos blog. In addition to agreeing with those tips, a few I would add are:

Figure out your shot before you take it

Riders are going to fly by you and you aren't going to have much time to react. Know where the riders are going to go on the road and setup your camera in advance. If this is a time trial or criterium, this is fairly easy, otherwise, do you best at predicting. You may also want to pre-meter the shot and dial in your settings manually so that your camera doesn't accidentally under/overexpose. Nothing like getting that perfectly framed shot only to discover that it's blownout.

Try not to shoot from the side of the road (where possible/appropriate)

Fans get in your way and your photo often ends up looking like, well, a shot from the side of the road. If you want to get a great face shot, try to position yourself where the rider is coming almost straight at you. One bit of advice given to me by an official scorer was that it's okay to step out onto the course, but make sure you're out of the way. Out of the way also means out of the way of other photographers -- I've had shots ruined by a 'pro' photographer who thought it was okay to lean on me suddenly while taking my shot.

You can use fill flash

Graham Watson does, which I guess makes it acceptable with the pros. Just be careful how you aim it and make sure you have a good flash. I've seen shots ruined by a bad flash exposure/timing, so you may be better off choosing a spot on the road where the lighting is better. I don't have a good flash, so I generally rely on positioning and using "Adjust ->Shadow and Highlights" in Photoshop Elements to try and bring out some of that shadow detail on the riders.

Send your photos to the riders

Some riders (or rider's webmasters) are good enough at using Flickr to find photos of themselves, but try sending your photos to cyclists or their teams directly. Club teams and even pro teams appreciate having good photos. You never know where they might end up.

More tips

I also have some tips in 'Shooting cycling photographs with a Canon Digital Rebel.'

related articles: Photography


Comments (4)

josh:

great tips as usual, keep them coming. Good call on sending photos to riders. After Collegiate Nationals last year i sent a few messages to a handful of clubs that i got the best pictures of and a time trial shot ended up getting the cover of their rec center magazine, nice!

Good pointers. I completely agree with using fill flash. I use a Canon 420EX myself. I can certainly tell a difference in shots where the flash did and didn't fire. Fill flash makes post-processing so much easier for me.

I would add another point about positioning. Positioning, as you point out, is crucial. Consider being at or, as I prefer, below the same horizontal plane as the rider's face. Otherwise, you'll miss some of the emotion of the moment, especially when shooting a single rider.

There's certainly opportunities, however, for great shots from different perspective - just look at Graham Watson's scenics. But a lot of pretty good shots could've been great shots by just getting a few inches lower before the opening the shutter. Happy shooting!

Cheers,

Eric

Fir:

Nice cycling blog!Just what I want.

I also wanna built such kind a blog in China.and have just finished a main frame.Would you like to give me some guild?

BTW:I'm sorry if it is not proper to leave word upper here,because I can find you E-mail address.

Looking forward your reply.

Best wished

Zhou Fei (Fir)

Fir:

Sorry,a mistake.

"Would you like to give me some guild?"

guide

:P

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