A few photos from the Freihofer’s Run 2010, which took place a few days ago, Saturday, June 5th. I definitely enjoy taking pictures of this event every year. There is really something genuine and powerful in the faces of the runners when they cross the finish line, something raw. I feel a lot of amateur photographers strive to capture great, natural human expressions: this is by no means easy. If it is something you are into, I recommend bringing your camera to sport events.
You can read the results of the race on the Freihofer’s Run web page. Emily Chebet (KEN) finish first at 15:12, followed by Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 15:20, and Mamitu Daska (ETH) 15:23.
More photos below, or check the full-screen Flickr slideshow, or click on any of the thumbnails below to open a larger view.
My photo tips. For this type of event I like to pack two lenses: one wide angle and one fast zoom. The wide angle, typically my Canon 24-105mm f/4 or 16-35mm f/2.8, helps capturing the crowd, the start, and the runners coming towards me. Once the bigger part of the pack is gone I walk to the finish line, switch to a zoom lens, sneak in, and get ready for the first competitors to arrive. The bigger and faster the zoom, the better, and once again the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 delivers here.
Now things do happen pretty quickly at the finish line: I make sure my camera is set to Shutter Speed Priority mode (Tv), at least at 1/640th a second to freeze motion — 1/3000th on my 5D Mark II on that bright sunny day. I really like the background blur (bokeh) on the 70-200mm, it helps isolate a subject, therefore I try to use it almost wide open, between f/2.8 and f/3.2. I either set both shutter speed and aperture in Manual mode, or I stick to Shutter Priority and ask the camera to shoot as fast as possible, which ultimately forces it to open the aperture wide. I double-check the ISO is not bumped too much in the process. As far as composition is concerned, there isn’t much time to be very precise, though I try to avoid cutting the runners at the ankle or foot (and more often than not fail, see below). I switch my Canon to Continuous Shooting and Ai Servo or Ai Focus mode. In Ai Servo mode the camera will attempt to track the subject I first focused on as it moves. Handy.
This is all a work in progress, I would love to hear your tips.
Some of my favorite shots in this series, below.