Spring Triathlons are fun to shoot for a lot of reasons:
A sunrise ocean start; lots of drama and chaos;
really cool bicycles; and a sprinting finish with the emotions of victory!
Where else can you find so many potentially great outdoor sports images compressed into one hour and a few minutes!
Getting the shots means having a plan and sticking to it.
Like focusing on the leaders, or an athlete with an
You’ll do a lot of sprinting yourself.
To the beach for the start. Up the beach half mile for the
exit from the water. Over the dunes to the transition area for the start of the bike.
Are your lungs burning yet?
If you have an off-camera flash, tape it with orange CTO
(to match the early morning sun) secure it on top of a long pole and ask your assistant
to aim it where you are shooting. Anticipate and communicate clearly,
like yelling “This next swimmer!”
“The first bike rack!” I try to get as close with a wide angle,
as allowed and use a graduated neutral density filter to keep the skies
dark. Bike action portraits and finishes are tricky. Here I use a 105mm
telephoto, keep the depth of field shallow, and shutter fast
and do the best job I can of panning.
The challenge is the very busy backgrounds with concrete and
telephone poles and such. Best scout the backgrounds
(especially the transition and finish areas) beforehand for
colorful signage, vegetation or grandstands and
know exactly where you are going next. Ready. Set. Go! You only have
15 to 25 minutes to get capture the leaders in each sport!