2012 Baw Baw Classic, back drops, Baw Baw Classic, bunch, camera, climbing, CS5, cycling, Cycling Victoria, earning a living, images, motorbike, Mt Baw Baw, Nikon D300s, photography, Photomatix, Photos, Photoshop, postaday, racing, Trees
As I stated yesterday, the Baw Baw Classic was on and I was on the back of a motorbike taking photos of it. I don’t really like road racing in general. It can be hard to do, especially a race like this, where they start in one place and finish in another. They race up a mountain and finish there, which also means all there supporters and the people they come with follow them up the mountain. Last year when I did it, I found it really difficult in the car. I couldn’t get past all the people. Some of the driving I did, was really scary. I decided if I was going to do it again, it would be best on a motorbike.
Except for the backside issue, it was so much better. The above image was one of the first places we stopped on the side of the road. I can’t remember if this was A grade or B grade. It was one of the large groups that went past. It is lovely site to see a group of cyclists together on a country road. They started in a group, but it sure isn’t how they finished.
The Warragul Cycling Club have some interesting information about the race, if you are interested click here.
I don’t know if you can tell, but the above image was taken on the motorbike as we went past the group. You can get some good shots of the riders as we go past them. If I am lucky I can also get a great background as well.
The scenery can be fantastic, and one of the things we are always on the look out for, is some great scenery shots to use as backgrounds. I loved the enclosed landscape here and tried to get the cyclists as they were coming over a small rise in the road.
This image was taken in basically the same area as the previous one. I thought the cyclists coming around the corner gave the bunch great depth. Again, the trees on both sides of the road, frame the cyclists really nicely, do you agree?
Back on the bike now and watching the bunch (that’s what you call a group of cyclists) spread out as the go down a small incline. I got this shot sitting on the bike as we came up to them. I took several shots, most were out of focus, but was happy that this one worked.
I don’t know if you have ever watched the Tour de France, or other races that are really famous, often the photographers sit backwards on the bikes. Then you can take photos from the front of the riders. Unfortunately it isn’t legal here. Unless the road is closed for the race, then you have to sit facing the front. It makes it a little harder, but it is still better than being in a car. I haven’t had an opportunity to photograph a race where I can sit backwards, but I am hoping there might be a chance later in the year.
The guys in the race above are in A Grade. You saw how big the bunches were at the start, and these guys are in the lead, though the guy that won isn’t in this bunch. He must have powered so much to get past and then win. It really is incredible to watch these people.
The Baw Baw Classic really is not a race for the “faint hearted”. It is gruelling, and it breaks many riders. I spoke about how hard it was yesterday. Photographing it, is hard as well. There are plenty of places to take photos with lovely backdrops, but if you stop too many times, then you don’t have enough time to get to the top for the finish.
Decisions have to be made about how to photograph it as well. What do I concentrate on. If I was just taking photos for this, or for Cycling Victoria, then I would probably do it differently, it would be easier to do. However, since I don’t get paid to take photos, then I need to sell the images and try and make money that way. It really is a hard way to earn a living.
Last year, when I got to the top, I took photos of the first few finishing, then I walked down a couple of hundred metres and photographed the cyclists as they came up a steep part. This time I decided to stick with the finish and photograph that. I guess I will find out if that was a good decision or not. I am hoping the riders will want a photo of them finishing. I suppose I will find out soon.
For anyone looking for the photos from the racing, they are now up on my website.