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Posts tagged ‘cycling’

Introductions – Distan Bach Photography

Featuring these WordPress photographers is great, but I started realising that I haven’t really shown any from Down Under, so I went through the blogs that I follow and looked for an Australian WordPress photographer, and the one I decided on was Distan Bach and his blog Distan Bach Photography.  He does a wide variety of photographs and shows a lot of versatility in many types of photography.  For me, there is a particular shot that I love that he does.

bronte-sunrise-end-of-dls-1

Distan photographs lots of places around Sydney, Australia.  I am not going to get into which is better, but there are certainly things in Sydney that you don’t find in Melbourne, and one of them is the above, tidal pools.  Because Melbourne is in a Bay we don’t have these, which is a shame.  I love the shots that I have seen of tidal pools and if I ever get to Sydney Distan is going to have to take me out for an early morning shoot so I can take some.  Is that okay Distan?

For my first question to Distan, I asked him “Why do you take photos?”

Ever since I was a child, I was always oriented to visual language. I remember seeing movies like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tron and Blade Runner and being totally in awe of the worlds depicted on screen and I think they had a lasting impression on me. I loved being swept up and immersed in these alternate realities and they seeded my imagination with these panoramic vistas. I think music has also played a role in my photography inspiration. Not in so far that I hear specific songs when taking pictures, rather, its the emotional response that music engenders that I identify with. You see, I rarely notice song lyrics – in fact, I have sung and played many a tune on guitar or piano and never taken any notice of what the words say. Music stimulates a ‘feeling’ in me and its this aspect that has parallels to my photography.

So, what does all that have to do with why I take photo’s? For me, beautiful photographs stir your emotions. They conjure emotional reactions and feelings. They inspire and they can tell stories; a visual poetry that span’s the continuum of tragedy to ecstasy; solitude to rapture. This is what I love about photography and why I like creating images.

moraine-lake-9He has also traveled overseas and I have enjoyed watching how he has taken images of some iconic places in Northern America.  I think he has some of the best images I have seen of some of these places.

The next question was about his inspiration.

Many things inspire me so this is a difficult one isolate. If I had to sum it up though – its probably beauty. And by that I mean the raw beauty that exists almost everywhere – in nature, in delightful people, in urban landscapes, in details. I love how images can reveal a story in a momentary exposure too. The work by Vivian Maier, Fred Herzog and William Eggleston spring to mind here in this respect.

Where else? Well, on a day-to-day basis it has to be the work of my photographer peers and bloggers. I constantly look at the wonderful images on their blogs or on other sites like 500px and even Pinterest. Sometimes I can feel a bit disheartened because I realise that I’ve still got so much to learn and, sometimes – occasionally – it makes me question my ability. I think its good to remind yourself though that sites like Pinterest tend to aggregate and cluster re-pins of the most excellent work of many people. Obviously, more average photo’s tend not to get shared as much and its this awareness that reminds me that we’re not all great, all of the time :-)

2012-totws-time-trials-016I have to admit that his cycling images is certainly what drew my attention to his blog.  I recognised some of the events that he had photographed and even some of the people in the photos.

The last question I asked was about how he worked, or if there was anything special.

This question reminded me of a quote I read once which went something like this – “the only way to make remarkable photo’s is to put yourself in remarkable places.” This line has stayed with me for a long time and prompts me to push myself to be more thoughtful and intentional or just to physically position my body so I can compose stronger pictures. I also think its a good excuse to travel more too ;-)

In other respects, I don’t think there’s anything particularly special about the way I work. If anything, it probably depends a lot about what the job brief is. For instance, if its a paid shoot, I tend to do a lot of prep work and think a great deal about what I need to do. I try to pre-visualise certain images and try my best to achieve these. I already know I’ll capture a lot of in-between moments that will be good, but its the pre-visualised ones that give me the greatest satisfaction – particularly when they work out.

For my personal stuff, I don’t really have any special methods. I find landscape and vista photography pretty straight forward (for my level at least). I sometimes feel I trivialise my landscape photography work because I’m just taking a photo of what nature has revealed in front of me. Having said that though, I can be quite intentional in creating certain landscape images now simply because I know how to do it.

Its funny really. I’m most interested in photographing people – truth be told, I’d love to be a portrait photographer. This is something I’m working slowly towards, but again, there’s just so much to learn – least of which is the technical side. Until then, I’ll continue practicing on whatever it is that’s in front of me.

great-ocean-road-006It is nice to see some photos from my neck of the woods too.  I have been down this part of the coast many times, but not for many years, though I am hoping to get down there again at the end of next month with one of my blogging friends who I have never met.

Distan also gave me a list of what gear he uses.

I’m still on the old Canon 7D.Other gear includes:
EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM, EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM, EFS 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM, EF 50mm f1.4 USM, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, Numerous bags from both Lowepro (5) and Crumpler (1)Black Rapid camera strap. Manfrotto carbon fibre tripod with Manfrotto ball heads (one small one for travel, the other for when I’m shooting locally because its heavy). Canon speedlites 580EXII and the 430 EXII. Various filters for landscape work. Plus the usual odds and sods of light modifiers, cleaning gear, stands and clamps that we all amass.

I am going to put a heap of images into a gallery now, but I really hope you will take trip over to Distan Bach Photography.

That Belongs to Me – More on Copyright

Track Worlds

With Accreditation to the UCI World Track Championships I could photograph everyone riding and I retained the copyright for all images.

When I was photographing some cycling events there was a rider that would say to me “you can’t take my photo, I haven’t given you permission”.  In response I would say, “I don’t need your permission”.  He thought I needed his permission because I was photographing him.  Then many riders, mainly juniors, would think they owned the images because the images had them in them.  This is a common problem and one that was brought up last week as well.  I thought today we might have a look at Copyright ownership, or who owns the copyright on the photos.

Again, most of what I am going to say will refer to is Australian Law.  While much is similar from country to country, state to state, it is something that I recommend you all find out about in your own country.

So, according to our laws, the first owner of copyright is the photographer, the person who took the image, and not necessarily the person who owns the camera.  So if you lend your camera to someone, and they take a photo, then that image will belong to them, not you.  However, for most of us here, it means if you take a photo, then the copyright belongs to you and you can do what you wish with that image.  Of course there are always going to be exceptions.

The rules are different again for photos that are commissioned for newspapers and magazines.  I am not going to go into them here, as I don’t think it is of major concern to us here, but if you are taking photos for magazines and newspapers then you should be aware of what your rights are and what you are allowed to use the photos for.

But what happens when someone commissions you or pays you to take photos?

In Australia the laws vary according to the date that they were taken.  For the purpose of this blog we will look at the law as it stands now and has done since 1998.

Briony - My ChoiceIf you are paid to take photos for private purposes, such as wedding photos, family portraits, child portraits etc, then the ownership and therefore copyright will belong to the client, or the person who has paid you to take the photos.

The image above, as most of you know, is of my daughter.  It is a portrait and would be considered an image taken for private use.  If this was not my daughter, and her family had paid me to take this image then I wouldn’t be able to put this image here without the parents permission and for my own protection I would get a model release form signed as well.

I know some photographers have it as part of the agreement or contract with clients that they can use some images for publicity.  Though, I am sure if you said you didn’t want that they would still take your photo.

If, however, you are paid to take photos for commercial purposes then the images still belong to you unless you come to an understanding with your client.

if they were taken for any other purpose (e.g. commercial shots), the photographer will be
the first owner of copyright, unless the photographer and client agree otherwise.sced20121125-0124

It is quite interesting to read.

In November, you may recall, that I went to the BMX State Championships at Knox.  I was being paid to be there and my job was to photograph the women and girls at the racing.  As the images are to be used for commercial purposes, I would suppose that the images still belong to me.  However, I would assume that they aren’t mine to sell.  The image on the right was of the men racing, I took some while waiting for the women/girls, so I am pretty sure I own the copyright on them.

Another area that can be confusing is when you are taking photos in a building that you think is public but isn’t.  Many sports stadiums are thought to be public, but they aren’t.  Usually the people who own the building, the government organisation or private owners have the say on who can take photos in their buildings.  Generally if you have the owners permission to take photos in that building then you don’t need the permission of the individuals.

At the beginning I talked about the kid who said I couldn’t photograph him.  As it was a cycling event, in a velodrome, he may have been able to make a case, but since I had the permission of Cycling Victoria to take photos for myself and them, I didn’t need the kids permission.  Of course, you have to be reasonable and if someone really doesn’t want you to use their images, then why would you?  It will be better in the long run not to use that image and use another one.

I have only ever had one person say I couldn’t photograph their child or put photos of their child up on my website, I obeyed, even though the images were taken on public roads, it was easier to exclude them and not put them up.  In the end, the parents gave their permission after it was obvious that their child was the one being blurred out of images.

Track World Cup - Hisense Arena 2012I hope this has cleared up some questions, and helps some.  I know this wasn’t asked for, but after last weeks post I felt it was warranted to do.

For links to various countries copyright organisations then please go back to last weeks post, The Public in the Copyright Issue.

The Efex of Silver

Today’s post is not really a tutorial, but it will be tutorial like.  I thought I would show you what Silver Efex Pro 2 by Nik Software looks like and some of the possibilities that can be done with it.

First of all we need to select an image.  Another One Coming Into the CornerWe might start by doing one of the cycling images.

The image needs to be opened in Photoshop as Silver Efex Pro 2 is a plugin and you can get it for Photoshop or Lightroom.

sep1You can see there how to open up Silver Efex, go to Filters, then down to Nik Software, click on Silver Efex Pro 2.

sep2This is what it looks like in Silver Efex.  The image is changed to Black and White straight away.  I have highlighted in red, on the left, all the presets that come with Silver Efex.  There are many more, but you have to keep scrolling down to see them.

sep3I have selected High Key 1 for this, just to show you a different one.  It obviously isn’t any good for this image, so I will change it.

sep4I have decided to go with Low Key 1, which is one of my favourites.  Once the preset you want to use is chosen, then you can make more adjustments about what you want.  I have shown in red where you can make some global adjustments.  I have made a few adjustment.

sep5Another thing you can do is make Selective Adjustments, so select an area to make adjustments too.  To show this better I have darkened the entire image and I am going to attempt to lighten just one section.

sep5-1This is to show you what you see on the screen a little better.

sep6

You can see the area with the circle, that is the area Silver Efex will work in, you can make it smaller or larger, using the slider that extends from yellow dot, that you can see in the previous image.  A video tutorial would show it better.

sep7-1Under the yellow dot are the Brightness, Contrast and Structure.

sep7Hopefully you can see how I have lightened that middle rider so she stands out more than the others.

sep8On the right side there are more changes.  You can add a color filter, which doesn’t give the image any colour, but it will change the colours that were in the image.   Again, it is a matter of playing around and seeing what you get.  I haven’t change any for this image.

sep9One of the things people have loved about film is the different effects you could get from the different films.  Silver Efex allows you to have some of that again.  You can select a film type and the effect of that film will be given to your image.  I recommend you try them all and see what you think.  If you want to go back then merely select none.

sep10You can change the Levels and Curves.  To demonstrate I made it darker, then changed it back, I was fine with how the image was.

sep11Now we can start looking at some of the Finishing Adjustments.

sep12You can add a tone, where that yellow part in the side bar is, if you click on there.  There are a number of tones to choose from.  You can decide on how strong you want it, and if you decide you don’t want it, then just click off.  I did that.  I don’t really want the image toned.

sep13You can add vignetting, choose which type, black or white.  The you can decide the Amount, Circle and Size.  Again, if you choose you don’t want, then simply select off and it goes away.

sep14There is a selection of borders that you can add.  Again, you make decisions abut the size, spread, and clean.  It is good to play.  With all the drop down menus you only have to hover over them and you will be given a preview of the selection.  I decided on off for Border.

That was pretty much all the selections I did.

sep15Once OK is pressed then the image is opened up in Photoshop.  It is saved, resized and ready for you to look at.

Another One Coming into the Corner - B&WThe final image.  I don’t know about a black and white version of this.  I have never been that enthralled with cycling photos done in black and white.  One of the wonderful things about the sport are the colours that they wear.  It is so colourful, so it always seems a shame to take the colour out of it.

I hope those of you considering Silver Efex have enjoyed this tutorial.  I will be doing a video tutorial of this later today, so if you are interested then keep an eye on this page, Video Tutorials.

Cornering Can Be Dangerous

Last week when I was showing you some of the photos that I took at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic and I said that I had more.  I realised that the photos that many of you seemed to enjoy the most were the ones of them cornering.  They are probably amongst the hardest to get, and require good panning and a lot of nerve, especially to get really close ones.  Guess what I have for you today?

Coming into the CornerWith this image I was behind a barrier.  It is still scary.  I had the camera almost on the ground through the barrier, and was moving it with the riders.  So I wasn’t looking though the viewfinder.  Ones like these are nearly always done blind, so to speak.  I have been doing them for some time, so I am getting a lot better at getting them in focus.

Another One Coming Into the CornerThis image was done in the same place using the same technique.  I had to use my 18-105mm lens for this, as wide as I could get.

Over the Top

This one was taken from the same corner but this time I was using the 24-70mm lens and I was standing up behind the barrier.  I pan with them until they are in front and then click.

Over the Top AgainSame place and same technique as the previous one.  I love the way they look like they are coming straight at me.  They weren’t of course.  But they are cutting the very sharp corner.  I am very close, so close that I could put my hand out and touch her, not that you should ever, ever do that.  That would be very dangerous.

Up the Other EndAt the end of the course was a corner that did have barriers, but the barriers were back a bit so those with the accreditation vests could get on the corner and take photos without the barriers.  This is one, though it was taken low to the ground, blind, and me panning the camera with the rider.

This is where you really need some nerve.  It would be easy for them to come down.  The biggest problem is that they end up looking a lot closer to you that they actually are, especially if you are using a telephotos lens, or it is deceptive because you don’t realise how close they really are because you are using a wide angle.  You have to stay alert and you have to be ready to run if they come down.

From the Other End AgainHere is another lot going around that same corner.  I was looking though the viewfinder with this one and panning with them.  They go so fast, and you pan, click, go further back, pan, click, you get the idea, well it can make you pretty dizzy turning your head that much.

Coming Our of the CornerThis is one that was taken after they came around the corner and were putting the speed on.  They are also getting ready for the corner that was featured in the first few photos.

I hope you haven’t minded me showing you more of the crit photos.  I have been quite proud of some of them.  I just had to show off some more.

Announcements

I need to let you know some stuff.

Buy Now

I have included some “buy now” buttons on the page for the Notes I have written for people who want to learn how to use their DSLR, In the Beginning.  I thought it would be easier to purchase them that way rather than having to go to my website.

I have heard back from someone who has read them and she said they were great and helped her to remember a lot about her camera.  That was great to hear.

Classes

My copy of Photoshop Elements 11 has finally arrived so I am now ready to start teaching people how to do their editing with it. I am thinking of starting the first class next week on Tuesday at 10am my time, you can use the World Clock Time Zone Converter to help you work out what time that will be in your time zone.  Remember Australia is ahead in time to most other countries, besides New Zealand and a few other places.

There will be more classes announced on the following page.

ColorHug

Part of my Christmas present this year, along with the new monitor was the ColorHug.

The ColorHug is an open source display colorimeter. It allows you to calibrate your screen for accurate color matching.

It arrived not long after Christmas and last weekend I finally got around to playing with it.  It is really easy to use, but I think you need to be using Linux for it to work.  I am just confirming with my husband that that is the case.  Yes you do.  Apparently you can use the live CD and then save your colour profile and use that if you don’t have Linux.

To use it was easy, and it did take some interesting improvisation to hold it against the screen for so long.  You get a little square thing that you have to hold against the screen that creates a colour profile.  You have to hold it there for about 10 minutes.  You also have to hold it still.  We were going to lie the monitor down, but in the end we used tape, a long piece that went from the top of the monitor to the colorhug and then to the bottom.  The tape could not touch the screen.

It is a great little device and not that expensive.  The only problem I had with it, is that the instructions weren’t great for using it to start with.  I don’t know Linux and I didn’t understand a lot of the steps.  It was really confusing.  I am thankful my husband was here and did understand.  He is a programmer and he is the reason I have Linux on my computer.  Perhaps I could make a recommendation to the owners of this great product that I could help them write the how to use it for dummies version.

The end result was good, and I didn’t realise how off the colours were on my monitor.  The screen is quite different.  Though the photos have been turning out really nicely.  My next step is to get some images printed and then compare them with what is on the screen.

It is reasonably priced, which is always a bonus.  The company that produce is fairly small so I wish them all the best for their product.

If you would like to check out the product here is the link, ColorHug.

Nikon Releases

I have received a few press releases from Nikon, it seems that the Nikon 1 J3 and S1 series camera has been refined for high-speed performance.  I didn’t realise that you could get interchangeable lenses for it, and two new ones have been released for it as well.  I might have to check it out for fun.  Apparently there is a new waterproof case for it as well.

Nikon is also launching two new Coolpix S series cameras, the S6500 and the S2700.  If you would like to check them out and see the press releases then please go to your Nikon site.

As An Aside

I don’t know how many of you have seen the news for Australia and the heat wave we have been having, but apparently the bureau has had to come up with some new colours as some parts of the country have hit record temperatures, thankfully not where I live.  In Birdsville, in the outback, they have had temperatures of 50 to 52C, that is 122 to 125.6F.  I couldn’t imagine being in heat like that, you would just melt.  I am so glad I live south.

Photographing a Cycling Event – My Way

Most of you know that for the last three days I have been photographing the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic.  It has been fun, but also very tiring, especially yesterday when it was so hot.  Thankfully it wasn’t today, with the temperature expected to reach 41C (105.8F).  The photos I am going to use were mostly taken yesterday at Williamstown.

Straight from the CornerOne of the type of shots that you want to get is the cyclists coming or going around corners.  I have shown you lots of them over the past few days.  They can be hard to get and you have to have nerve to get them.  Sitting on a corner while cyclists go past can be scary.  They get close.  Most accidents happen on corners, so you may be putting your life in danger as well, so you need to be very careful.  You also need to be careful that you don’t go out too far and cause an accident, it could be an expense experience for you.  I have public liability insurance in case something like that happens.

At an event like this,unless you have accreditation getting on the corners can be almost impossible.

Accredited MediaYou can see the photographers here, they are wearing navy blue media bibs.  I had one of these as well.  To get accreditation you need to apply, and you usually need to be someone who has experience at photographing events like this.  I know that when the event is on next year that there is a good chance that I will get accreditation again because I have done it for the last few years and there hasn’t been a problem.  To get accreditation you need to start with club racing and work your way up.  The more experience you get the more likely it is that you may get accreditation.   There will always be events that you can’t get accreditation for unless you work for a paper or some other media organisation.

In the image above they were getting ready for the finish.  When that happens they all huddle in a group inside those barriers and photograph them as they finish. Only those with bibs are allowed to do that.

Off the GroundTaking photos of cycling from as close to the ground as possible is also one thing that many do.  There is something about an image of a cyclists going past and you are looking up at them.

The Front Straight

To get an image of people going past like this you have to move the camera with them.  They are moving so fast, around 40 to 50 kph, so if you don’t pan, then you will just get blur.  I have plenty of those.

It would be easy to put it on a fast shutter speed, but I use a flash to take these photos.  It isn’t as silly as it sounds, the flash helps to cut through the shadows.   I have the flash set on the strongest setting.   Unlike most sports flash is perfectly fine for cycling.  Apparently the cyclists don’t even notice it.  You can see how much the flash has helped in stopping the shadows from being so harsh.

Cornering with the Sun BehindThe flash has helped a lot here.  The sun was so bright yesterday, and shadows were always going to be a problem. I have found that you have to change the metering on your camera.  You can’t take matrix metering images, it just doesn’t work.  You will often find that the cyclist will become a silhouette with too much light behind.  I use spot metering and spot focusing.  I decide where I want to focus and what I want metered.  That way you can get a well exposed cyclist and the background doesn’t matter so much.  

Entering the First CornerThis group have gone over the start/finish line and are about to enter the corner as they head around for another lap.

When photographing cycling I always use shutter priority.  I set what shutter speed I want and then  let the camera work out aperture.  It isn’t usually a problem.  There are things I have found, you can slow the shutter speed down to 1/60 or 1/100 of a second and you will get that blurred background, but you have to be able to pan with the cyclists.  I don’t know about other photographers, but I like to be able to see a clear face.  I want the face to be in focus. I don’t mind if nothing else is, but I like to see the face.

When they are coming towards you, you need a faster shutter speed.  Because I always have the flash on my camera it means that I can’t get a faster shutter speed than 1/250 of a second.  So the above image would have been shot using that shutter speed.

I want to give Mitchelton Wines a plug here.  They were the main sponsors for the Bay Cycling Classic, and you can see their name everywhere in the above image.  They also do a VIP area, where the VIP’s and the media are allowed.  I got to sample their wines and they were very nice.  It was also good because there was food there as well and much needed water.  I drank so much water over the days when I was photographing this event. So I would like to thank Mitchelton Wines for their support.

More CorneringThis is the women who have just come around another corner into the front straight.  I just put this in because I get the impression you like the images of the cyclists going around corners.  I have so other great ones and if you want to see them I might do another post with them in a week or so, but you have to tell me if you want to see them.

PresentationsAt the end of the day there are presentations.  As this was the last day it was presenting the winners with their prizes and trophies.  They all get champagne, or sparkling white wine, which is what we are supposed to call it.  They open it up and spray it everywhere.  The winner of the Elite Women’s, Melissa Hoskins, decided to spray her podium pals instead of the crowd.

Many will tell you that you need a fast camera to shoot sports, and for most sports that is true.  I purchased the D300s because it took 7 frames a second.  I don’t use that many frames a second for cycling.  I do if I am shooting other sports, like netball, but not for cycling.  They move out of the frame too quickly and you get too many blurred images.  I pan and take one, then get ready for the next the one, picking my next target.  I find I get a much higher success rate that way.

Someone came up to me at an event recently and asked what camera I had and did I have a problem with shutter lag.  That is the time it takes for the camera to actually take the image once you have pressed the shutter-release button.  This person did cycling photography with a film camera many years ago and wanted to get back into it.  He had a camera that was a few models down from mine.  That is something you need to consider if you are going to photograph sports.

I think that is enough.  It isn’t everything, but gives you a look at how I photograph races like criteriums.  I hope you have enjoyed seeing the criterium racing here in Victoria.  It is becoming a bit of a tradition.

Criterium Continues in Portarlington

Coming into the CornerThe Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic continued on to Portarlington yesterday.  Another wonderful day as far as the weather went.  Blue skies with lots of fluffy clouds.  Perfect for taking photos.  I have some more for you today, I hope you aren’t getting too bored with them.

I look at the images and think I could do this or that to them, but right now there is no time, I am having a hard time just getting the posts done each day, no time for fancy editing.

The image above was taken from ground level, well almost, and she was coming into the corner.  I love shots like these, and I am getting the impression you do as well.

Coming out of the CornerFor me, this is a fantastic shot, there are lots of cyclists around, but you really only see one.  It is also a very hard shot to get.  You have to be good at panning, but more on that tomorrow.

While there yesterday, I decided to play with my Holga lens and the fish-eye attachment that I got with it.  I really haven’t done that enough, so I wanted to see if it was possible with cycling.

Through the HolgaThis is probably the best shot I got.  It doesn’t do very well with speed.  It was so hard to get shots that were in focus.  Perhaps it is more of a still life sort of camera, good for things that aren’t moving.

Holga Fish-EyeThis was with the fish-eye attachment, which worked better.  Though it was better conditions as well.  Great effect and I might have to try it more, but not today.

I just want to show you two images that I have did some editing to, but not a lot.  The next two images were taken on the first day in Geelong.

EmmaThis is Emma, she is only 15 and racing with the Elite women, pretty amazing for a girl so young.  I don’t know if many of you are aware of this, but juniors have to race on restricted gearing, I think it is to protect them, so they don’t get injured from pushing really big gears before their bodies are ready.  It also puts them on a fairly fair playing ground with their peers.  Emma is Under 17, so she rides with restricted gearing, even when she is the only one, her gears are still restricted. A tough ask, but it was great to see her out there doing what she could.

LaraThis is Lara and she is from NSW.  She has recently gone up to U19, so gears still restricted, though not much.

With these last two images I have just blurred the back grounds, more to make them stand out.  I wanted to make them the focus of the images.   These are more individual portrait shots, I would call them, rather than shots of the racing.

Today is the last day.  We are off to Williamstown today.  It is going to be hot, 36C or 97F, so not great, but we are expecting southerly sea breezes, so that should make it bearable.  Williamstown always has massive crowds, so it should make for an interesting day.  Am I looking forward to it, I don’t know.

Bay Crits in Geelong

Most years when I go to this event, this is my fourth time, I try and photograph the racing.  You have to do that, it is a race, but that is all I do.  I just walk around and around the circuit taking photos of people racing their bikes.  I suspect this year won’t be any different, except my audience of who is looking at them.  I am taking photos of it this year for you and this blog.  Normally, I am taking photos for the riders.

The Start and the FinishAfter yesterdays post I had a few asking me what a crit was?  A crit is short for criterium and is a race that is done on a short circuit, where the riders do laps.  Usually on streets.  They can range in distance from one to around three kilometres.  I have seen some that are five kilometres or longer, but they are usually considered something else.  A crit will start and finish in the same place.  In the above image, the women are preparing to start and are lined up at the line.  This is also where they finish.

Down the Back StragihtSometimes crits can be done in really nice spots and you can get some nice shots.  Though, I find that the organisers never think what will make great publicity shots and what would be a great for photographs.  The often have the finish with the sun behind them, so crap shots there.  Take the image above, how good would it be to get the Ferris wheel with the riders coming towards me?

Commentating the EventThis crit is a big deal in Australian racing and happens every year.  Crits are only done in summer, the weather is too unpredictable in winter, and can make racing them dangerous.  A lot of clubs will cancel crit racing if it is raining, wet roads just means too many crashes.  I have heard it said that crits are the most dangerous type of racing in cycling, more people come off.  As they are racing on roads, that means lots of skin being removed and it wrecks their kits (what they race in).  Crits are also very fast.  A lot of riders get spat out the back when the speed picks up.  So crashes and speed, that makes it a great spectator sport.

Behind the riders you can see some guys sitting with almost white shirts.  They are, from the right, Matt Keenan, Scott McGrory and Phil Liggett.  If you ever follow cycling on television then you will know the British voice of Phil Liggett.  He is known internationally as the voice of cycling.  We know his voice when we hear it.  He comes here every year to commentate the bay crits and is also a very nice person.

Taking the CornersThe one thing that most crits have is dangerous corners.  This circuit at Geelong is called a hotdog circuit.  Named because it looks like one.  There are two straights, and either end are some very tight corners.  People gather on the corners because that is where most crashes happen.  It is where all the photographers go, me included, but it is also where you get some of the best photos.

They race for around 45 minutes, or one hour, then they get so many laps after that.  Usually 45 minutes then 3 laps.  It is unusual in that respect, most racing, you have no idea how long it will take, but that isn’t so with this.  So the riders know how long they have and work out what they have to do in that time.

I love photographing criterium racing and is by far my favourite type of racing to take photos of.  It is exciting and so fast.  I am going to do a post on how to photograph a crit, or how I do it, but I need more time than is available right now.  I am thinking I might do that on Friday when it is all over.  That is if you would like me to.  I can also take about accreditation and stuff as well.  Let me now.

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