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Posts tagged ‘velodrome’

Was it Worth it?

That is a very good question.  When I see photos like the one above, I think, yes it was.  Though it was so tiring and exhausting, that I just don’t know.  I don’t like the way some of the other photographers treat me.  I don’t really like the way Cycling Australia treat me either.  I don’t really know what I have done wrong.  I hate feeling like everyone hates me.  I know it isn’t true, but there is a certain amount of bitchiness that seems to come with cycling around the photographers.  Perhaps that is everywhere.  It does get boring having to prove myself constantly.

On the up side, it was great to see how an international event is conducted.  So different to the events I’m used to.  They are so serious and everyone runs around with serious faces.  There is no room for mistakes.  I made one, and almost lost my accreditation, though it was one that I didn’t know about.  Apparently you should know everything before you go, I don’t know how you are meant to know everything, especially when no one tells you anything.  They stuffed up my accreditation and then I missed all the other stuff, so how am I supposed to know.  I would just like to say to the UCI, that just because you think it is obvious, doesn’t mean it is, and that maybe you should give people an information sheet telling them where they can and can’t go.

I did meet some fantastic people.  Made some contacts and took 8305 photos.  Some of the photos are absolute crap, while others have been good, and I know once I go through them carefully, I will find some gems, like the one above.  The one above of Victoria Pendelton has been cropped heavily and had other things done to it.  I really like it.  I know there will be others.

I also enjoyed going out in the breaks and taking some other photos.  It was good to discover some different perspectives.  I was hoping to show you another one of the tracks today, but our internet connection has gone crazy, and we are on slow mode.  Something is happening to it and we don’t quite get it.

It was good, in retrospect not to have had apron access, I really like that I had to think outside the box.  Some of the images I got were really good and I am looking forward to trying some of them out another time.  Now I have to find some time to go through all the images and see if I can do other stuff to them.

World Records, Crowds and Photographers

I am not going to pretend, I’m exhausted.  Taking photos for hours on end and then coming home and having to work on photos to send, well, it has worn me out already.  It doesn’t help that I wake up really early and then can’t get back to sleep.  I am going to show more photos today and write less, hope that is OK.

Anna Meares, one of Australia’s most talent riders.  She is a sprinter and in this image she is about to do her entry for the Flying 200, which she did brilliantly by breaking the world record.  The crowd went wild, naturally, always great when the local girl does well.

Aussie Women’s Team Pursuit.  They also broke the world record, unfortunately the British then broke it again.  Oh well, that is how racing goes.  The track is said to be very fast.  Got to love it when world records are broken.  The girls went on to win the Silver Medal in the final.

As promised, a photo of the stadium/arena, not sure what you call it.  The velodrome maybe.  It seems like a full house, there are people everywhere.  It is amazing.  So good to see so many people here to watch it.

This was shot beside the crowd and the race headed around the first bend.  You can get a clearer picture of the crowds here.  Makes the whole evening so much more exciting when you have a large crowd.

I couldn’t resist these shots.  The yellow bibbed photographers, not one I get to wear.  Only the elite in the cycling world get to wear these, or so I thought.  Apparently there is a girl from China who is wearing the yellow and she is just a student.  Not really fair, if you ask me.

There they all are.  They are allowed down on the side of the track, whereas those of us in the red bibs have to find somewhere else to take photos.  There are not many places, only two really and they are on the outside of the track.

I don’t know if I would do this again.  It is too hard.  We are so limited with where we can take photos.  Drives me nuts when you do so much for certain organisations, like Cycling Australian, and then when something like this happens they don’t do anything to help you.  I think that is a relationship that needs to ends, or if they want photos they are going to have to pay for them.  I need to get serious.

Nice Skies

I’m back from the Christmas Carnivals, feeling very tired and not looking forward to going to Geelong for the bay crits, but that could just be because I’m tired.

Last night in Shepparton the sky was looking amazing at sunset.  I tried to see if I could get some images to do a HDR image.

I don’t think it works, but it is all I have for today.  It was worth a shot.  The sky does have the weird colour, and I like the colours on the velodrome.  Not really sure about the rest.  Perhaps wasn’t worth doing.

Christmas Carnivals 2010

The Christmas Carnivals are over for another year.  This year only 3 days with Maryborough deciding not to hold them.  I wish I could say I was disappointed, but I was glad it was only 3 days.  It was a lot of traveling, going from Melbourne to Horsham, then to Bendigo and Shepparton and driving home very late on the last night. 

I made the decision early on that I would only do a few hours in Horsham.  It started at two and my intention was to leave by five.  Well, it took me longer to get there than I thought, so I didn’t get there until half past two, and when I wanted to leave the wheelraces were happening so I had to stay for those, and then there were the presentations, so needed to get those, especially when Jason Niblett was presenting them.  I think I got away closer to six.

The racing was good and the temperature was great.  Unfortunately with Victoria experiencing a locust plague, the grasshoppers weren’t so good.  They were everywhere.  You had to be careful walking around because it stirred them up and then they were flying around everywhere.  They were hard to see in the grass, they camouflage very well.  In the photo to the left there are two, see if you can see them.

I knew they would be around, but I wasn’t really prepared for them.  I was also informed that they weren’t as bad as they had been.  That surprised me.  I thought they were bad.  I had put some netting on the front of my car so they didn’t go onto the radiator and overheat the car, but apparently it would have been OK anyway.

Bendigo was the next day and I had booked myself into some nice accommodation and wanted to spend as much time in it as I could.  I arrived at Bendigo about eight thirty and was so relieved to find the place good.  The racing didn’t start until three on Tuesday so I had a lovely morning reading the paper and watching some DVD’s I was given for Christmas.

The velodrome at Bendigo is great.  Big, but good.  It is red, which makes it a great backdrop for photos.  People stand out on it and the photos look great.  If you want to check out the photos look at my website Leanne Cole Photography.  I also like the shapes and surroundings around the track.  I got some great shots last year and I was hoping to repeat them or rather improve on them from last year.

However, one of the things that I really took to first were the clouds.  I like collecting photos of clouds and I hope that one day I will be able to learn photoshop well enough that I will be able to use the clouds to put into other shots of landscapes that have boring skies.  Well that  is the plan.  I am sure people thought I was crazy taking photos of the clouds all the time.  They were so wispy and I liked the fairy floss look of them.

The stands at Bendigo are also exceptional and I liked the look of them in photos from last time.  I knew this time that I needed more light on the faces of the riders and I did my best to achieve that.  Not always sure I managed to get it, but I will find out when I try using them for prints.  They had some writing, the name of the stand, on the top but during the day it keep blending into the sky in the photos.  At night, and after another ground sunset., something that you can nearly always be guaranteed of during summer, especially when the weather is warm, are sunsets, red skies and clouds that look like they are on fire.

Once the sun went down photos became easier to take because the shadows from the harsh sun were gone and the flash was easier to control, though not always the case.  I did try taking some photos without the flash, but they only worked if I wanted to get overall shots from a distance.  In the photo to the right I quite like the deep blue colour of the sky.  I had to try several different setting before getting this one and being happy with it.  This was before a wheelrace and the men were just riding around while there holders/pushers were getting into place.  Wheelraces, or handicap races are not my favourite to photograph.  I find that all the holders stay out in the middle and can make it really hard for me to get any good shots.  Many shots have been spoiled because of those people.  I can’t say anything to them, but they do make it really hard.  On a big track like this it isn’t too bad, but at DISC it can be impossible.

The Frank McCaig Stand, there it is.  I don’t know what they do to it at night to make it stand out, but stand out it does.  I loved it.  I would love to get back and take more photos of the racing in Bendigo just to try and get that perfect shot of the stands with the racing.  It will take me longer I suspect than just going up there once a year.

The locusts or grasshoppers at Bendigo were worse than Horsham, though I had been told that they were really bad, but they must have mostly moved on by the time we got there.  When I got to Shepparton the next day, there didn’t seem to be any.  The weather up until then had been quite good, though it looked like it was going to be a hot day in Shepparton, as always, and it was.  The cycling club at Shepparton had lost its roof back in Febuary and they still hadn’t had it replaced.  We were told work was starting on the new one in Febuary, so I hope it goes well and look forward to seeing it the next time I’m there.

Our reprieve from the locusts were short lived, and out of the three days I think it is fair to say that they were the worse in Shepparton.  They were flying to the west all day.  Quite a few shots were ruined because of flying locusts.  All the dots in the image left are the locusts.  This man was walking through the middle and he stirred them up and away they went.  I think this is probably the best image I got of them.  You can see how bad they are, though, once again, not as bad as they have been.  I’m really glad I didn’t get to see them at their worse.

They would fly up the west end of the track and sit on it.  More so as the sun went down.  I don’t know how many squished grasshoppers there were by the end of the racing.  Quite extraordinary really.

Though with Shepparton I will remember the bugs.  Grasshoppers during the day and lots and lots and lots of mosquitoes at night.  You could see them flying around everywhere.  They were terrible.  Caused by all the rain they have had and the water lying around everywhere. Why does there always have to be consequences from the weather?

So they are over for another year.  Time will tell if I go again.  But it was nice catching up with people and also taking photos of track outdoors for a change, though, not something I would want to do too often.  Too hot.

Trying to Photograph a Velodrome

Definitely not easy. 

This one was taken in between the Juniors and the Seniors.  They had kicked everyone out so they could clean the place and to make sure that everyone who was coming in had tickets to the evening events.  I haven’t captured the whole place, but I do like the emptiness of it.  You can tell it is a velodrome.

There is no point trying to photograph the velodrome without a a wide angle lens.  It is vast and if you don’t have the wide angle it is too hard to get the curve of the bend, or the angle of the bends, indeed, even the straights.

My friend Kate lent me her wide angle to use for the Track World Cup and very generously allowed me to keep it to I could use it for the Madison last Friday night.  I have tried to photograph it with my wide angle, but it’s widest angle is 18mm, not wide enough, as you can see.  So thank you Kate, it was fantastic that allowed me to use it like that.

Kate’s lens is a 10 to 24mm wide angle.  It is very strange to start off with.  I got quite a few dizzy moments when I put the camera down and saw the view with my own eyes.  It was taking this old brain time to adjust and refocus.  It is amazing what it can capture.  Our own eyes can’t see that wide, so it is pretty awesome.  I think the lens that is equivalent to human eyesight is the 50mm.

Part of the reason for photographing DISC last Friday night was the expected crowds.  It is better to have photos of the place when it is full of people, and when it is jumping with enthusiasm.

As everyone was arriving I had a go at doing some photos from the middle of the infield.  So lying down on the ground I wanted to capture the lines in the roof.  I tend to overlook the ceiling and the patterns that they make, perhaps because I haven’t been using the wide angle enough, but it really picks up the lines of light that come through from the outside.

Part of what I needed to get was the crowds and the racing.  Not an easy task.  The image on the right shows the crowd as the competitors go past.  The event was the Keirin, so there are only a few riders out there.  You can see that there was a great crowd attending the event.  I also tried to get as many shots as I could of the crowd and them enjoying the event.  I took lots of shots from many different places up high behind the crowds, and here a few of them.

Of course the place where everyone seems to really like to see the racing is from up on the bends or the banks.  The angle on the bends is 42 degrees and is one of the hardest things to show.  Here are some shots taken of the cycling from up on top of the bends.

Both of these photos are pretty much the same.  Just the riders at different places on the track.  It is hard to get everything in focus.  Perhaps if the lighting was a lot better, or I was able to do this during the day that would be better.  If I were to do it again, I think I would take a tripod with me and use that.  Even slow the camera right down.

The next image I picked to show you, has a rider at the top of the bend.  Hopefully it is gives you an idea of how steep the bends are.You can see the railing in the bottom left corner.  The railing is probably one of the hardest things to get over to take photos.

The last photo is one taken of one side, still up in the same spot, but I like the way it makes the track look really wonky.I have to give the lens back today, but now that I’ve done this once, I might see if Kate will allow me to use the lens again for another big event.  Sometimes you need to try something once and experiment a bit, but you need to look at the results and decide what you would do differently next time.  So now I need to work out what I will do next time if I get another opportunity to photograph a big event like this with the wide angle lens.

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