Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Gothenburg Half Marathon (Göteborgsvarvet)

Capturing a cup of water in mid air took quite a bit of patience, and many tries. I got the idea when I saw how many empty cups were lying on the ground.

I like to shoot at events: There are lots of things happening, and lots of colors. The catch is that many other people have the same idea. I want my shots to look a little bit different, and this requires thinking a bit about what you shoot.

The Gothenburg Half Marathon is a good example. I didn't have much time to cover it, less than an hour, but it was enough to get a couple of good shots.

At an event like this, most photographers will stand on the sidelines and just shoot. If they have DSLRs and long lenses, they can get close-ups of the faces of runners, which always makes for a good picture. 

To get even better shots, some get down low, with one knee to the ground. Shooting from a low angle will almost guarantee better than average pictures.

If you want to do better than that, you have to get a bit creative. For example, I noticed many thousands of crumpled paper cups laying on the ground. I decided to capture one in mid air. as you can imagine, it took a lot of tries, but it paid off. One of the flying cups I shot had water in it. You can see the result above.

Another useful trick is to shoot something else, with the main action in the background. In the picture above, I shot the musicians from behind, so you can see what they look at. If I had taken a step to the right, and got a little bit closer, the shot would have been even better.

This shot uses the same technique: I focused on the musician, and used the runners as background. I desaturated the background in Aperture to make it easy for viewers to focus on the musician in the foreground.

It often pays off to look around and see what else is going on. A big main event attracts sideshows. The side shows may well be as interesting as, or even more interesting than, the main event.

Gothenburg is waking up after its winter hibernation, if you follow this blog, you'll get more tips, tricks, and pictures.

Next week will be a bit of a challenge, because there is both a big carnival, and a Geek Pride Parade, at the same time. And, as always, there is interesting work to be done.