It's been some time since I've been out covering some sports action and this past weekend was perfect to be outdoors shooting track.
This last Saturday I covered the Long Beach Middle School boys track meet held at Lakewood High. Have I said how much I love track. There's always a lot going on and potential for some great action and expressions.
Below are some, well I should say a lot of shots from Saturday's meet. It's always hard for me to choose just a few from the amount of shoots I take during a middle school meet. I try to get as many of the kids as possible.
So enjoy, but before you do, lets talk about my positioning for these shots. First, I used my 300 f/2.8 for all of these shots.
For the long jump I like to position myself straight down the runway and usually around lane 3 or 4 on the track. I will sit on the track to give me a full shot of the athlete as he jumps and lands. By sitting it eases up the stress on my knees and gives me a low perspective. With long jump shots I tend to shoot a 2-3 shot burst as they jump. If the athlete jumping sprays a lot of sand up when they land I will take a single shot of them in the air and then a 2-3 burst of their landing.
At Lakewood they have the high jump on both ends of the track, which gives me both lighting situations to deal with. First on the north end I face the sun while shooting and on the south side I have the sun to my back. Now both sides are pretty much handled the same with me kneeling across the track. By kneeling it gives the jumpers a larger than life look and adds impact to their jumps (almost adds height to it). With the high jump I will usually take a single or 2 shot burst. This really depends on how their form looks and what I want to capture.
This now brings up to the track events. The first event is the 4x100 relay. With this I will position myself on the outside of the track and usually 2/3 around the turn. This gives me some great shots of the athletes as they run the turn and lean. It also puts other runners in the background. I will also lean for these shots as well to make the athletes appear larger than life.
Next comes the 1600m run. With this I will position myself just at the turn while kneeling. When they start the race there's usually a lot of intensity and contact as they fight for a lead position..
This next group of shots is a combination of finishes from the 4x100, 400m, and the 200m runs. With these I will position myself at the finish just before the turn and wait to see who the winning athlete is. Once I determine who the winner is I place myself in their lane and compose the shot and in this case will shoot a burst of frames. I do this to give me multiple options for the best shot. Some may call this spraying and praying, but those that do don't really have a concept of what their shooting and how to get the best shot. When any athlete runs they will make various expression. This could be tongues sticking out or eyes closed. You just never know. I also try to get the shot with the lead runner and as many background runners as possible of the ground. Take this first shot for example. You have the first three runners off the ground.
Now were to the 100yd dash. This is a quick race and if your not paying attention will be over before you know it. For this race I position myself about 20-30 yds past the finish line. Once the starting gun is fired I will attempt to determine who the lead runner is. Now I'm not always right with this, but I do my best. Once I determine who the lead runner is I will position myself in their lane and then kneel. I will again take a burst of shots as I described above.