Saturday, August 13, 2016

Flint's Crim Races

The next project:  Flint's 2016 Crim Race.  (

Our photoclub has been working with the race for a few years providing hundreds of photos for promotional and historical publications.

On Friday August 26, there will be a Special Olympics race followed by a series of one mile races.  It looks like there will be some professional races along with some amateur school aged races.

On Saturday August 27, the main races will take place.  The first race is a 10 mile track, followed by a 8k track and then a 5k track.

Since this will be my first time at the event, I have pre-work to do.
1.  I need to see the course.  The route is well published - so a walk/drive is probably in order.
2.  I need to find a unique location/perspective.  As much as I' like to do the Start/Finish line standard shots, I'd find that - well BORING.  I heard there is a person who constructs a water tunnel that runners can use, or not.  I need to find out for sure but this has possibilities.
3.  This is a different environment for me.  My comfort zone is usually more forgiving, that is I can always go back for another try if I don't like the first attempt.  This environment is one and done.  I might be able to make mid-course corrections, if I'm fast enough.  I understand that 80% of the runners in any of the races will cross through the point where I'm shooting in about 10 minutes.  There will be time between races to review, but.....
4.  The whole auto-focus thing.  I usually shoot shoot in the single servo mode.  For action shots, I'll need to go to the continuous servo mode.  Sure sounds easy, but there are other considerations involved, such as when the camera shutter will actually release.  Does it wait for focus, or does it shoot even if the shot is out of focus?  I've enjoyed the back button focus set up - but now with a continuous focus is that going to present an issue?

It's been a nice summer, a long time between photos.  I got the equipment out this morning - charged batteries and started working.

I don't have any issues with using a hand-held camera for this project, but I need to make sure I can get the second camera to work as I want.  

The first camera is a Nikon D7200.  I'll be using that with my primary lens, Nikkor 18-200.  It will be hand held, but taking action shots.  I'm thinking of getting a 1/500 shutter speed at the very least.

The second camera will be a Nikon D90 with Nikkor's 18-105 kit lens.  I will be using a Neewer release timer.  So the work here is to remember how to program the unit.  In my head, I picture (Ha Ha- Pun alert) setting it to shoot one picture every one second for five minutes.  I'd like to hit the timer button then focus (Ha Ha - ah forget it.)  on the hand held shots.  Simple enough, but can the camera buffer take all that?  More pre work, find out how much I can stress the buffer.  As part of the new camera purchase earlier int he year, I had a 32 gig card thrown in.  That is now in the D90 - and will give me over 2k RAW shots.  The number of shots won't be the limiting factor here.  The next issue is the shutter speed.  My first camera, handheld, will be set around 1/500 for capture shots.  For the second camera, I think the effect I'm looking will be a much slower speed, around 1/30.  On a sunny day, that might be hard to achieve - so my have to get the neutral density filter out.  The lowest ISO for the D90 is 200, and I'd like to set the aperture somewhere between 8 and 11.  There'll be some testing involved.

I'm a lot more comfortable shooting in Manual mode these days.  I have no problem setting the second camera in total manual mode, including focus.  Sure, there are things that could go wrong like a cloud drifting through, but if I shoot 600 hundred shots, one is bound to come out just right!  

And the last thing I need to remember is the equipment temperature.  It's been so hot here lately - going from an A/C house to 85+ with high humidity might not be desirable.  

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