A recent event shoot had me taking pictures anywhere along a 13 mile route past many historic and lovely sites. But driving the route at the right time of day – ALWAYS an issue for outdoor gigs – showed multiple challenges. Overhead wires, trees in full growth of late spring and the inevitable crowded beginning and ending points all limited available spaces.
Then there was the direction of the shots vs the angle of the sun. An early morning marathon running westward is a real technical challenge shooting moving subjects into the sun.
Here’s an example of a pre-event shot indicating a potential problem.
As you can see, this wide green space should have been perfect to capture a thousand runners approaching a hero statue. The solution was to move to the south and capture a side view of the lead runner with the same green space and a historic attraction in the background. It also had the advantage of illustrating speed.
For the same event, location also aided the ability to capture a large crowd. The general rule of thumb is to get elevation to see scale. Again during my pre-shoot evaluation I looked for ways to find both a new perspective for a heavily photographed event and to show the scale.
My solution was based on multiple factors: the slope of the road leading the runners directly up a good sized hill gave me the height needed for the crowd; the location was also within a mile of the shorter 10k and at the halfway mark for the longer race; it was a short 2 block walking distance to the previously mentioned historic green; and, finally, it provided easy parking and driving access in a town full of restrictions and road closures.
Here’s a sample of the sort of shot provided by the location.