Finding a new angle is always a challenge when shooting events.  Almost anyone can stand along the shore and take pics of the boats.   And these days everyone IS standing there with quality cell phones and good cameras.

So how do we stand out from the crowd?    Well, one way is to actually get IN the action.  I’ve been on a couple of assignments lately where it’s simply a matter of politely asking permission to join the action.

Old Town Canoe Action HDR taken by Sue Henderson

This was taken on a fairly cool spring day while standing IN the river during a kayak race.  For starters, you have to do the research in advance to know where you can be and stay safe.    Plus you don’t want to spoil any action or endanger the participants.   It takes advance knowledge to find the right locations.   And, of course, if you’re planning to wade out into a moving river, equipment and clothing are a definite consideration.

At one point I debated actually bringing my own kayak to get closer to the action but opted in its place for greater mobility.    But I admit I was very surprised at the lack of other photogs in a fairly accessible location.

Katherine HDR taken by Sue HendersonFor another shoot, it was simple enough to ask permission to walk onto an active airport ramp and speak directly to the pilots readying for a cross-country, all-women race.

These ladies were casually focused on the last minute checks before setting off for multiple days right down to a last wipe of the windshield.    There were multiple folks back at the terminal with long lenses who never walked out on the ramp.

Moral of the story?    Get IN the water.