Tag Archives: sport

Electric Surfboard Off Bellingham

After our hike around Whatcom Falls Park, we headed down to Boulevard Park between Fairhaven and Bellingham to have our lunch.  We sat by the water watching the activities out on the water.  While we sat eating our sandwiches, someone came zipping along the shore on an electric surfboard with a hydrofoil.  They were certainly pretty quick and headed off in to the distance.  It was a while before they came back the other way which leads me to believe these things must have a pretty decent battery capacity.  To any surfers reading this, have you given one of these things a go?

Popping Wheelies – On Purpose and Inadvertently

Back to my time shooting bike racing at Shelton for this post.  Today I am focusing on wheelies.  Powerful bikes are able to pull wheelies without any trouble but, while racing, that is not something that people try to do.  However, while accelerating away from the start or from a slow corner, it is not unusual for the riders to get the front wheel off the ground.  It is usually pretty brief so you aim to get it quickly.

When the races are over, it is a different story.  As the riders run a final lap after the checkered flag, if they see you watching or holding a camera, it is not unusual for them to pull the front wheel up for an extended period.  It makes for a cool shot if you are ready.  These shots are a selection of wheelies O got during my (exceedingly hot) day out shooting the racing.

Minor League Baseball at Victory Field

Having looked through the catalog of images after finding the elevated view of Victory Field, I came across the shots I took when I went with some work colleagues to a minor league game there.  It was a lot of fun although I have no idea how the game was.  Watching baseball at a stadium is an enjoyable experience that happens alongside a baseball game as far as I am concerned.

The sun was setting as the game got underway and we had some nice light in the sky.  I took some HDR and panoramic shots which I have been able to reprocess using the latest versions of Lightroom as opposed to the one available at that time.  I also got a few shots of the players at work and had a wander around the perimeter of the field to see how it looked from different angles.  Looks like I was using a rather wide angle lens at some point too.

Victory Field Indianapolis

I was scrolling through some shots of ships when I came across these pictures of the baseball stadium in downtown Indianapolis.  It sits next to the football stadium and is just south of the hotel we were staying in on a previous trip. There was an evening game underway, and the fading light provided a lovely view of everyone having an evening at the game.  I have been to Victory Field for a game on another visit when some of my work colleagues wanted to check it out.  I do have some pictures from that trip but perhaps they can have their own blog post.

 

Panning Practice When Things Are Close

Photographing motorbikes means trying to get the shutter speed nice and low to make the background blur out and give the strong impression of speed.  When you are a distance from the track, you might have to go quite low in the shutter speeds to get the effect you want.  There is an alternative.  Get really close to the track.  Even with quite a high shutter speed, there is plenty of blur.  Indeed, the chances of getting a sharp shot get quite low unless you take the speed up a bit (or shoot a lot and go with the probabilities saving you).

I went to the Turn 5 location at Shelton a couple of times while I was there.  The marshal station is right in the apex of the bend and it is slightly above track level.  Standing beside it gives you a view down on the riders as they come by.  I tried it out once in the morning.  It was good to get some practice but the light was behind the riders so it wasn’t ideal.

I went back again later in the day when the light was slightly more favorable.  I shot with both a long lens as they were approaching and with a wider lens as they passed right beneath me.  The speed with which they corner means that the panning becomes more of a whip motion and it is hard to pull off reliably.  Plenty of efforts were made to try and get a good shot of the rider while conveying the sense of speed.

Surfers At Waikiki Beach

The title is not intended to catch you out, but it probably will.  These photos are in Washington rather than Hawaii.  Cape Disappointment has a small beach tucked under the cliffs and it goes by the name of Waikiki.  At the tail end of my trip there, I saw that a group of surfers had gone in to the water and were making the best of the waves which, since they were a lot smaller than what I would have hoped for, we probably ideal for them.

Not being a surfer, I am not a good judge of what the right techniques are when surfing but, even so, you can usually quickly work out who has got a better feel for the waves and who hasn’t.  Picking the right one to go for and getting up to speed to make it on to the wave seems to be a bigger deal than staying up for some of the people.  As I say, I’m not a surfer so this is all uninformed commentary.

Two things are of interest when photographing surfers.  Having them coming in your direction so you can see their face while they are carving across the wave or watching them wipe out in style.  The latter is probably not what they want me to be focused on but you take what you can get when shooting this stuff!

Sailing Amongst the Islands

The holiday weekend meant the San Juan Islands were definitely the place to be if you had a boat.  We saw plenty of boats coming and going including plenty of sailing boats.  Some seemed either to be racing or training together too.  I just grabbed some shots of the boats when I could.  The evening light on a spinnaker really looks very nice.

Boathouse at Port Townsend

Down by the water in Port Townsend there is a boathouse for the local rowers and scullers.  It is a relatively modern building with a nice look to it although for some reason I didn’t photograph the outside.  It also includes a lot of window space which means you can see all of the shells stored within.  (Like how in I am with rowing terminology and know to call them shells???). Avoiding reflections from the windows when taking shots of the inside was a touch tricky but it was manageable.  The designs of these boats is pretty impressive since they are created to be light but they have to be very strong since a huge amount of load goes through very small areas when the crews are pulling hard.

Sailing Boats on Puget Sound

We took a walk along the beach at Shoreline one Sunday and the weather was lovely.  Obviously plenty of people thought it was a good day too and there were lots of sailing boats out on Puget Sound.  Some of them came in quite close to the shore before tacking away.  The winds was obviously pretty strong as some of them healed over pretty hard as they caught the wind again.  I love the look of yachts sailing in a strong breeze.

Herne Hill Good Friday Meet 2003

Not long before we left the UK, I finally got around to doing something I had meant to do many times and always forgot about until it was too late.  A visit to the Good Friday meet at the velodrome in Herne Hill.  Since it was south London, it was a pretty easy place to get to by train so no need to fight the traffic in to Town.  It was a big deal in those days – maybe it still is – and it attracted a great selection of riders.  Some pros showed up to race or to be seen.  David Millar was there being interviewed but didn’t race.  I was really pleased to see Stuart O’Grady, I rider I really enjoyed watching race.

The track scene had a selection of established stars and up and comers that I new about vaguely from reading Cycling Weekly.  Chris Newton was a big deal in those days although he never became a widely known cyclist.  However, there were two young guys competing that day that I knew were pretty good.  I didn’t know they would go on to better things.  One was a chubby young sprinter called Chris Hoy.  The other was a good pursuiter called Bradley Wiggins.  Olympic and Tour de France glory awaited them later in their careers.  I was very tempted by one of the t-shirts on sale that day.  It said “I’m not fat, I’m a sprinter!”.  If you’ve ever seen the physique of some of the fastest sprinters, you would find this funny.