Monday, June 6, 2011

Patuxent River Naval Air Station Triathlon–the Swim

Brian at Pax River Triathlon-2

Back in the day (I think it was a Wednesday), I used to go to triathlons to compete.  This weekend I went to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station Triathlon to support Chef Sue (my wife), Gunslinger Teji, and Triathlon Buddy Brian.  Back in the day, Brian and I trained and raced together with religious fervor.  Quite impressively, Brian is still racing – and racing well.  At a shade over 50, He won his age group and was not far off the leader’s time – quite impressive.  Chef Sue and Gunslinger Teji were there with the intent of finishing; both accomplished their goal.  Congratulations.

Brian at Pax River Triathlon-4

Triathlons are target rich environments for photographers, so I took advantage of the opportunity.  I do not claim to be a sports photographer and definitely tend toward a more artistic interpretation of anything I shoot.  This triathlon is no exception.

Brian at Pax River Triathlon-6

So what distinguishes my “artistic” interpretation of a triathlon from what one would normally expect from a sports photographer?  While taking the photography, I probably would not have been able to tell you.  But in retrospect, as I look through the entire group of photos, I see several trends including:

  • lots of shallow depth of field
  • composition that fills the frame rather than larger environmental compositions
  • about half of the photographs were processed as black and white – an artistic choice
  • detail shots

Pax River Triathlon-1

With so much activity and being surrounded by interesting subjects, I shot a lot.  My hit rate (shots I felt worthy of keeping) was also pretty high.  For this reason, I will cover the race in several posts.  Obviously, this post focuses on the swim.

Pax River Triathlon-13

From a photographers standpoint, triathlons are generally started in good light.  Triathlons normally start early in the day to avoid the heat of the day.  With a 8 am start, I was lucky to have some great light (relatively low on the horizon) for shooting.  It became progressively harsher toward the end of the run, but overall, light is an advantage for early morning race starts.

Sue at Pax River Triathlon-3

Sue at Pax River Triathlon-8

The choice to process photos as black and white is not always an easy one at events such as this. One of the cool things at triathlons is the rainbow of colors. Swim suits, swim caps, bright blue water, race shirts, bikes – all full of color. Still, I find that black and white works with many of the shots.

Teji at Pax River Triathlon-5

Stand by for more posts later this week covering the bike and run portions of the race.

Have fun, and go make some great photography.


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