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Old Sep 3, 2009, 5:56 PM   #1
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Default 5K Run help -

Sheesh - first post and I put it in the wrong forum the first time!
Hi!

I'm an event photographer and I've volunteered to shoot a 5K charity run this weekend so I am looking for some tips on sport technique. I am A-OK for the general event shots, but would love some advice on finish line photos...

I shoot with Nikon D200 and D300. I have SB-600s if I need them, and I have a pretty general lens kit... Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6, Nikon 50mm f1.8, Nikon 70-300 f4.5-5.6, and a 28-200 f3.8-5.6 in my bag.

The course is pretty flat, the finish line is a straight on shot and I will have access to the chute. Other than clouds, it should be pretty shadow free. There are going to be about 500 runners.

Thanks for any advice!
Greg
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Old Sep 3, 2009, 8:46 PM   #2
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A 5K run is short enough that you aren't going to have a lot of time for anything other than taking the shots. For the first runner(s) to cross, you might want to start shooting as they approach, and get a nice sequence.
Stake out a place where crowds aren't going to be in your way or make of with your equipment (or knock camera off tripod, etc.) An assistant to watch things is probably a good idea if you have both cameras set up. Try to get a good angle - if you are right on the line shooting as they cross, you won't get good faces. Straight-on means it will be difficult to see the line being crossed (in the photo)
My lens choice would probably be the 28-200 on the primary and 70-300 on the backup (maybe vice versa depending on how far from the line you will be).
All batteries fully charged, and hope you don't have to change one, as you will miss a bunch.
I'll probably be shooting our local 1/2 Marathon at the end of the month again this year. It is a little more leisurely, as the runners string out a lot. Good luck.

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Old Sep 4, 2009, 7:35 AM   #3
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Thanks very much. Since I can use the chute, I think I will get a pretty good angle to the line. I was event thinking of bringing a small ladder to get some height. Do you have any thoughts on shutter speed/aperture? Thanks again for responding.
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Old Sep 4, 2009, 8:59 PM   #4
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Shutter and aperture are going to depend a lot on whether you need to get a lot of runners in the frame or not, as well as the light, of course. You shouldn't need faster than 1/250s, and might be able to go slower. With crowds at the finish, you would need more DOF than if runners are crossing one at a time, which is the situation I generally have. With decent daylight, you have plenty of leeway on this. If you are planning on providing individual runners with pics, keep in mind they will want to have their faces in focus, without motion blur. Other than that, nearly anything goes, and you can get good effects with shallow DOF (just a single runner in focus, others behind OOF) or use slower shutter for a bit of motion blur (shows up in the lower legs and feet mostly)

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