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royy Aug 7, 2004 10:43 PM

I have a friend that wants me to take some action photos of him during a triathelon, especially on his bike, but I have never done shots of cyclist before. Does any one have any experience with this? I am going to be using a Canon Digital Rebel with a 100-400 Vivitar lens. It is a bit on the slow side with a 6.3 apeture at the high end of the zoom. My guess is I would be able to get pretty close to him so I would probably be in the middle of that range.

I figure that the best types of shots would be a panning shot. What shutter speed should I be using? He said he would be cruising at around 20 mph. I also figured I could be some nice pictures head on. Should I use a Tv mode on this? If so, I guess stopping the action would be the best way in a head on shot. Any suggestions?


ab8nd Aug 14, 2004 5:12 PM


I'm not a fan of automatic exposures, especially sports as you need to really watch your speeds. You will need to be using at least 1/250 and at your lenses 400mm at least 1/500. I'd get an exposure reading set the speed as fast as practical then the fstep to that, even opening a half if your friends face is in shadow. For and interesting photo you might pick a spot and shoot the mass of legs with a slow speed (this is fun for cyclocross). A nice tight face shot is great so show the pain and concentration (and sweat). Panning is good, maybe a slow speed one will be interesting. Otherwise remember to shoot tight.


PlatinumWeaver Aug 29, 2004 8:43 AM

It might be too late, you didn't state when this Triathlon was on.

You friend probably trains an awful lot for this event, why dont you head out to a few training sessions and take some test shots, see what works and what doesn't..

Just my .02

sdmackie Sep 23, 2004 1:40 AM

Hi Royy,

Shutter priority would be the best way to go, so you can set your shutter speed. I would suggest that you definitely go out and try to get used to taking pictures from the side using thepanning technique. As well, you can make sure you have the focus on continuous, so it tracks with the subject.

Try to use different shutter speeds, and dont be afraid to use slow shutter speeds. Once you get proficient with panning, you will keep the subject sharp,and the background will be blurred, which shows motion in your pictures. You should get the subjects legs blurring as well, and the wheels, etc... It's quite nice, once you get used to it.

Have Fun!!

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