Yesterday, after my own 20 mile run, I headed out to Mule Shoe Bend on Lake Travis, near where the Pedernales flows in, to photograph the . Well, flows when water actually exists. Not this year in Texas.
Anyhow, This was an interesting challenge. Take pictures of a small band of runners as they travel 37.2 miles across rocky terrain. In very little light. While being safe. Make them interesting.
My first task is usually location scouting, where to find a good place to be while the runners come at me. Joe Prusaitis told me of a little rise with a good rock outcropping to get runners coming down. Allright step one complete.
Next, get the runners at the start of the race. This was different because I captured them within the first half mile of their journey, so there were more clumps of runners than normal trail conditions. Once I got them running. I knew I could return to my little outcropping to setup my lights for their return loop.
I wanted a strong front light with a big lighting zone so that I could get the runners as they moved through my area. I also wanted to add some “moonlight” with a strobe coming from high, angled down with light blue gel to it. This would help light up the area of movement as well.
Everything up to this point was good.
Threw on a Wide to Normal f2.8 Zoom and let the shooting begin. So long as there was some ambient light left I was ok, I could still track runners with AI Servo Mode. And most importantly, I wasn’t blinding runners as they tackled a tricky downhill section.
Then the ambient dropped to darkness. Focus wouldn’t Follow runners.
Lights were a little strong for the runners.
Josh learned his lesson.
So how do you take pictures at night, of trail runners, while maitaining safety, with 1/250th or greater shutter speed, and make them interesting?
Hmmm. Not sure. Some Form of Continous lighting? Leica Noctilux f0.95?
Holler if you know the answers to this question cause I am stumped so far.