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XC in the rain

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Otter, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Here are few pics from a high school cross country meet.
    It was pouring rain most of the time. I kept my camera and flash covered with a couple plastic bags and rubber bands. Worked pretty well.

    Most of these are flashed.

    Thanks for looking and commenting.

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  2. tjk60


    Dec 4, 2007
    troy, mi
    just beautiful Joe! Hard to pick a favorite, maybe the last one with the captured intensity

    I ran in HS (I sucked), but 70F and raining was perfect to run in except for the blisters from wet shoes....
  3. joe.....
    these are awesome
    love the expressions... the atmosphere
    the mud, the spray
    very well done
  4. Joe, these were exactly what I was looking to do last Tuesday, before they canceled the meet I was supposed to shoot. Love shooting XC in the rain, adds so much more. They really don't looked flashed (compliment) other than some ghosting/motion on a few.
  5. Thanks for the comments guys.

    You're right Geoff. The rain adds a lot.
    Hope it rains next Saturday for about 16 minutes here in the Cleveland area... :smile:
  6. Nice shootin partner! That rain really lends a nice feel to the action and the strobe really helps pick up the color, No. 9 my fav. I get my first chance to shoot XC this weekend, rain or shine, can't wait.
  7. Simba909


    Mar 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    Joe these are great, the rain definitely adds an interesting element.
  8. Thanks Brooks and Ron.
    Brooks, #9 happens to be Otter Jr. :smile:

    My D300 arrives today.
  9. bbcoach15


    Jan 8, 2009
    I know this is an old post but I'm going to be shooting cross-country for the first time this season so I was searching through the old posts. This looks like Forest Hills Park to me, is that right? Did you happen to catch any of them going up or down the HUGE hill? I fell down that hill my junior year during the race! I'm planning on shooting this year at Lorain Community College which is a pretty open area. Any pointers?
  10. #1 is my fav, good stuff here
  11. Great shots Joe! i love number 6 with them hitting the puddles and the water splashing!
  12. Thanks guys. Those shots are nearly a year old... :smile:

    Yes, that's correct. Nice place. There is no way I could run up that hill. Not sure I could even walk it...
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    No, not really. Never got anything too good coming up the hill. The shot above, that I don't like but is the only one handy, was taken two years ago. I think last year I got some decent mud shots of kids playing/sliding down the hill in the mud but that's about it.

    I never liked Lorain. Too open. I don't care for the open field shots. I had some luck in the wooded areas using flash. My son's school didn't race there last year.

    As far as advice goes... I'm not an expert so take it with a grain of salt...
    -Get there early
    -Get a course map
    -walk the course
    -Find at least 3 spots you can run to
    -- Get the start, run to a mid section and try to get them twice (if they lap)
    -- Run to the finish and try to get sprints to the line

    On some courses, the runners only come by once - you get one chance for a shot. So I would shoot the other meets in an attempt to find good spots, check settings, and so on. That's one advantage of getting there early.

    For me one of the hardest things was finding good spots and getting there before the runners come by. Especially varsity races. They can come at you pretty fast.

    McDonough (Cleveland Hts) was always nice. Lots of woods and of course the killer hill. It was tough to get around though. I would walk out into the middle of the field where they started, get them coming at me, then run out of the way. Then run over near the hill where they turn around and get them as they came by, then go to the hill and wait for them going down the hill and back up, then RUN all the way over near the finish. That's a long hike, at least for me...

    That's what I tried to do at all the races basically. Sometimes I had success, sometimes not. But remember, sometimes you only got one chance of them coming by you. I also tried to go where other people weren't (in my way).

    XC is, IMHO, a tough sport to shoot. You don't get many chances for a decent shot. Unlike field sports where you are there for an hour, shoot a butt-load of shots, and have lots of chances - with XC you often only get one chance.

    As far as the camera goes, the above posted shots I think were shot with my D200. I think those were before I got my D300. I usually shot in A mode and adjusted ISO, EV, SS, and so-on as needed. With the D300, I tend to use Manual (or A) and auto ISO. I almost always used my 300/f4. Sometimes the 70-300 AFS-VR but I don't really care for that lens much.

    However, now I usually have the 70-300 AFS-VR on the D200 and the 300/f4 on the D300. So I usually have both cameras with me. I would much rather have the 70-200 2.8 or even the older 80-200 2.8 over the 70-300.

    Couple more random thoughts:
    I always tried to have the (and track the runners) with the focus point on a runners face.
    Focus lock off.
    Single point focus.
    Usually CW sometimes Matrix metering.
    Sometimes on cloudy days I used flash in TTL with EV dialed down for just a little fill light - it's hard to do it without looking flashed though - at least for me.
    I like using a monopod. Especially with the 300.
    Usually have 2 bodies and no bag to lug around. Running from spot to spot with unnecessary gear is a hassle.

    Brooks (and others) always had some nice XC/Track shots. Maybe Brooks will see this and chime in.

  13. What Otter says, XC is tough and planning ahead is key. Hope for some weather, that will help the look of what can turn out to be static runner shots, also if you have the equipment try something different, low superwide, extreme tele shots etc. The last hundred yards are usually best for interesting faces, also don't forget the finish area after they clear the chute, good reaction stuff to be had there as well.
  14. bbcoach15


    Jan 8, 2009
    Thank you for the advice. Having run most of these courses myself, I am pretty familiar with the layout, so i have that much going for me. Good tip about the finish line area. I don't think there's any better face than the reaction of someone who just ran 3 miles and is now done! Otter, thanks for the very detailed advice. That is hard to come by and hopefully I'll have some success. Does your son still run or had he graduated?
  15. You're welcome David.
    He graduated last spring.
    He's running now for Denison University.
    Just dropped him off there last Saturday.

  16. Our kids were almost neighbors and competitors, looking forward to some college XC pix from you.
  17. That would have been great Brooks. Oh well.
    I'm not sure how many meets I'll be able to go to.
    I will post when/if I get any.

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