September 15, 2010

At the Crest

Somewhere in Utah, May 6, 2004

This was the sixth day of the relay across the country that I was fortunate enough to participate in. Fernando, on the right, was scheduled to run that leg. Bob, on the left, just ran along for some extra miles. Yeah … extra miles … we runners are crazy.

Anyway, I’ve written here before about the images I took on this trip. How I rarely focussed on actually composition. This is one of the exceptions. For this image, I had a plan.

While we ran over more hills than you can count during the relay, I was very rarely in a position to get shot where everything clicked. I wanted the perfect light, the perfect hill, the perfect background. I saw this one coming and didn’t want to let it slip by.

Fernando started his leg in the early morning and finished just a couple hundred yards from the crest of this hill, with (by divine intervention) a killer background.

In the few minutes I had to prepare for the finish of their leg, I switched to my 70-200mm lens and jogged up near the crest of the hill. I set the focal length at 200mm (around 300mm full frame equivalent on my old D70) to compress the image to get the effect I was looking for. My only concern was that I would catch the runners flat-footed, looking sluggish at the end of their run. No runner wants to look ‘dead’ in pictures.

Everything clicked.

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