How to take pictures for 5K Road Race

Race Photography

Race Photography is not that difficult, how it seems. You need to have a decent camera and lens to understand the fast shutter and value of the autofocus to have a perfect shot. Sportsperson should be photographed such a way that he/she is the most clear or focused object in the frame.

Do not click photos in Raw, as the camera takes time to process those. Usually, no processing should be required on the photos, so it is best to always click jpg/jpeg photos in medium resolution.

Equipment Requirements
  • A camera with good shutter speed (6 fps minimum), multiple focus points. E.g.
    • Canon 7D Mark II
    • Nikon D750
    • Sony a6000
  • A fast AF lens with lower aperture and good quality glass
    • 70-200, f/2.8
    • 100mm, f/2.8
    • 85mm f/2.8
    • 400mm f/5.6L
  • Extra batteries
  • Tripod/Monopod
  • Reflective Jackets
  • Rain gear
Camera Settings
  • A camera has to be set on the fast shutter or less exposure time (more than 1/1000 preferably) if it is fully manual. If there is a Tv or S mode in the camera then use that to set the specific shutter. In this mode, the aperture is selected by camera chip to support the selected shutter speed.
  • Set the lens on Auto Focus with photo click settings to be in burst mode.
  • Keep the ISO on higher or lower side depending on the weather to support overcast or bright/clear conditions.
  • Ideal settings:
    • Shutter: upwards to 1/500 (Depending on weather conditions)
    • Aperture: Lowest possible to get good depth of field
    • ISO: upwards to 400 to support good light and respective shutter speed
    • White Balance: Select from 4.5K-6.5K Kelvin temperature to support natural tones
    • Click Mode: Burst
Things to Pay Attention to
  • BIB # should be clearly visible in all the photos
  • Avoid looking at the camera screen to check each photo, it will distract you from perfect action shots and saves you battery as well.
  • Always keep the view such that the focused object is in center of the frame.
  • Avoid using flash, it distracts sports person as well. Take use of the ISO settings.
  • Keep comforting/cheering the sports person. You get good photos as well as provide enthusiasm to the candidate.
  • Every participant likes to get clicked so you need to make sure that 95% of the participants are being clicked.
  • For any running event, the ideal position is always away from intersections or start/finish point so make sure that photos are being clicked at least 200 meters away from start/finish point or somewhere around 75% of the total distance of running.
Some Examples

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Comments (2)

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