We had a fun time at the Spartanburg Regional Classic Pro Bicycle Races Friday evening. We got to see the women's category 3&4/Junior's race and most of the men's category 3&4 race. It was a pleasant evening with a nice breeze/wind. The announcer said that it was about 15 mph at times. It was blowing right down the main straight aways for the course. Thus, the riders had either a 15 mph tail wind or a 15 mph head wind. The part of the course with a hill had the head wind of course. Still, some of the men we saw race were hitting up to 35 mph. The course was a 1 km circuit through downtown around the Denny's corporate building. The men's race we saw was a 30 km race. The women's was a 25 km race. It was fun to see it in that kind of setting though. However, there were not very many spectators.
More after the jump.
Overall, I'm happy with some of the images I got from this outing. The shot above though kind of had a story to it. You see, I was actually trying to line up a shot of the racers passing by the review stand for the next lap. However, the camera decided to focus on this police officer and child that were just a bit in front of me. It was as if the camera was saying, "No you dumby! THIS is the shot you really want!". Luckily, I recognized the moment for what it was and shot off a couple of quick frames. It didn't last very long and was underexposed. However, the camera was right. It was the shot I wanted. It seems to capture the spirit of the event. That being the community coming to town to enjoy an event together. The child is watching the racers approach and the police officer seems to be watching over him. I know it looks like she's holding the boy, but the mother was actually holding him just out of the frame and behind the officer. Fortunately, it wasn't so badly under exposed that I couldn't recover it. That is one of the reasons I shoot in RAW (NEF) format. You have more latitude and information in the file. It was under exposed because I had the exposure set for the distant riders who were in the bright afternoon sunlight. The moment with the child and officer, who were in shade, was so quick that I didn't have time to adjust the shutter speed to get a proper exposure on them.
Still, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Pay attention to your viewfinder. Sometimes what you see might not be want you want to see in it, but sometimes it might be even better than what you want. Keep your eyes and mind open for those fleeting moments you can't plan.
More shots of the race to come.
Friday, May 1, 2009