Saturday was fun. Got a nearly last-minute phone call to cover the Chuckanut 50K Ultramarathon for The Bellingham Herald. The 31.5 mile race was phenomenal to shoot, but a logistical nightmare.
The race started in Fairhaven, went onto the Interurban Trail where it paralleled Chuckanut Drive, then split into 4 different courses on Fragrance Lake Trail checkpoint, those then wound back to that same checkpoint with the final leg as the reverse of the first.
Around The Corner
The start was easy. Just waited for the runners to begin coming at me. I did plan on shooting wide while using a flash to light them as it was dark and gray. So I got on the ground and worked a few images.
Setting His Timer:
After shooting the start, I drove to Cleator Road and waited for the first group of runners so I can get some on one of the trails. While waiting, I tested out the exposure settings my Nikon SB-810 Speedlight mounted on the paper’s D3s. But I could not find the rear curtain sync. After about 10 minutes, I headed to the checkpoint.
Pretty in Pink:
At the checkpoint, a group of 100 supporters and spectators cheered each racer as they ran by. I liked the camaraderie so I stayed and shot the cheering.
“You Paid for This?”
After about half an hour, it was time to head back to the finish line. There was a good hour and a half wait until the first runner finished. His finish was not as fast as his other races.
One this I make sure I get: reaction. Whether that reaction is good or bad, I try to get it. Plus, I look for congratulatory moments.
First & Second
So a big tip for everyone out there: Learn your camera settings and what buttons to push. I’ve never used flash on the D3 so I was in the dark as to where to set the rear curtain synch. If I had cell service, I would’ve googled it.
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Paul “pablo” Conrad
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Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance photographer living in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Wash., north of Seattle in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe.
His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.
His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.