Sunday, August 21, 2016

Photographing Athletics at the Olympics - including hurdles, high jumping and long jumping

As I have mentioned a couple of times, with all the shooting and moving around here at the Olympics, it has been tough to make time to blog in the last couple of days.

I am currently sitting in the main press center and getting ready to hop on a bus to head to closing ceremonies. And once again, I am still not feeling very good. I think I have only felt 100% for 2 or 3 days of these games. The good news is that I can sit here and write a blog, and not do anything too strenuous.

The tough part about opening and closing ceremonies, is that we have to leave the Olympic Park by 3pm and the ceremonies don't start until 8pm. It will be a long night for all of the press covering this. Part of thought about skipping them and just resting in the hotel room, but the photos opportunities are too good, so I will work through this one last day.

OK, now, on to the Athletics that I photographed to other day.

I really wanted to shoot the hurdles, since they are visually cool and I have alway been amazed at how these athletes can jump these hurdles with such ease.

When arriving at the stadium, I walked around the perimeter to determine the best shooting location for the race. I wanted to shoot this head on from a low position, but like so many other venues, this spot was reserved for the photo agencies and TV.

So I opted for a spot just off center from them.


Using the Canon 200-400mm lens with the built-in tele converter switch on, I was able to shoot this photo of the men (at 540mm) making their first hurdles from way back.


As they ran closer to me, I was rolling the zoom lens back to keep them in the frame.


As the different heats happened, I tried shooting images both tight and wide. I kept my ISO at 3200 to assure me a shutter speed of 1/800 sec. And as always, I was in AI Servo mode and letting the autofocus on the camera and lens help me keep these guys in focus, even at the high rate of speed they were moving.


Since I was near the end of the race, I could capture the athlete's reactions.


At one point, in between some of the action, I looked up and saw this beautiful full moon. I figured that, since I had the camera and big lens with me, I should at least capture one shot of this moon.


Then it was back to the hurdling.


I love the determination in Jeff Porter's face as he closes in on the finish line.


From where I was standing, I could also get some photos of the high jump.


This man from Puerto Rico just barely cleared the high jump.


He came over towards me to communicate with his coach, and I grabbed a shot of this happy man.


At one point, I moved to a shooting position by the long jump. I took some shots, but was totally frustrated by all the distractions.


This was one of the few frames I was able to capture without a total mess in the foreground and background.


I gave up on the long jump and headed back to the races.



Here is Team USA's Byron Robinson coming right at me...



...and then running by me.


This is my favorite shot from the evening, with Team USA's Kerron Clement easily clearing one of the hurdles.

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3 comments:

Dave Boege said...

Great shots. You have done a wonderful job in Rio. When you are under the lights in the big arena at night do you turn on the Anti-flicker shoot setting in your Canon 1DX Mark II?

Jeff Cable said...

Dave - I have not had to worry about the lights at all. :)

Rikki said...

Great shots! As a former track runner I absolutely love those pictures. Just curious as to F stop you were using. Thanks again for sharing fabulous Olympic photos.