Saturday, July 31, 2021

BMX Freestyle for the first time at the Olympics: And a lucky shot!

Yesterday I went to the BMX freestyle park to try photographing this new Olympic sport for the first time. It was really hot and humid outside, but I braved the heat because I really love photographing new sports. 

The first thing I did when I entered the venue, was to scope it out for good backgrounds. The most obvious of these was the Olympic Rings which were at the far end of the venue. I positioned myself down in the Field of Play (FOP) area so that I would be photographing up at the bike riders.


I was hoping that some of the BMX riders would come over by the rings (many of them did not), and started shooting. I thought it would be a top notch shot with the rider right in front of the rings.


When I finally got this shot, I was not so sure. I like it, but it is a bit busy.


I could not decide which image I liked better, the entry, the centered shot, or this exit shot.


Then I climbed up the rafters to get some photos above the rings. The men were practicing, which gave me a chance to determine the best lens for this shot and frame it up. I ended up using the Canon R5 with the Canon RF24-105mm f/4 lens. It was wide enough to get what I wanted, but not too wide.


I stood in that position for about 10 minutes to get this shot and then left. It was too darned hot up there on the metal bleachers.


I moved around down on the FOP trying to find some good shots with decent backgrounds. That was a bit of a challenge. 


I got some peak of action shots of the riders, but the background was all media and volunteers.



Oh, and there were a lot of teammates at this venue. Hence the crowd you see on the left of the photo up top.


Not liking the other background, I moved to a position over by the rings.


This is one of the stronger images in the collection, with the rider filling much of the frame and the rings in the background.


I liked how the Aussie was straight out on his bike in this photo.


This would have been a much nicer photo if there were people in the stands watching the rider.


The only person in the stands was a TV cameraman. So sad. 


I got some nice photos of the Costa Rican rider. I spend so much time down there, I had to get some photos for my friends in that awesome country.


This next photo combines a little bit of skill and a whole lot of luck...


I got down low to try and photograph the Costa Rican rider in the sky, I tracked him and fired off a bunch of photos with him against the open sky and clouds. Seconds later, I looked in the camera to see if I got a good shot, and I saw the airplane in the background. Perfect timing! This was definitely my favorite photo of the event.


I also used a nearby apartment building as a background, since the muted colors really helped the bike rider pop out.

I was just about to pack up and head over to the water polo venue when I realized that I had not tried any motion panning at this venue. So, for the last rider, I slowed the shutter speed to 1/25 of a second and grabbed some images like this one. 

Overall, it was a lot of fun to capture photos on the first day of a new Olympic sport, and I was really happy with the results.


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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

SUPERB !! I too love the shot with the airplane in the background!!

Unknown said...

*Ahem*. that's Aussie. Just saying. 😉