Cycling Event: Body Torque Tour of the South West – Warrnambool, Victoria

2013 TOTSW Crit-2

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited back down to shoot this years Tour of the South West. In only its second year, the cycling event more than doubled the number of competitive riders from last year. This was particularly evident with the number of female riders – in 2012 there were a total of 7 girls who raced; this year that number was closer to 60!

If you read my three posts from last year, you’d know I was a little anxious about having to shoot this type of event back then. Fortunately, the nerves were much better this time around although I confess to reviewing my shutter and aperture settings from last years shots in preparation for this trip.

Cycling photography can be quite challenging for a number of reasons: Changing light levels; blown highlights when shooting low; quick subjects (obviously); dangerous camera angles. On top of this, I’ve become more acutely aware of the need to have some great (read, expensive) equipment in order to catch those really great shots. Whilst the Canon 7D performed really well because of its size, weight, shutter burst speed and multiple focus points – particularly in servo mode; it’s the lenses once again that make all the difference. If I could justify spending $6000+ on a f2.8 image stabilised 400mm super telephoto, I’m sure I could get some really cracking photo’s. The reality is I don’t even remotely have the money to spend on this type of gear, nor do I shoot this type of event frequently enough for it to be a possibility. What this limitation did do however, was force me to be as creative as possible with the resources I did have. I think my favourite shots from this year would have to be the extreme motion blurred images of the riders like in the example above.

To the riders, support staff, race coordinator, event organiser and to Warrnambool Council – wonderfully done and thank you so much for the invite! Hears to a great race next year.

Canon 7D | EF 24-105L | EF 70-200L f4 | EFS 10-22 | Handheld | Post: Lightroom 4

Click on an image below to view the slideshow gallery.


If you’d like to revisit the shots from last year; you can jump to them quickly here:

  1. Cycling Event: Part I – Road race
  2. Cycling Event: Part II – Time trial
  3. Cycling Event: Part III – Criterium

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Great shots! Fantastic composition and use of shutter speeds to convey motion and speed.


    1. Distan Bach says:

      Thanks so much, Vincent. I’ve been really enjoying your photography too. Appreciate you dropping by and your kind words.


  2. Mike says:

    Some great shots, Distan. I think the low angle and well chosen shutter speeds have managed to convey a sense of movement and drama.


    1. Distan Bach says:

      Cheers, Mike. Yeah, given my lenses, I think these were the stronger shots. Its one of those times that the distortion caused by the wide angle lens can compliment and amplify the action.


  3. I have to agree some great shots and terrific use of the shutter speed. The images capture the actual essence of the race day,namely speed.


    1. Distan Bach says:

      Thank you James. I’m constantly amazed how quickly these riders can go. And its pretty unrelenting. Its certainly easier to catch these guys with quick shutter speeds but the image just has that static quality. Dragging and panning the shutter and camera was one of the few ways that I could capture a sense of the occasion. Problem with that, of course, is that I had 3-4 times the amount of photo’s to review in post.


  4. Leanne Cole says:

    Some great cycling photos Distan, I am doing some of that next weekend.


    1. Distan Bach says:

      Thanks Leanne. How did your weekend ‘trackside’ go?


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