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:
- Cycling Event: Part I – Road race
- Cycling Event: Part II – Time trial
- Cycling Event: Part III – Criterium