Race For Life

Everyone Has Someone
12000 • f5.6 • 300.0 mm • ISO 400

Yesterday saw Cancer Research UK host the “Race For Life” event on the Stray in Harrogate. I went along to grab some photographs of the event. Virtually no one has never been touched by Cancer, and this is an important fund-raiser for the charity to continue their work.

The overwhelming colour in attendance was of course Pink, but people went out in many costumes, after being rallied by the resident Stray FM crew, the runners left at the stroke of 11am.

Everyone involved had been touched by cancer at some point, and not only was it for them, it was for everyone that supported and helped those people.

I set my camera in aperture priority mode, and set ISO to 400, as it was a fairly dull day. Which was pleasant as the last few

11250 • f5.6 • 70.0 mm • ISO 400

days here have been in the high 20’s. I only brought one lens with me, my 70-300mm. It’s not the best lens I have, it was in fact one of the first lens I bought when I had a D40. But it is a good lens, and has proved its worth.

I wanted to make sure that I had enough shutter speed to be able to completely freeze motion. Then it was a case of keeping my eyes open for shots.

I still need to think more when I am at events, of more than the main subject, its important to get shots that set the scene. You need shots of crowds, people cheering. Need to set the scene. Its something I nearly always forget.

I started the jostle for the start line, and got a few shots, then left there and went to the other side of the start line, in order to get people crossing the finish line.

1500 • f6.3 • 180.0 mm • ISO 400

After the runners finished the 11km course, the joggers and walkers started to trickle past. I walked up the course, sat on the grass and captured a few as they went past. I experimented using a flash, but gave that up after a while.

Then it was the long walk back home.

You can see more images as I upload them to my ipernity albums.


Ripley Show 2012

Sunday the 12th August saw the Ripley show in all its glory. Overcast, yet hot the conditions where great to get out with my camera.

Chase the Boar race was the firsrt event I saw, a 10Km run around the estate, and not a easy 10Km either. The racers gathered for the off, in the sweaty heat of the day.

And their off by Michael Thompson (mikethompson) on 500px.com
And their off by Michael Thompson

It was a good 15 mins before the first of the runners got back, with a commanding lead over the rest of the runners. It was such a long time, I thought he had disposed of the others.

Untitled by Michael Thompson (mikethompson) on 500px.com
Untitled by Michael Thompson

Center ring is where they do the judging, mostly horse based events, and the crowds to the end of the day where centerd there, mostly around the beer tent strangely enough 🙂

Feet tired, I sat down in the shade of the trees by the lake, and watched dogs chasing sticks and jumping into the water. Some very acrobatic dogs who clearly loved the water. Switched the camera to shutter priority and auto ISO, as it was quite gloomy and only having a 70-300mm f/5.6 on the camera. Minimum shutter speed at 1/800 of a second to try and freeze the dogs jumping. Didn’t quite work, as the dogs where moving faster than that and I got a little motion blur on a few of the images, but nothing to bad.

Untitled by Michael Thompson (mikethompson) on 500px.com

Untitled by Michael Thompson (mikethompson) on 500px.com
Untitled by Michael Thompson

I love to watch people, hence my love of street photography, and the best people to watch are Judges at country shows, The sheer concentration on their faces, the concern, they cycle through a range of facial expressions.

A lot to lean my dear by Michael Thompson (mikethompson) on 500px.com

One of the judges appeared to be teaching a young girl, on what to look for in heavy horses. His face said a lot, disappointment, disbelief. As if she should know what to look for as he explained it a million times.

From the heavy horses, we went onto the Carriages. Some classics round the ring, gorgeous jet black horses.

Untitled by Michael Thompson (mikethompson) on 500px.com
Untitled by Michael Thompson

And that was about it for the day, and I decided to head home with a full memory card.

Shooting Toddlers

I’ve had quite a few toddler sessions recently and have discovered a few things: They actually love being sent to the corner.

1. Put them in the corner. I’ve found that a great corner (I love bricks) can be very useful when photographing little ones on the run. They really have nowhere to go! Of course, that won’t stop them from running right between your legs, but it always buys me enough time for a few great shots and when they run away, we just go back to the corner again!

2. Ground them. Getting their little feet off the ground will give you time to get the shot. And by time, I mean 20 seconds tops. And that’s a lot of time for a toddler to not be moving so get ready before you set up the shot. For this shot, we sat him on an old tire which got his feet off the ground and satisfied the grubby boy in him for a moment. He didn’t sit still on the chair, but boy that tire was fun!

3. Bring a chaperone. They’ll hate you for it when they’re teenagers, but a partner in crime is much appreciated during a toddler photo session. They get sick of the whole idea pretty fast, but if you’ve got on-hand entertainment via a super bubbly (and kid friendly) ‘baby wrangler’, then you’re in business.

4. Include their parents without ruining their street cred. I rarely photograph families. My sessions are entirely focused on the little person. Have you ever noticed in cartoons like Muppet Babies (from the 80s) the parents were present, but never shown above the knee? The premise was to stay down low in baby world. I love bringing this idea into my sessions with something as simple as a mother’s guiding hand.

5. Shout at them. I love this spot on the farm where I shoot. The fence on the left, the trees on the right. Not much space to escape. So I have them run away but at the right time, I shout their name and wait for them to look back. Let them do what they want and when you feel the moment, shout their name. But don’t waste your shouts because if you just keep shouting, they’ll drown you out pretty fast. I find that I get one chance – two if I’m lucky – to get a true reflex-reaction out of shouting their name.

I love toddlers. They’re so honest. They don’t know how to fake it yet and I feel like when I get ‘the shot’, I’ve really earned it.