a teatray in the sky

2010 suntrust national [half] marathon, and on not following through

Posted in 5D Mark II, Photography, Washington, DC by firthefirst on March 21, 2010

a day after our 3 AM stint, Tina and I were up at 4:45 AM.  again.  on a Saturday.  madness you say?  I entirely agree.  if you think getting up before dawn to go flog yourself for 13.1 miles in a mob of 12,000 deranged athletes is strange… personally I think it’s weirder to get up before dawn and fail to go run.  embarrassing, really.  but that’s what I did.

I did take advantage of the fact that I was not panting, dripping sweat, and getting outrun by men in batman outfits to work on the ol’ photography, and to see if the 5D Mark II has any advantages over the 30D as a sports camera.  tomorrow I’ll show you how it holds up for low-light portrait photography.

it’s pretty cool that DC is once again a bi-annual race town.  while I haven’t been to see the Marine Corps Marathon, and while 12,000 people (not including spectators) is a lot of people to manage, I must say this should probably not be called the “best-managed marathon in town” as claimed throughout the day.  DC coppers seem to think that directing traffic is best done without any hand movements, or eye contact, or any directing at all, really.  sucks to your assmar if you were in the middle lane coming around Independence Ave.  they rather seem to think the marathon is a diminutive bike rally for the motorcycle cops (gotta love the sound of harley engines warming up at 7 AM, my soul was smiling)

unbelievably fantastic weather showed up this past week just in time to convince all the out-of-towners that DC is really a peachy place to live.  February begs to differ.

personally, my favorite shot of the day is this one:

I had been taking static pictures of runners going by me at the start line, and then I thought, why am I doing this?  I don’t know these people.  I don’t want to see them in my photos.  they probably don’t want me (or you) to see them in my photos either.  I wanted to express the motion and fluidity of the runners, but at the same time, I didn’t want to blur them into oblivion.  since I didn’t bring a tripod and the 24-70 IS doesn’t exist yet, I had to handhold, at upwards of 1 second exposures.  when you do this, let’s be honest, it’s a crapshoot.  breathe steady and shoot plenty.

personally, the most painful shot of the day was this one:

yeah, that’s right.  a pregnant woman (that thing looks like its ready to fall out) running 13.1 miles.  what am I doing?  standing around taking photos.  what’s my excuse?  too much work, my unfortunate winterly hibernation process.  how convincing is my excuse?  not very.  what am I doing as soon as I finish this post?  going to the gym.

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6 Responses

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  1. Tina said, on March 21, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    maybe it’s because i’m as tired as your are and actually doing work at the moment but your entry seems so…. choppy. not as fluid as the runners themselves nor as fluid as your regular posts. this seems…. pasted together in 5 separate sittings.

    however, your photos probably could’ve used some more cropping, cutting and pasting.

    and… i still see you. you are not at the gym.

  2. stephen yang said, on March 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    dude yeah that’s a great photo (re: your favorite). well done.

  3. stephen yang said, on March 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    and don’t listen to tina, it’s great as it is

    • firthefirst said, on March 21, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      haha everyone sees things differently. thanks though, I’m glad you also enjoy my favorite of the set. although I do wish I had hauled out my tripod — it’s nowhere near critically sharp at print sizes.

      still, given it’s handheld at 0.8 seconds … I’m happy

  4. Laura said, on April 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    YAYYY!! nice fancy images 🙂

  5. Laura said, on April 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    my personal fav was the start line photo with blurry runners


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