getfocused: Photographing the Reading Half MarathonBy Katie Lamb
March 26, 2012
Reading Post chief photographer Katie Lamb explains how she tackles a big event like the Reading Half Marathon.
The half marathon is one of the busiest events of the year for our Reading Post photographers.
We have four photographers working at the event, situated at various points around the course so that a wide selection of photos is taken at different points around the course.
There are over 16,000 runners at the event and so it is important to capture the wide selection of costumes and charities that everyone is running for.
Two photographers are based at the Madjeski stadium, to capture the start and the finish as well as the fun run around Green Park.
The other two photographers are based out on the route, one covering the west side of Reading for example, Friar Street and Oxford Road area and the other covering the east side of Reading for example, Whitley, Christchurch Road and Shinfield Road.
It is an exciting and busy day for the photographers. Sometimes we take a stepladder or stand on something high so that we get a good view of all the runners below us. Positioning is key for the start and finish of the race to ensure that a good shot is taken as they set off and the winner is captured at the end.
At the beginning of the race, sometimes the photographer will crouch down at the start line or perhaps position herself/himself a little further back to capture the runners coming towards him/her.
There is a key moment the winner crosses the line and I like to use a 300mm lense, so that the runner is in complete focus and the background is completely out of focus and the viewers eye is directly on the runner.
There are some extra factors when photographing sport that you should remember.
If you want the action to be frozen still and sharp then you must ensure that your shutter speed is high enough. You also need to turn your camera to continuous focus mode so that you can track the runner in your viewfinder and follow him/her as they come towards you.
You may also want to increase the speed of your motordrive so that you capture the runner at his/her best moment.
There are plenty of opportunities for exciting and candid pictures and by the end of the day there is plenty of editing to do!!
Pick up a copy of Wednesday's Reading Post for details of the Half Marathon route, road closures and approximate times.
Joanna Szuryn has put her pictures from the Reading Half Maraton online here: http://tinyurl.com/d872f7m
Usman Mehr has also put an extensive galley of pictures online here: http://tinyurl.com/c8r8h6s
Chris Widdows has pointed us towards his excellent selection of half marathon pictures here: http://tinyurl.com/bn4lkhq
Send your marathon pictures and any questions you have for Katie to firstname.lastname@example.org