Shooting a running race is fairly simple – you park yourself on the course somewhere, and you photograph people as they come past. Simple, right?
On Saturday, I was shooting a Duathlon – for those not aware, a Duathlon is a multi-sport event. In this case, a run, then a ride, then another run. The racers went out for a 2mile run around Winchendon, before coming back into the parking lot, hopping on their bikes, doing a 9 mile loop on the bikes, then back in again for a final 1mile sprint to the finish line. The problem for a lone photographer is that there is a TON of stuff going on, in a TON of different places, and I needed to be at all of them at once!
So, rather than contract in a second or third photographer, for the Toy Town Duathlon at The Clark YMCA, I brought in robots
Well, kind of.
For the parking lot (this would be catching runners leaving and returning, riders leaving and returning), I put up a GoPro Hero HD camera, with it’s time lapse mode set to take a shot every 2 or so seconds. This resulted in something around 650 photos.
I also wanted to catch the race finish line, so I put my trust first ever DSLR, a Canon Rebel XTI with a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens up high on a lightstand, with an intervelometer hanging off it set to take a photo ever 1 second. This resulted in taking almost 2500 photos!
This is the final result –
Straight from memory cards, I imported all the photos into new projects in Aperture 3 and ran some batch job edited (curves and vibrance adjustments mainly), before exporting them all back out again – taking care to make sure they were named sequentially.
Then, using Quicktime Pro 7 (and *only* 7 can do this) – you open the first image in the sequence and pick a frames per second speed. For both of these, I used 10fps, but using a higher fps will result in shorter, but smoother videos. Then, save these files as .mov’s
Lastly, open them up in iMovie ’11, merge them together, add some bumper images, then export again as 1080p HD video files.
This is the final *final* result