Shooting a RAAM style race is really different then anything I've tried before. It's the exact opposite of shooting criteriums. At crits you have endless opportunities, but are very limited with regard to settings, angles and backgrounds. At the ADK there were limited photo opps but endless choices with regard to backdrops, settings and angles. With only 6-8 riders out on a 136 mile loop at any one time, just finding them can be a trek. Then catching them in a "nice" spot was the challenge. I drove the entire course backwards more than once looking for riders while constantly scanning the areas for nice shots. Once I'd locate the rider, I'd find a good setup, then wait for them hoping the lighting would hold out, and there wouldn't be any other traffic or distrations in the shot. There was many nice shots to be had, but most of the time there wasn't a place to pull off the road to get to them, or a rider close enough to sit and wait for.
Race winner Brett Walker was just starting the last climb. He'd already ridden 535 miles. I took a series of shots as he rode up the hill. The clouds kept the back lighting to a minimum, but again other traffic was a distraction.
Cropped and "Shopped" the final image. Nice to have the "remove unwanted vehicle" button. Brett rode a near perfect race to beat the course record by 50 minutes.
A bit later and further on up the same hill the distant mountains offered some nice possibilities.
The view is looking west, into the setting sun, so backlighting was going to be vicious - unless the rider came into view just as the sun went down........ and she did. Women's race winner Jennifer Krebs coming up the last hill finishing her 3rd 136 mile lap, riding next to a secondary support vehicle talking about a turkey sandwich.
The final cropped and Shopped image. I was shooting long - ~180mm fl, to bring the distant mountains in closer. Small aperture for a deep field. The mountains in the final almost seem painted, I like the effect. Gotta love shooting in the soft twilight.
A few moments later she was starting the nice 2 mile downhill into Ticonderoga. I was trying to get her "floating" on the road reflection as it blends into the setting sky. Looking at it now I see the only way I couldn't gotten the angle for the effect was if she was riding in the middle of the wrong lane. Oh well.
To get to the final cropped image I "Shopped" out the power lines, and the vehicle. Also brightened up the subject a bit for emphasis. No color correction was used. I liked the hue on the sky just the way it was.
As the sun sets slowly in the west, I bid you adieu