London Marathon 2010

26 Apr

Virgin Money London Marathon 2010

The Virgin Money London Marathon 2010 was held on Sunday and I decided to go down to the route to support a friend in his 2nd race.

although he asked me to come down and cheer him on I thought it would be a good idea to take the camera to photograph him and other runners from his club… and to try something different.

Location & challenges

I was on the north side of the runners’ route at the mile 13 / mile 23 mark.

Mile 13: The runners would be coming from Tower Bridge towards me on the far side of the road.
Apart from being a few extra meters away there was not a lot of problems here.

Mile 23: On their way back they would pass on the near side heading for the finish at Buckingham Palace.
This time the sun would be on their backs… Making silhouette photos easy, but we want to see faces!

Experiment / solution

Use a Canon Speedlite 580EX II and two Pocket Wizard Plus II’s with my Canon 400D.

My setup looked something like this:

Lighting diagram for London Marathon 2010

Lighting diagram for London Marathon 2010

If you look at this photo you can see the flash on the pavement on the left and the light it throws on the runner.

Virgin Money London Marathon 2010

The flash was set up about 5 meters away from me and set to 1/2 power on manual to compensate for the surprisingly bright day in London and the runners that will be passing 1-2 meters in front of the flash.


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You can see some more photos on JDUTOIT Facebook page here.

Hind sight

What have I learned… and what would I do differently?
Use the gear you have… use it wisely!!

I would bump up the ISO to keep the shutter speed nearer the sync speed of my camera (my shots were taken at 1/100th shutter priority at ISO 100-200). If I went to ISO 400-800 I could have gotten closer to the 1/250th sync speed of the 400D freezing the runners better as they came past.

I should have brought another flash to get a bigger bank of light hitting those fast runners!! Could have had one flash from the side and another one 45° in front of the oncoming runners.

And don’t be so amazed and distracted to find rhinos in London… Keep your eye on the runners!!

PS – Well done Andre for finishing in 3h30m!!!


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