Tour Of Britain bicycle race stage 1 07/09/19 East Ayrshire


col.campbell 15 1.3k 4 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2019 9:48PM
Is anyone going out to photograph the opening day of racing? I'm thinking of heading to Kilmarnock.

BBC, Met Office and Accuweather all agree the weather should be fine. (NB All three in agreement, this NEVER happens!)

The route through/ past my local area is disappointingly flat considering the hills we have so I may head to London Road for the sprint, in hope of catching a few action shots of the sprinting and then some motion blur/ panning.

I may head out past Galston instead for a clear view with better background; I don't know. I've never photographed an event like this before.

If anyone fancies joining me you're more than welcome, and if anyone has any tips, gratefully received..!

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mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2079 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2019 1:26PM
Here in the North East we have to make do with watching it on television at the moment, but we are hoping to be in Newcastle on Monday for the final sprint / struggle up Grey Street. Then County Durham on Tuesday, there's a KOM point at Carterway Heads which is accessible via the A68 from Kiln Pit Hill.
col.campbell 15 1.3k 4 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2019 1:48PM
Well. A bit of a disappointment, all told. The plan was, 80-200 as the sprinters/ race leaders approached, then swapping to a standard or wide zoom for panning as the peleton passed.

I was torn between using my 80-200 and just sticking with one lens in case I got caught mid-swap. Went with 24-70 in the end.

Pretty dull, uninspired photos of the breakaway riders crossing the line. Also, the police only closed the road at the last minute, and only partially closed it at that. The riders all approached on the opposite side from me.

And then my panning shots. Went for too long an exposure, and they flew past so fast that I just machine-gunned it without time to chimp and adjust. Let's just say some of the shots are on the 'arty' side. If any prove to be worth showing, even if only in that context, I'll upload them later.
col.campbell 15 1.3k 4 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2019 3:00PM
1/5 second.

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mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2079 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2019 7:36PM
In a race like this the riders go past so fast and then they are gone, not ideal conditions for experimenting.

Look out for the Tour Series, usually happens in May. A series of races round quite short city-centre circuits, allowing much more scope for photographic experiment.
cuffit Plus
12 342 5 England
7 Sep 2019 9:59PM
Hi Col, I know how you feel, there are times when it all goes wrong. I spent last weekend taking photos of the Bourne CiCLE Festival and was lucky that I know the local area. I avoided the sprint finish in town because I knew it would be busy - but not as busy as a UK event. I chose a viewpoint on a hill (which didn't slow them down much, if at all, I have to say!) and meant I could get above or below any spectators and cars. As you found out, I think a 1/5 is way to low unless you can match the speed of the riders and your swing would have to have been pretty rapid at close range. If panning, I start at a 1/60 and work up or down but rarely get below a 1/40th in Time Trials. Standing further back (or inside an even-radius corner) improves the chances. My big error last weekend was failing to get one successful shot of the Ladies 4-Women Time TrialTeams from the side; they were all slightly out of focus, or or one or two in some focus - each bike being on a slightly different plane than the camera. I did get some good head-on shots thank goodness having used two cameras. On the subject of two cameras, I am not sure it is wise unless you have a fair bit of distance between the first set of photos and the second (even more difficult in a crowded area). Taking photos with two cameras of local riders I try to get two group of shots, at distance first and then panned as they go past. However, I have lost quite a few shots that way and now tend to use the same zoom (70-200 on a APC camera) and crop the images taken at distance (50m or so) to gain the size post-shoot, zoom back as they come nearer to me, then again to 70mm at the end (still a bit long) but the hit rate is better than a frantic camera change. I am on the edge of the Fens so often find myself in drainage ditches to get really low angles. I hope there might be something here that helps you. The best of luck on your next trip out. Chris
LenShepherd 11 4.0k United Kingdom
8 Sep 2019 8:14AM
A tip is to be on one of the major hill climbs - because this where the race speed slows to 15-18 mph.
Ross_D Plus
5 838 1 United Kingdom
8 Sep 2019 1:47PM

Quote:slows to 15-18 mph.


LOL....... with the wind behind me and going down hill I don't think I've ever managed to exceed 18 mph ...... let alone going uphill ! Oh well Sad
LenShepherd 11 4.0k United Kingdom
9 Sep 2019 9:18AM

Quote:
Quote:slows to 15-18 mph.


.. with the wind behind me and going down hill I don't think I've ever managed to exceed 18 mph Sad


58 mph for me recorded going downhill.
col.campbell 15 1.3k 4 United Kingdom
9 Sep 2019 7:20PM
Thanks for the comments and tips everyone.


Quote:In a race like this the riders go past so fast and then they are gone, not ideal conditions for experimenting.
You got that right! I wish I'd at least gone out and tried establishing a reasonable shutter speed using cars as a test subject somewhere, beforehand. But, that said, the decision to go was a last-minute one.

Quote:Look out for the Tour Series, usually happens in May. A series of races round quite short city-centre circuits, allowing much more scope for photographic experiment.
I had intended to go to a criterium race in Glasgow earlier this year but couldn't make it, would that be the series you're talking about? Sounds like a better proposition, photographically speaking.

Chris, thanks for the tips. I had toyed with the idea of using two bodies but decided against as my older one is unreliable. I still think I'd try it in future. There's no way I'd have been able to pan with my 80-200, I think.


Quote:58 mph for me recorded going downhill.
Yikes! 42-ish is my landspeed downhill record. For now...
LenShepherd 11 4.0k United Kingdom
10 Sep 2019 10:55AM

Quote:Thanks for the comments and tips everyone.


Quote:In a race like this the riders go past so fast and then they are gone, not ideal conditions for experimenting.
You got that right! I wish I'd at least gone out and tried establishing a reasonable shutter speed using cars as a test subject somewhere, beforehand. But, that said, the decision to go was a last-minute one.

Quote:Look out for the Tour Series, usually happens in May. A series of races round quite short city-centre circuits, allowing much more scope for photographic experiment.
I had intended to go to a criterium race in Glasgow earlier this year but couldn't make it, would that be the series you're talking about? Sounds like a better proposition, photographically speaking.

Chris, thanks for the tips. I had toyed with the idea of using two bodies but decided against as my older one is unreliable. I still think I'd try it in future. There's no way I'd have been able to pan with my 80-200, I think.


Quote:58 mph for me recorded going downhill.
Yikes! 42-ish is my landspeed downhill record. For now...

LenShepherd 11 4.0k United Kingdom
10 Sep 2019 11:03AM
A criterium race where the cyclists ride a short circuit several times is best for experimenting - you get the chance to try several different options.

When riders are going fast on the level, speeds average around 30 mph - and for a sprint finish maximise at around 45 mph. The "average" race speed on an "average course" is about 24 mph.

Off topic - in the Yorkshire Dales where I live there are a few straight descents where a maximum speed of 45/50 mph is not difficult for an experienced road cyclist. There are also numerous descents with sharp bends and bumpy surfaces where safe descent speeds are much slower.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2079 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2019 5:05PM

Quote:Quote:Look out for the Tour Series, usually happens in May. A series of races round quite short city-centre circuits, allowing much more scope for photographic experiment.

I had intended to go to a criterium race in Glasgow earlier this year but couldn't make it, would that be the series you're talking about? Sounds like a better proposition, photographically speaking.




Yep, that was part of the same series.

The 2020 dates and venues haven't been announced yet but keep an eye on the website here .

Typically each town has a circuit of approximately 1.5 km, competitors race for an hour then the lapped riders are pulled out and the rest do another five laps. Within a few laps the riders are strung out, so the action is more or less continuous, and you have time to walk round the entire route trying out different viewpoints.
LenShepherd 11 4.0k United Kingdom
10 Sep 2019 7:47PM

Quote:
The 2020 dates and venues haven't been announced yet but keep an eye on the website here .

Typically each town has a circuit of approximately 1.5 km, competitors race for an hour then the lapped riders are pulled out and the rest do another five laps. Within a few laps the riders are strung out, so the action is more or less continuous, and you have time to walk round the entire route trying out different viewpoints.


If the race averages 40 km an hour that that is around 25 circuits the first hour, plus the extra 5 laps - so plenty of chances to experiment - and time to briefly check photos between laps.
On the tighter bends the leader usually follows the racing line to within 3 inches - which makes framing decisions easier.
On a 90 degree bend with a wide paved area on the inside of the bend it is worth experimenting panning the lead rider and getting motion blur on the riders coming into the bend as they are likely to be travelling in the opposite direction of the pan.
gibworth 1 11
10 Sep 2019 8:47PM
I think the fourth shot down is almost there - if the riders were in a more dynamic position it’d work. I find the slowest I can get down to is 1 over the speed of the riders, so 1/15th of a second for riders at 15mph and so on. Really twice that speed is needed for reliable results, so 1/50th of a second or quicker for road racing.

If you’re interested in honing panning technique a good option at this time of year will be cyclocross racing - most areas have local series that run every weekend or two between September and December. And then of course you have the velodrome up in Glasgow if you’d rather be in a warm building than a cold park!

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