Photographing the 2013 Cleveland Marathon

cleveland marathon event photographer

Having a blast at the 2.5 mile point!

I was hired to photograph the 2013 Cleveland Marathon recently. With over 20,000 participants, it was challenging, to say the least.

I was stationed at the 2.5 mile point and also the 22 mile point. At the first setup, the 2.5-mile point, my co-photographer and I had to be set up and shooting photos by 7:00 AM because that when the first of the participants were starting to come through. Because of the early start time, we had to be very careful with our camera settings, trying to balance a high enough shutter speed to capture crisp images with the dim lighting, which would want to underexpose the photos we shot.

cleveland marathon event photographer

The road was packed with marathon participants.

We wanted a deep DOF, so we had to shoot at a smaller aperture (f/8), which made the settings even more of a challenge in the early morning light. The fact that we were stationed in a heavily-treed area also did us no favors when it came to light, but it made for a very pretty backdrop. After we nailed down the camera settings that were going to give us the best possible images, we waited for the first participants to make their way to us, which only took about 5 minutes.

cleveland marathon event photographer blind cyclist

One of the amazing hand cranked cyclists that participated in the marathon

The first people to get photographed by us were blind runners riding hand-cranked bicycles. They were really amazing to see. They were all flanked by sighted cyclists that gave them directions for upcoming bends and turns in the road, as well as obstacles and runners that they passed. Its hard to imagine hand-cranking these bicycles nearly 23 miles, but these iron-tough participants did it like pros.

After the hand-cranked cyclists came the runners. First they came in small packs, but them the onslaught started. Thousands and thousands of runners came pouring by me in wave after wave. Because they were so tightly packed it was very challenging to pick out individual runners, but I did my very best to do so. I shot my DSLR nearly continuously for over an hour. I was having my own private photo marathon, with my arms feeling like they were going to fall off from holding the camera up for such an extended time. In the short span of 45 minutes, I shot over 1,800 photos. So many that my shutter finger was getting numb!

Slowly though, the runners got more sparse until the final runner made her way by. We immediately swapped out our memory cards, filled out the paperwork, and jumped in the car to drive from the far east side of Cleveland to the far west side to capture the runners on the opposite end of the course.

cleveland marathon event photographer

I jumped out of a moving car to capture this image of the lead runner at the 22-mile point.

As we approached the parking area for our next location, the 22-mile point, we couldn’t believe our eyes. The lead runner was already coming up the road! In the time it took us to photograph the participants and drive across town, this guy had run over 22 miles! We stopped the car in the middle of the road, I grabbed my camera (glad that I set my camera up on the drive there), jumped out of the passenger side door (while still moving), and shot this photo of the first-place runner. Whew!

cleveland marathon event photographer

These poor souls had to run uphill to get their photos taken.

I then had the time to get into position while my co-photographer parked the car and continued to shoo photos of the first-place pack. The crowd of runners was much more spread out at this point, with nearly no large clusters of runners, so I wasn’t so hard pressed to shoot nearly continuous photos. We were stationed at the top of a long grade, so these poor runners had to really push themselves to run toward us, and that’s reflected in their expressions. Amazingly, some runners were smiling, talking, and waving at me for the photos after running for hours on end. We stayed there for nearly 4 hours waiting for the last of the participants to make their way by, then packed our gear, filled out the required paperwork, and headed back.

At the end of the assignment, my arms were tired but I felt great otherwise. I had a great time photographing the event and hope to do it again next year. If you participated in the 2013 Cleveland Marathon and would like to find photos of yourself, go to https://www.marathonfoto.com/ and enter your name or bib number.

I was looking through my Facebook feed the other day and saw this…

You may recall that I was hired to photograph the Color Vibe 5k in Akron a few weeks back. It was a really great time and everybody that works on the Color Vibe team was fantastic. They are all fun and well organized.

The other day, I didn’t expect to be browsing and come across one of the images I shot for them though. The girl in the glasses was what I remembered from the photo and I instantly thought “I think I shot that photo!”. I went back through my archives and sure enough, I did. It’s a little bit of a pat on my own back to be posting about this, but I’m excited about seeing some of my work being featured in an ad.

color vibe 5k

The photo featured in the Color Vibe ad was shot by me. You can also check out my FB feed and what other programs I’m running with this screenshot.

As I was shooting the photos for the event I tried to capture the fun and energetic atmosphere that was there. Nobody was having a bad time. There was loud music from a live DJ, plenty of smiling, supportive people, and more amazing color than I’ve ever seen. In front of the DJ booth, the crowd had packets of the colored powder (it’s actually just corn starch with a biodegradable pigment in it) ready for a big countdown to celebrate the run with a big group color toss into the air. I was able to position myself behind the DJ and set my camera to high-speed burst capture mode and continual focus. When the DJ finished the countdown the crowd launched the color into the air in an amazing cloud of vivid color unlike anything I’d ever witnessed before, and that’s when I shot this image.

If you want to run in the most fun 5k on the planet, take a look at the Color Vibe’s website at www.TheColorVibe.com

They’ll be holding another run in Akron next spring and have other runs around the area, including Toledo and Columbus.

 

2013 Brodyn’s Friends Golfing for a Cure Event Photography

Family portrait akron portrait photographyRecently I worked with the organizers of the 2013 Brodyn’s Friends Golfing for a Cure to be held on Monday, July 15th at the Ridgewood Country Club. Brodyn is a super sweet boy who was born with Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH) and has been bravely battling it along with his supportive family and a wonderful group of friends. Founded by his loving parents, Heidi and Dan, Brodyn’s Friends has raised tens of thousands of dollars to help find a cure for Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH). The annual Golfing for a Cure is the group’s largest fundraiser of the year and promises to be a great time for all those involved.

Boy on a swing akron portrait photographyI volunteered to take portraits of Brodyn for use on event marketing material. Being such a sweet boy, Brodyn was all smiles and fun, which made my job easy. His parents made him laugh and kept his spirits high throughout the entire photo shoot. After an hour of me taking photos of him he was still as high-spirited and fun-loving (something that many adults aren’t able to pull off). I primarily used an on-camera hotshoe flash set to TTL -2, because Boy on playground akron portrait photographyI didn’t want to blow the photo out with a lot of flash light. Using the walls and ceiling, I tried to simulate the look of a large softbox, rather than on-camera lighting.

Take a look at the event at brodynsfriends.com and consider attending the golfing event. There are few causes in the area that are truly locally-based and will have such a positive and direct impact on the life of a local child living with a disease. For more information about Golfing for a Cure, please call Heidi Leslie at 330-414-9949 or email her at Heidi@BrodynsFriends.com.

Here’s the flyer for Golfing For a Cure: Golfing For A Cure Flyer

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