When on assignment to cover ultra events, my aim is to provide an authentic visual insight into the race. The litmus test [aside from a happy client] is a few days after the race when folk are sitting in the comfort of their homes or offices checking images on facebook or other media and they can get a feel for the runner’s journey. With that in mind, capturing authenticity is key. This includes the range of emotions & narratives that flow throughout a race like this as well as the landscapes and environments that runners pass through. As a result, I avoid multiple shots of runners in the same locations or ‘checkpoint photography’ and easy to reach and visible locations where athletes are likely to change behaviour for the camera and have time to give the ‘Hong Kong salute’ (the ‘V’ sign with a pose and a smile].
Covering an ultra event requires detailed planning including knowing where the front runners will be at what time and how long it will take me to get between the locations that I want to shoot from. Most often, it is the more remote locations that are the most scenic and provide a visually engaging setting. Most of the time these locations can only be reached by foot which means running & climbing to them with camera equipment. I know that I cover a lot of ground covering events like this but am never sure exactly how far I run. So for the Lantau 50, I decided to record my track on my GPS watch. It turns out that I ran a total of 22km [climbed 1,398m] over 9 hours with a 7.5 kgs Lowepro Sports camera backpack with my equipment, nutrition and hydration to multiple locations along the race route [view the Strava file here] It felt like a typical effort for an event of this distance and definitely worth it as I aim to capture a variety of images in different locations, settings and conditions so that an event can be visually showcased.
With this race, I wanted to capture the essence of Sky Running and so I worked my way into positions where I could capture the scale of the landscape and the climbing that was involved in addition to all the running. A wider lense [Canon 16-35mm] came in handy here. I wanted to do justice to this beautiful and rugged landscape as well as providing an insight into this part of the world that is often visually represented with skyscrapers and urban scenes.
– Lowepro Sport 200 AW Camera Backpack
– 2 spare camera batteries
– GU gels
– 1.5l water hydration pack
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Lantau 50 images are available for purchase [personal use only] via Photoshelter
lantau 50 photography