After 2 and a half days of shooting both stills and video with Canon DLSRs, it's time to take a break from editing photos and put some content up. I shot about 3000 photos during the course of the event and I got some great shots. In fact, I got stuff that I liked so much that I've created a new standard for myself. I took plenty of photos that would have previously considered top notch but are now dwarfed by the sheer awesomeness (or what I think is awesome anyways) of some of the other photos I got. This project began with getting in touch with Tom Stevens: frame builder, bike mechanic, racer, coach, and cyclocross course designer. He was happy to have us come down and shoot a the event. We got plenty of video of the course setup on Friday, a big job for the volunteers putting on the event. They drove about a bazillion stakes and must have strung up a couple miles of caution tape to mark the course. Myself, Chris Snyder and John Daaboul then went about shooting the races. Chris and John primarily shot video and I handled most of the still photos.
The speedlights were out in full force for this event. With the sun being so low in the sky all damn day, some pretty harsh shadows needed to be dealt with. Rather than setting up my two 430exII's on either side of the course as I had at Plymouth earlier this month, I placed them both next to each other to maximize their output. By placing them a few inches apart and aiming them in a slightly different directions, I they increased their coverage a bit and I think it also had the effect of creating a slightly larger effective light source. They were triggered by a 580exII on camera with the flash output off. This helped save on batteries and I also didn't need to worry about another light needing to recycle. In addition to the line of site/range/ reliability issues that are part of using an IR sync system, having a 5D with battery grip, 70-200mm f/2.8 and a flash unit makes for a heavy damn camera. Seeing as, for the most part, I like the results I get with the speedlights at these events I'm going to need to invest in some Pocket Wizard ETTL triggers.
Placing the lightstands on a hill created some challenges which were over come by leaning the stands on each other. To keep them locked together I either had them intersect at the locking screws or tied them together with a bongo tie.
The video we shot is still being edited and will hopefully be available in the next couple weeks.