The local paper, visited us a couple of weeks ago to do a feature story that would run in conjunction with the ACTC annual Tierra Bella Century ride. They ended up running the story a few days before the event and included a couple pictures they had their staff photographer take.
In the article they talked about our plan to take pictures of the Tierra Bella rides FROM our tandem. Most sporting events have pictures taken by someone who is in one place, capturing the riders as they come by. All this allows the best use of photographic skills, better framing, best lighting angle, etc., it makes for a lot of individual pictures that all have the same background and look pretty much the same.
Our idea was to actually ride the event and take pictures along they way. Franz had his Nikon D70 Digital SLR (DSLR) in a harness and would use one hand to shoot from the hip, while using the other hand to keep control of the bike. Controlling a tandem requires more effort than a single bike. Ann had a Canon compact digital camera she would use from the back of the tandem. She was able in many places to use both hands to operate the camera and her shots turned out better framed and in focus. For the DSLR, the setting of the zoom lens was too wide and it required considerable cropping to get a usable picture. Occasionally the lens would bump the handlebar, pushing it back to the very wide angle position (18 mm). The harness system would loosen form time to time and I had to keep tigthening it. It would have been better if the camera could have been held up even higher on the chest area because it made it difficult to stand and pedal on the bike without it buming into my knees or the handlebar.
We had a great opportunity taking pictures as we were going up Henry Coe, a 12 mile climb with over 3,000 feet of climbing. We often need to stand on the tandem so that required some coordination since Ann would need to put the camera away to hold on the bike. Franz could just just drop the DSLR and let the hang with the harness.
We ended up with over 300 photos of the riders, most all taken while we were moving. I used iPhoto to quickly process the photos, croppoing most of them. When you are taking pictures while riding you have to have the focal length set on the wide angle side so you get the shot you want. Some of the photos were out of focus or blurred because it was too dark in the early morning. The photos we kept were posted on the club’s photo website. Here are a sample of some of the photos we posted.