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Angular Momentum



I love a good bird's eye view and knew as soon as I spotted the four storey parking garage and the light conditions that I was going to have a good day. ...
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I love a good bird's eye view and knew as soon as I spotted the four storey parking garage and the light conditions that I was going to have a good day.
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2 Comments | Report
SueBas
 
SueBas March 09, 2016
That sure has movement - makes me feel quite giddy looking at it :) Fantastic shot.
JonDavatzPhotography
 
JonDavatzPhotography July 12, 2016
Fantastic

Behind The Lens

Location
This event was the Kitchener Twilight Grand Prix criterium race. Located in Kitchener Ontario, it encircles the downtown core of the city hall and square - an area of a couple city blocks. It was my first edition of the race, although I'd been largely familiar with the area and it's regional culture for many years. There was a conveniently placed car park on the parcours with an open rooftop that allowed me to get well elevated.
Time
Ironically this shot was taken at a time of day that in no way reflects the event's name. The racing climaxes at twilight with the final race of the day, yet this was earlier when the sun was producing strong hard light higher in the sky - perfect for an angle of this nature.
Lighting
Most of the time I'm outiside and in search of dramatic available light. When it comes to racing, I let myself get swept up in the events organically with little mind for influencing them, but know the value of light quality and direction - and of a well placed speedlight. It's only recently that I've felt confident enough to gradually add that dimension to the mix. Now that I'm exploring more genres of photography and slowly acquiring some lighting gear, I'm developing an appreciation for the various simple tools that can improve my images.
Equipment
I use a very modest EOS system - a 7DmII, a Rebel T2i and a mix of lenses. A couple of years into my shooting I bought some old CY/Zeiss primes with adapters and comprosmised sharper optics over modern digital convenience. At this point in my progression, the tele upgrade is the priority. My kit tele lens taught me how to make the most out of what I had and really learn my gear. I have a speedlight and some modest lighting gear that is only starting to get used while I become more adventurous and branch out into other areas of photography. A tripod would be nice for those occasions!
Inspiration
I'm a visual artist by nature with a background in drawing and painting. Composition and design elements are usually running through my mind. I also used to be a stagehand who spent many hours at higher vantage points like this. I always strive to depict something unusual and was chomping at the bit as soon as I realised I had hassle-free access to a rooftop. It's not often I get vantage points like this at races, but they're ever present in my mind, should the opportunity arise. Once again, I became aware that the 'light' in 'photo' is only an aspect of the shadows it creates.
Editing
I have some adjustments that are complimentary with my shutter drag technique. I tend to run contrast higher, increase clarity and when appropriate, add some vignetting. A curve adjutment helps control tonal output in a shot like this.
In my camera bag
Many races I shoot are vigorous affairs that are physically demanding. Sometimes I'm on a bike in full spandex riding to various parts of the course, sometimes I'm hauling my butt up a ski hill in cold weather or as in the case of this photo - to a car park rooftop in scorching heat. All of this means I want to travel light and be prepared. My pack has plenty of spare batteries and memory, two bodies with lenses (wide and long), triggers, penlight, knife, pen and pad, spare caps and backs and some essentials for cleaning, waterproofing, food and water. Most times of year require packable spare clothing layers for weather changes. If I'm just out on a ride and not shooting racing, I'll add a tabletop tripod and ND filters.
Feedback
Once I learned to expose manually, freezing action or expressing it through varying shutter speeds became second nature while getting the exposure I wanted. I deeply emphasize the importance of relaxed steady breathing, posture and holding technique to get a sure shot. My primary focus is racing and I attempt to emphasize it with some shutter drag each time out. As for the angle - I try to capture something others can't or won't see - putting the viewer somewhere special...sometimes this means telling the horizon line to take a hike. Most important for my development - loving what I photograph and being open to always learning and exploring. This image was created through dedication and love for what I do.

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