Hurdling All Photographic Obstacles

A good angle and height for capturing junior varsity 110 hurdle action.

When you’re an amateur like me trying to take photos of high school sporting events, one aspect is of utmost importance: Location, location location. Just like in real estate. The closer you can get to the action (without being in harm’s way, of course), the better your pictures probably will be.

Too bad the school district’s security officers don’t agree with me! Their job is to keep nonathletes away from the court and track. Hey, I wear running shoes when I shoot; don’t I at least look athletic?

Sometimes you just have to take the space that you’re given and make lemonade out of those lemons. Last week when I shot at our high school’s junior varsity and varsity track meets, I became proficient at squeezing that yellow citrus fruit.

Our team's athlete reaches the hurdle first and is more visible at this angle.

For the freshmen 110 hurdles at our home track, I went into the nearly empty stands and aimed my Nikon 70-200mm lens downwards and at an angle.

The two JV hurdlers are almost side by side.

I was able to capture the action at two sets of hurdles. You can see the difference in how both athletes were brought into focus.

Parallel to the first varsity 110 hurdle

Two days later at the varsity meet, my location was at a low fence near the starting area of the 100 meters and 100/110 hurdles. I didn’t want to block the view of people in the stands, so I decided to drink my cold lemonade and use my 70-200mm lens right there.

Burst mode is your BFF when shooting hurdles, because you never know when you’ll capture the peak of the action. When I looked at the photos on my iMac, all of them from a burst series intrigued me. Here they are with no commercial interruption:

Photo #1: The approach

#2: The leap of faith

#3: Up and over

#4: On their way to the next hurdle

And then there’s the aftermath. No surprise since they’re males. I live with three guys. If mine aren’t the messiest in the world, I don’t want to meet the messiest! But I think that these hurdlers can give them a run (pun intended!) for their money.

Pick up this mess!

Do you guys want some lemonade?

3 responses to “Hurdling All Photographic Obstacles

  1. ok that was funny…the “mess”. I LOVE burst mode.

  2. Pingback: The 4 x 400-Meter Relay . . . the Fat Lady Sings! « Random Snippets & Apertures

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