In one of my Photo Friday for PWCs posts, I wrote about the importance of location and timing in capturing good action photos. That lesson was in play for me last Saturday at our high school’s first varsity track and field meet of the season.
The nature of a track meet—in that it’s like a three-ring circus with field events in different locations and a big, 400-meter track—is that you can’t have it all as a photographer. Choose to shoot your #2 son competing in the triple jump? You’ll miss the 3200 meters and the high jump. Pick a spot along the fence in front of the bleachers for an up-close-and-personal look at the 100 meters? You might get up close and personal with someone’s backside. Random people litter your backgrounds and often steal your focus point.
Fortunately, I was able to maneuver past the—ahem!—security guards and situate myself along the track near the final exchange zone for the 4 x 100-meter relay. This is a lightning-quick event, and I was ever so thankful for my Nikon D300’s burst mode. First, I snapped a wide shot with my beloved Nikon 70-200mm lens of the runners approaching the zone, including our third leg, Fred, in the outside lane (above left).
Jalen, our team’s anchor, takes off and gets himself into position to eventually grab the baton from Fred.
As they approach the end of the zone, Jalen opens up his left hand in anticipation of a baton delivery.
Fred is ready to be rid of the precious metal! And I would love to have the photo showing you how Jalen snatched the baton and powered towards the finish line.
Unfortunately, the exchange-zone judge’s backside was in my way!