Manly Warringah Cycling Cycling and MWMTB clubs ran their fourth round of the CX winter series on Saturday, only thing lacking….. winter weather. The CX series is growing in popularity as the numbers relfected this. There was approximately 30 riders in the final prestige CX only race where previous series only had around 40 people total for all races. Also growing in number were the brands and quality of proper CX bikes being used, three competitors all showed up with new Ridley CX bikes. Brands now seen on course are Giant, Ridley, Cannondale, Trek, Yeti, Boardman, Kinesis, Lynskey and Scott.
Some track changes have also made for a very tight winding course with a great mixture of terrian, congrats to Rob for the new layout, love it. With the new layout it has given me some new ideas for shots and I will be trying to create something different over the next two rounds. If the riders that are competing see anything they like, let me know, as I am happy to try and push the envelope and create something other than the traditional CX image. I have some great ideas that I will be saving for the two rounds during the national series.
As for this week, some harsh sunlight again proved challenging and rather than trying to balance out these harsh lighting conditions I have been trying to shoot and edit images to include this. Bright highlights, high contrast, desaturated colours are the result and some may like it or some will not, let me know your thoughts.
I have also spoken to some competitors about providing prints of any images from these races and had some feedback, if anyone would like to provide further thoughts love to hear them either by reply or email. Great racing again fellas, wish I was able to join you out there, looks like way too much fun.
Check out the gallery at CX Series Grows
Today Manly Warringah Cycling Club held there final round of their cyclocross racing series. A great turnout considering the weather was far from favourable. Speaking to Rob Parbery from MWMTB club before the race, it was decided to remove the dreaded mud pit from the course to allow more racing rather than mud collecting, good choice in hindsight.
The turnouts for these events has been really impressive and today was no different. Plenty of families out to watch mum or dad race and even have a run down the track themselves. Great to see so many smiling kids outside playing rather than stuck at home in front of the TV or computer.
As for the photography, it was a very challenging day. When shooting at bigger events I usually setup in a location and stay put for the duration or in the 24hour events only move around every 3 hours or so. Today was challenging as I wanted to catch more editorial images and get a feel for the whole event. This meant setting up new shots every 15mins or so and changing lenses which is difficult while trying to hold or stay under an umbrella. At one point the clouds rolled in so thick it was almost black in the background of shots. The flashes had to be turned right down to minimize the “deer in the headlights” look. The Nikon D3s didn’t even notice the soaking it took, I was however, a little concerned about the PocketWizard TT1 and AC3 being tolerant of so much wet stuff. Great gear though, all is good.
So as everyone huddled around the marquee and cheared on the last few competitors and the lighting strikes got louder, the first MWCC and MWMTB cyclocross series came to an end. The club plans to run this event on a monthly basis starting in a few months time. I am sure they will have even better turn outs as cycclocross popularity grows and more and more people hear of the event. Look forward to shooting the coming races over 2012.
Manly Dam Riders
I was out today testing some new gear, Pocketwizard’s Mini TT1, Flex TT5 and AC3 Zone Controller. These radio triggers have replaced my eBay radio triggers and have alot more coverage, features and reliability but do have a price to match. I decided a trip out to Manly Dam was a good testing ground to see how they worked. I must say that I am impressed and the money was definitely worth it. Not only am I able to shoot TTL now over any usable distance but I have complete power control over different flashes in different groups. Great for two fill flashes used in a fill-flash and rim light setup.
The AC3 Zone Controller allowed me to dial power levels without having to keep moving back and forth to the flashes which were stuck in the bushes off to the sides of the track. Big time saver. My first experience is that TTL will chew thru my batteries alot quicker but there is a Manual mode which should extend this period. More testing to do.
As many of the riders were out enjoying the cooler weather and doing multiple laps of the dam, they started to stop and ask me what I was shooting for and where the images could be found. Well guys, you can browse the gallery and if you want to purchase any I have made them very affordable.
Thanks and I will be posting more about these new toys as I test them out in different scenarios. Happy shooting.