San Diego International Triathlon

July 1, 2008

This past weekend (June 29th) was the San Diego International Triathlon. We have posted pictures of the event in our gallery.

Early One Morning

Well the first thing you have to face when covering a triathlon is getting up way too early in the morning. It is well worth it but when that alarm goes off you ask yourself just for a moment “What was I thinking”. So Jamie and I piled into Jay’s vehicle and went off towards the starting line and transition area. Jay is our friend who participated in the event along with hundreds of other triathletes. We arrived and Jay went off to prepare and warm up while Jamie took a spot along the bike route and I took a spot on the run course.

It’s Dark Early in the Morning

So guess what? It’s dark early in the morning before the sun comes up. This made shooting the swim pretty futile. That and the fact that even a 200mm lens was not enough reach. I later noticed that the light meter gets easily confused by water too. Either it was that or all the bright orange kayaks and yellow swim caps. Either way my swim photos were useless. Swimmers at San Diego Internationl Triathlon
Jamie got a good shot at the turn around point for the swim though.

“I hit 47 mph on the downhill!”

Jay told us he hit 47 mph on the downhill section of the bike part of the race. In case you don’t know, anything over about 30mph feels really fast on a bicycle. This is especially true on road bike with brakes about as wide as my pinky finger. Jamie got some great shots of the bike riders including this great panning shot.
Bicyclist at San Diego International Triathlon

Time to hit the pavement

Once the athletes transitioned from the bike they got into their running shoes to finish out the triathlon. I positioned myself so I could take photos of the runners along two points in their run without moving from my location. This worked well and I was able to get some great shots. The funny thing is runners can look awkward depending on where they are in their stride when you take the photo. This one came out pretty well. Luke Bell running at San Diego International Triathlon

Lessons learned

Jamie and I learned a couple of lessons at this event. First is always bring more memory then you think you will need. The second is that sometimes setting the autofocus to use only one point makes sense. I got a lot of shots where the AF focused on the cones in the road or a reflective road sign or the sign for a hotel instead of the runner. The third is to check the histogram to make sure the meter isn’t confused.

“I’d do it again”

In the end it was a blast. We even took a pic of Jay, drove his car to the finish line, and took a pic of him again. We learned a lot and we will definitely want to photograph this event again.

For race coverage check out