Monday, January 08, 2007

The Sports Series Part 4: ATHLETICS

My photoshoot for this sports is not exactly what you might call succesful. In fact, it was a frustrating experience for me because, on my way here, I was full of great expectations considering that I would be shooting under bright sunlight and with not so many people watching the events live.

Khalifa Stadium has 50,000 seating capacity and I really do not believe that those seats would be filled by people watching the elimination rounds of athletics. I said to myself, "Great! I can move around and choose the best locations." I was right on the part where there won't be too many spectators but was dead wrong on being able to choose the location (or seats) that I want. Although a large portion of the stadium seating was designated to the general spectators (myself, in this case), an equally large portion has been reserved for students and schools on field trips. The sad part is that they got the best seats.

Here's the dilemna; the venue for athletics events is always a huge, tens of thousands seating capacity stadium with a vast oval track and field, yet events are held in different small portions of the field. For sprint, only about a quarter of the track is used. The long jump is held in one corner or the field, the shot put in another corner, the javelin throw in another and so on and so forth. The misfortune of a general spectator like me was that the best seats, those closest to the action were reserved to the schools on field trip. The seats I got was on the other end of the oval. The other events such as high jump and discus throw would be on the area closer to where I was sitting but they would not be played until after later during that day.

Not even my 300mm lens helped me to get closer because it was just not long enough. I seriously doubt that a longer lens might have improved the situation. The thing was, I could not get a good shooting angle. Even though I managed to get some "close enough" shots, there were just too many elements in the field that obscures your view or cause dstraction to your composition. There are the sporting equipments, the TV cameras, officials and technical assistants and more.

This was probably the only sports photoshoot I did where I really, really wished that I had a press pass. My apologies but, for this article, I don't think I can offer that much insight. The photos featured here are the not-so-bad ones that came out of that shoot.


Athletics could be one of the most interesting sports to photograph but you really need a good vantage point to get the right shots. Majority of the events are individual performances held in small areas of a vast stadium surrounded by equipments and technical assistants that will obscure your view of the action.


Next - Track Cycling

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