Birmingham Half Marathon 2010 – Part 1

ND – Cold, Early, but getting…, Blue

With big events happening…
…on your city centre home doorstep, it’s kind of rude not to poke your head around the front door and point a camera at something.

Following on from my recent coverage of the Tory Party Anti Cuts Protests, today saw Birmingham swarming with thousands of people filling closed roads for a whole other and less contentious reason 🙂

In its third year, the Birmingham Half Marathon has already become a popular event and was expected to have attracted around fifteen thousand runners from across the country to pound the streets of Britain’s rejuvenating second city.

In 2008 the 1st EDF Energy Birmingham Half Marathon attracted about eight thousand people, and that was raised to twelve thousand in 2009 which also hosted the IAAF World Half Marathon. The organiser’s plan is to keep growing the event to beyond twenty thousand, maybe even as much as fifty thousand people in years to come. Certainly, the first three years are an excellent start. More information can be found on Birmingham Central.

2010’s race was held on a gorgeous sunny blue day which was mercifully chilly for the runners and way too cold for those of us standing around watching.

In 2009 I spent much of the race at the Start/Finish line on Broad Street, but I was determined to move around and find other viewpoints this year.

Here are some of the images I captured during the day.

Main Start. Who’s ever heard of “Ladies First”?

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 95mm, Exposure 1/250 @ F5, ISO 640, I generally had an easier time of covering this event this year as I have moved on from the Nikon D80 to the Nikon D700, allowing higher ISO's to gain shutter speed. There's a lot of action here! A much brighter day than last year also helped with faster shutter speeds, though I still faffed about with camera settings at times.

Blind Dave Starting

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 102mm, Exposure 1/250 @ F4.5, ISO 640, Blind Dave is a regular marathon runner and pops up on local TV pretty often. Respect!

I realised that I wanted to capture the spectators…
…as the main attraction and have the runners as merely incidental to this. I liked the fact that both played a fleeting moment in each others lives and so I changed tack and slowed the shutter right down. At various places on the course I took images like this one where the focus are the people waiting for the next runners, yet runners are passing them almost forgotten, ghost-like even. By using a slow shutter, and hoping the spectators didn’t move too much, I tried to capture the runners as temporal wisps, blurred as they will be in the memories of those watching.

Wisps & Fragments 1 BW

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 110mm, Exposure 1/5 @ F32, ISO 100

Wisps & Fragments 2

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 125mm, Exposure 1/8 @ F8, ISO 100, He's looking for action, it's going past him.

Wisps & Fragments 3

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 125mm, Exposure 1/8 @ F8, ISO 100, Ditto. I like that you can see the ghostly face of a woman, and both she and the photographer are close, yet a million miles away from each other.

A Long Run Ahead 1 BW

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/250 @ F7.1, ISO 400, Looking down Hill Street from the top near Victoria Square, and towards Hurst Street and the Chinese Quarter. When I came around the corner and saw this mass of colour running away from me it was quite a sight. It looks good in Black and White too. Can you see the photographer pointing his camera straight back at me, just to left of center? Does he have a reciprocal image?

A Long Run Ahead 2

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/250 @ F5.6, ISO 400, Has that photographer got a reciprocal shot of me?

Zombies for Charity

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 98mm, Exposure 1/250 @ F16, ISO 400

Marshal

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 70mm, Exposure 1/100 @ F4.5, ISO 200, You can't hold a marathon without them.

At Five Ways…

Men’s Winner

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/250 @ F5.6, ISO 400, Located above the underpass between Hagley Road (in shot) and the Broad Street finish (behind me).

Second Place

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/250 @ F5.6, ISO 400

Very Well Done

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/640 @ F5.6, ISO 640, I was pushing the ISO up in very bright daylight just to get a fast shutter speed to prevent the moving subjects and my chilly handed camera shake from blurring the shots. The Nikon D700 doesn't flinch at ISO 640 🙂

Women’s Winner (same as 2009)

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/1600 @ F5.6, ISO 1000, The Nikon D700 doesn't flinch at ISO 1000 in broad daylight either. This shutter speed really got my shots sharp.

Chariots of Fire

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/1600 @ F5.6, ISO 1000, Go on, hum the music.

Can I Pass Her?

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/1600 @ F5.6, ISO 1000

Great Charity Work

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/1600 @ F5.6, ISO 500

Help on Hand

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/1600 @ F5.6, ISO 500

iPods Chase Batman

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 98mm, Exposure 1/1600 @ F6.3, ISO 400

“I Need a Drink”

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/2000 @ F5.6, ISO 400

Tough for Everyone

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/2000 @ F5.6, ISO 400

Didn’t Quite Make It

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 200mm, Exposure 1/2000 @ F5.3, ISO 400, I saw this young girl, alone, and in pain on some derelict land at the final corner. She had obviously given up and had been attended to and was slowly limping back to the start. I took a shot of her, but it feels too personal and intrusive to show it here. It makes me cry actually. However, a few minutes later, after I had moved on, she limped past me with the remaining runners passing her, and I took this shot which maintains her privacy but lets us in a little on her sorrow. I hope she's ok.

Faces In The Crowd

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/2000 @ F5.6, ISO 400, This shot is interesting as I fought with it in post-processing for some time. This is a heavy crop from the original where the guy in yellow was center. I really liked that but there were annoying distractions around him, particularly to the right. I kept adjusting the crop and in the end realised it may be better to drop off the right side of the picture. This brought the guy with the black hat in the middle to the center of attention, and although you see him first, your eye is quickly dragged to the right because of the yellow shirt.

Say Cheese!

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/800 @ F5.6, ISO 1000

Just Keep Going

Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G AF-S VR @ 300mm, Exposure 1/800 @ F5.6, ISO 1000, They're tired, but they're nearly home. Another shot where I kept cropping it down and down until just these two guys are left; this was the story.

I have too many photos so will continue in part 2 later…

Have fitness fun,
ND

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(c) Nakedigit 2010

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About nakedigit

I have legs and a camera. I also occasionally use a passport. The camera with my brightest lenses can almost (almost) see in the dark. So the only thing stopping me from putting it all together regardless of where and when i am is, well, me really! However, when i don't completely muck it up the results may end up here on this blog and also my Flickr page. I now Twitter and a website is coming... ND August 2010
This entry was posted in Birmingham, Birmingham UK, Event, Faces, Marathon, Nakedigit, Nikon, People, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Birmingham Half Marathon 2010 – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Birmingham Half Marathon 2010 – Part 2 | Nakedigit

  2. helenog says:

    Great photos…interesting to hear all the follow up feedback about the congestion at the start and finish lines. I’m sure the guy at the front left of the Faces in the Crowd photo is actor Matthew Chambers.

  3. Pingback: Birmingham Half Marathon 2009 | Nakedigit

  4. nakedigit says:

    Thanks again Helen 🙂
    Yeah, there were jams in the crowd, something that the organisers need to deal with a bit better if they want to hit many more tens of thousands of competitors in the future.
    Matthew Chambers? I should have stopped him for an autograph, might have been welcome of the break 😉
    Cheers

  5. Pingback: Wisps & Ghosts | Nakedigit

  6. Pingback: Focus on Imaging, NEC, March 2011 | Nakedigit

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