Carrie, Runner

Carrie Runner

I’m a few weeks behind on sharing this image but better late then never, right?!

This is Carrie W., a runner training with Olympic aspirations.  This image comes from another collaboration effort with fine artist, Barbara Dahlstedt.  I understand she plans to use this image as a reference for an oil painting that will be added to Indigenae, a portrait collection which honors some of the exceptional members of our community.

For this shoot I chose a mountain top location because I wanted to see this athlete looking larger than life but still include the context of her hometown environment in the background.  We began in the early morning to take advantage of the wonderful drama the sun brings when it’s low in the sky.

I have great respect for people who set a goal and achieve it through discipline and focus, and I wanted to make sure that this photograph honored those aspects of Carrie.  I would have loved to do something more dramatic (in terms of camera angle) to feature this athlete’s physique but since the artist’s goal was to do a portrait I needed to stay close enough that the facial features were fairly prominent.  One of the things I love about working with someone else’s agenda is that it really challenges me to problem solve and stretch myself creatively.

The biggest challenge for me was working in such close proximity to a moving subject: the strip of path we had to work with was quite narrow which meant that as Carrie was running by me (which she had to do several dozen times, bless her) her proximity to the camera was changing rapidly.  Between this and the fact that her body was bouncing up and down with each running step, focusing the lens on her while simultaneously studying the composition to make sure that I wasn’t chopping off her head as she grew in my viewfinder was a tricky task.  Even with AI Servo (or AF-C for you Nikonians) the camera was having difficulty keeping her in focus on the approach.  Honestly, I feel lucky under theses circumstances to have obtained this shot which has a decent composition and is in tack sharp focus.

In all it was another wonderful collaboration experience and I’m grateful to have shared it with two very kind and patient people!


5D Mk III with 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens.  ISO 640, f/10, 1/800 sec. 

Processed in Adobe Lightroom 4.4 and Adobe Photoshop CS3.