July 3, 2012

A few more from Annecy

July 3, 2012

Athletes migrate to the start line for the swim. The water was a confortable temperature, and luckily it wasn't a scorching hot day. Saturday it had been almost 30 (~90F), but Sunday was a much cooler 19 (mid 60s).

Fans gather on the shore, some had signs to cheer on there favorite competitor (probably spouse, or special someone).

Swimmers pass under the famous Pont des Amours into the river Thiou.

Swimmers make their way down the canal toward the exit.

The swimmers bottleneck around the corner of the canal as they approach the exit. It was much less crowded just off the top of the frame, of course you have two swing a much wider arc.

Athletes are helped out of the water, up the stone steps and immediately into the transition area.

Photographically speaking, I think I enjoyed the swim the best. It was very crowded (many athletes), somewhat unusual and in a very nice location. You can see people biking and running a lot of places, but not so often do you see a thousand people (there were ~1100 athletes competing) in wetsuits with funny colored hats at such a close distance. I'm not sure when the next time will be that I will have such good access to the swimmers as this. It was really great!

Two things I would have liked to be different: 1) a longer lens, possibly the 70-300, and a wider lens for that corner (it was a real maelstrom in there!). 2) Being able to get more usable images at higher ISO would have really helped in this situation. It was kind of dark that day (a good thing for the athletes), but it meant I really had to jack up the ISO.

Also, I'm still learning how to get the white balance right. Sometimes it can be very difficult to judge what the right color should be. In those cases that I can't seem to make an improvement, I trust the camera settings. Some of the images above look like they were taken on different days, but they were all taken within about one hour of each other.