2013 Chicago Marathon — A Few 5* Shots

20131013-Marathon_2287 20131013-Marathon_2300 20131013-Marathon_2334 20131013-Marathon_2276

Total Shots taken 323
Number Acceptable for Future activity  56
Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %)  4 (1.2%)

This is probably the 4th year that I have photographed the Chicago Marathon.  It is one of my favorite events to photograph – there are so many options:  kids, athletes, families, the cheering crowd., the loving and motivational signs  Each year, I try to challenge myself to get a unique photo – last year, the “shot” I wanted was of someone standing still with the runners in motion around them.  This year, I didn’t put a list together, but figured I would find it when I got there.  Once at the marathon, I thought I would focus on the finding these shots:

  • Full shot of runner
  • One of the disabled marathoners
  • Shot of runner in shadow

For once, I only stayed there a couple of hours.  Usually, I stay for 4 – 6 hours, and I walk away with 800 to 1000 pix.  This time, I challenged myself to move around, so that I didn’t have the same perspective in every shot — This was even important since I had several years of very similar looking pictures.  All the shots were taken around the 24 mile mark, but from different viewpoints — some on the ground, some standing,  from both sides of the street;  some photos were of  lone runners, others, the crowd, some were feet only.  So of the 300+ pix I shot, 17 stood out from the others, and of these four I considered to be my  5* shots:

  • Disabled marathoner —  I am always inspired by the disabled marathoners.  I can’t even get myself to run a mile, much less train for 26!  This athlete has trained rigorously, and is very muscular.  She looks focused and determine.  I love the fact that her bare feet are visible under the bike, and her toenails are painted.
  • Runner wearing reflective shades —  I thought this was a nice shot, because I liked seeing the reflection in the glasses.  When I cropped the photo so that it would show the reflection, I also saw that was ME in the reflection.  Liked it even better then.
  • Female runner – Konovalova – You can see her muscular structure so well – ‘cut’ shoulders, tight triceps, with blood vessel standing out —  and I like that.  She is also moving pretty fast (she was a front runner), and you can see the wind moving her hair, and her facial muscles.
  • #OWNCHICAGO – I loved the fact that the Marathon set up this hashtag!  I took lots of pictures of it, but loved the one of the single runner in front of it.  If you look closely at the hashtag art, you will see that it is signed by the runners.

Yes, I did want one of the shadows, but none the photos I took for shadows turned out to be a 5* Photo in my opinion.  Maybe next time!

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