How to take a Great Triathlon Photo – Part III

To paraphrase, Ansel Adams – A great photograph is knowing where to stand.

To steal a bit from the immortal landscape photographer, If you want to take a great triathlon photo, go stand in Abu Dhabi! Having just returned from The Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, I was able to find a few great places to stand!

I am truly fortunate to be working in a sport that is exciting, growing and is made up of some of the greatest people that I have ever met. It feels like a community, no matter where you go. The triathlete population has high expectations of themselves and their equipment. This is a group that travels to races both in the US and Internationally. The race promoters and organizers also have high expectations of themselves and are continually striving to provide each athlete and their often accompanying family members and support group a great race and social experience.

From the inception of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in 2010, resources were made available to put on a first class race, without exception. Their goal was not only to have an outstanding professional field, but also to have a similar professional experience for the age group athletes, which has now grown to over 1,800 athletes.

Where else in the world can you swim within sight of a Palace, race through the desert and then around a Formula 1 Track?

This was my second visit to Abu Dhabi and this year I was shooting primarily on behalf of 220 Triathlon Magazine in the UK. My images will also appear in Tri-Magazine.net; Australian Triathlete Magazine, Triathlon Magazine Canada and Triathlete Asia.

This blog post is image heavy and light on technique, but I hope you enjoy it.  It is truly an interesting and exciting place to shoot. There are also unusual challenges, depending on the wind, you can have crystal clear blue skies or extremely flat bright light with the air filled with sand coming off of the Arabian Desert. While some magical infinitely variable split neutral density filter would have been nice, I did rely on Lightroom to clean up images.

Early morning view from my hotel - Emirates Palace Hotel

Women's Pro start

Aussie Clayton Fettle leads out of the water.

Lead women head out on the the bike course

Chase group re-entering Abu Dhabi and finishing lap 1

Brit Jodie Swallow, former 70.3 World Champion and now a member of Team Abu Dhabi, rides by the mosaic of Sheikh Khalifa, the current President of the U.A.E.

Ultimate victor, Rasmus Henning and the chase group on the Yas Marina F-1 Track.

Rasmus heading into T2

Fraser Cartmell running along the Corniche - take a look at the intricate pattern of the Corniche reflected in Fraser's Oakleys

A great surprise to see friend Peter Hurley, President of Quintana Roo finishing up his short course race.

After two very difficult seasons it was great to see Rasmus Henning take the win in the final kilometer.

The day after the race, we had time for some additional shooting, here with Dirk Bockel on the Yas Marina Formula 1 Track

From the speed of the F-1 track to the blowing sands of the Arabian Desert.

I did manage to fit in a bit of touring here at the spectacular Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

View of the Abu Dhabi skyline.

Media visit to the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. I got to participate in serving lunch. Many thanks to Thierry Sourbier for the photo!

As expected, it was a great race and a great trip. My calendar is already marked for 2013!

Look for my next post later this week – Capturing Motion!