St. George 70.3, Canon 1Dx Mark II and being on the Road

I had great intentions of writing several blogs while I was on the road, but as luck who have it, I was more than a bit over optimistic about my available time. I know, like that has never happened before.

Saturday, May 7 was the Ironman St. George 70.3, the North American Pro Championship, with a great field of athletes and truly a championship course. With portions of the course set in Snow Canyon, it is a photo op in waiting. This was the fifth time I have shot there and unlike in prior years the light was less than perfect.

Temperatures in the low to mid-50s and periodic rain is indeed less than perfect. But I felt confident, I was wearing full dress Aerostich Moto gear which makes me look like a cross between the yellow Power Ranger and the Michelin Man. Bruno was driving for me and we were using my BMW F700GS, which we have modified to make it easier to shoot. In addition, I had ThinkTank Photo Rain covers.

Aside from a few random snaps, this was the first field use of my new Canon 1Dx Mark II, with its magical glow-in-the-dark ISOs and 14 frames per second.

First, more as a test of the camera, I shot the following image of Bruno at 40,000 ISO. Below you can see what it was like right from the camera followed by the image with some Lightroom clean up. Not too bad, but the real question might be if you are shooting in the dark, why don’t you just get out a flash? But then like I said, it was a test.

Ironman St. George 70.3

ISO 40,000   1/80th f/4.0

Ironman St. George 70.3

With just a bit of Lightroom work

From a practical standpoint my greater concern is shooting with ISOs in the 2000 to 4000 range. Situations where there is low light, not in the dark, and I want to have a reasonable high shutter speed and a bit of depth of field.

Again here are a couple of shots with the unprocessed image first, followed by the Lightroom processed image. Really not too bad.

Ironman St. George 70.3

ISO 4000  1/1600 f/6.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Post in Lightroom 

 

When I am shooting from the Moto, I typically shoot in burst of 3 to 5 frames and then as part of my edit process I select the image with the best biomechanics. With the 1DX Mark II, I was initially shooting in 5 to 7 frame burst. Certainly overkill, part was the sensitivity of the camera and I am sure part was attributable that I sort of lost the feeling in my hands in the cold rain. Either way the camera is sensitive to the touch. You can adjust the maximum frame rate in the settings but why give up the speed, I am sure by next week, I will get the hang of it.

I was really quite impressed with the quality of the images, particularly the color depth particularly on a fairly dark and grey day. Following are a few shots from the course.

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3

Late Sunday morning, I loaded up the Moto and headed out for 3 days of riding through the spectacular terrain in Utah and Colorado. Some rain, some sunshine, some snow and hot and cold weather is the short version of the story. My final day had to be re-routed due to snow in Monarch Pass.

Here are a few snaps from the road trip, all shot with the Canon 1Dx Mark II and the 24-105 mm, f/4.0 lens. You can judge for yourself.

Ironman St. George 70.3 - Travel images

Glen Canyon, Utah

Ironman St. George 70.3 - Travel images

Glen Canyon, Utah

Ironman St. George 70.3 - Travel images

Glen Canyon, Utah

Ironman St. George 70.3 - Travel images

Telluride Mountain Village, Colorado

Tonight we have the USA Track and Field Road 1 Mile Championship and the off to Ironman Texas in the morning.

More soon!

Paul

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