Isle of Man TT – Practice Night at Braddan Bridge

After a short night a Quarterbridge and canceled practice on Thursday due to more heavy rain, Friday night practice was back on track.

Gary Thompson the Clerk of Course, had said that although 2016 had been an exceptionally great year for weather, riders had in aggregate 1,500 laps fewer this year than in 2016.   As such the Superbike race scheduled for Saturday would be held on Sunday and a Saturday would be used as a practice day for all classes.

Still traveling on foot, I walked down to Braddan Bridge. I had seen a few photos from there and I had heard the evening light would be good.

I got an earlier start so I would have time to look around, walked by Quarterbridge and then down a straight of almost a half-mile, where they came through with a quick left and then a right.

Whenever I arrive at a location I check in with the race marshals to ask where I can and cannot shoot. Apparently over the years people have argued with Race Marshals about road closure, course access or whatever happened to come up that was an inconvenience. To deal with that, in 2016 the Isle of Man established a law that made all trained race marshals the equivalent to a Police Deputy. They were great people with decades of experience and liked to help.

The weather and the position did not disappoint. Although practice times were sparse this week, Ian Hutchinson made an effort to be first in line to get out on the course. He was first out again and first through the turn at Braddan Bridge.

Ian ‘Hutchy” Hutchinson is a 14 time winner of the TT.

The practice sessions are not only used to regain a crazy high speed familiarity of the course, but to test the equipment under near race conditions.

The riders line through the turn and body position vary greatly, each one trying to find their fastest way through the turn and back out.

James Hillier leans into the first turn on Braddan Bridge on his Superbike Kawasaki

Riders will often do a lap, pull off into the pits, get a different bike and head out again.  Adjustments, if necessary, being made all along the way.

Hillier pulls of the road, checks a few things and then screams back onto the course.

On his next lap Hillier had change from his Superbike to his Superstock Kawasaki (note the change in color of the number plate).

In addition to the blinding speeds of the rider, one of the amazing things about the TT is how close the spectators can get to the action.  Even though the viewing areas are carefully planned to be as safe as possible, here fans which TT favorite Michael Dunlop go by right in front of them.

Michael Dunlop on his Suzuki Superbike

Both fans and photographers can get close. I was tucked in by a gate to the church as the riders accelerated away from Braddan. I had set the focus to a point that I hoped they would come by and started shooting at when I saw them about a block away.  Even shooting at 14 frames / second, at 140 mph the would go 15 feet between shots. I at lots of shots of nothing but landscape.

Michael Rutter on his Paton Lightweight

After the solo riders had completed their sessions, the sidecars were back out for practice and heading into the evening light.

Sidecars were out for a single practice lap. 

It is now mid-morning on Monday June 5, and we are on a 2-hour weather delay, waiting to see if there will be racing today.


File Numbering & Other Excitement!


There are a few things that I can say with absolute certainty:

  • I travel a lot;
  • I take a lot of photos;
  • I have a lot of files that span more than 10 years; and
  • Art Directors and Photo Editors often request images at the least opportune times.

With this in mind, what I need to rely on is a rock solid organizational methodology and having everything backed up.

My long-term objective in writing my blog is to provide useful information and to have some fun – this one in particular addresses some issues that no one regards as fun. Perhaps it can however, relieve some frustration.

I feel obligated to insert a warning here: This stuff is REALLY, REALLY Boring! Boring, yes, but it is critical and if you get it right the first time and invest just a couple of minutes in the process, I promise, it will save you hours later.  However to keep it interesting, I will pop in a few photos here and there and include their files numbers.

Here we go!

Two weeks ago a young friend of mine, Paul Findlay posted on Facebook that she had not been selected for the Canadian Olympic Triathlon team. I was fortunate to be shooting the ITU World Cup in Monterey Mexico in 2010 where Paula had her first win. I thought the finish line photo of Paula would be a great Instagram.

Second Harvest Heartland Photo Shoot with the Minnesota Vikings
Paula Findlay winning her first World Cup in Monterrey Mexico

I remembered the event, but wasn’t clear on the year so it took me a couple minutes to find the file, but it was only a couple of minutes. It is my consistency in file naming that allowed me to quickly find the image.

As I am working out this blog, I just received an email from Valerie, Hunter Kemper’s wife. Hunter is a 4-time Olympian and has become a friend over the years. Val was looking for some images from Hunter’s 2006 win at the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis.  Here is one of the shots I sent off.

Life Time Fitness Triathlon

Although it should be obvious, but I feel better mentioning it – everything starts with the year. I keep all of the current year images on my primary (external) hard drive.

I then create folders for the major events that I cover:

  • Cycling;
  • Friends and family;
  • Groove (music);
  • Motorsports;
  • Running;
  • Skiing;
  • Travel; and
  • Triathlon.

There are always a few folders that I carry over year-to-year and want access to on my primary hard drive. These are mostly related to family and a couple of longer-term projects that I am working on.

Within each grouping above, I will further separate the images. Since I shoot more triathlon events than anything else, I will use triathlon as an example.

Within the world, well my world of triathlon, there are several major event organizers.

  • Challenge Family;
  • International Triathlon Union (ITU);
  • World Triathlon Corp (Ironman) ; and
  • Other individual events which are listed separately.

Again since I shoot more WTC events and any others, I will again use that as my example, so far for this year, within this folder I have:

  • Boulder 2016;
  • Lanzarote 2016;
  • Oceanside 2016;
  • San Juan 2016;
  • George 2016; and,
  • Texas 2016.

My most recent event was Ironman Boulder 70.3 on June 11, 2016.

I arrived in Boulder on June 8th and shot in both the morning and afternoon of the 9th and on the 10th.

Within the Boulder 2016 folder above, I created sub folders, by day, with each one being easily identified and sorted.

The basic structure is:

  • BLDR 160609A (first shoot of the day);
  • BLDR 160609B (second shoot of the day); and
  • BLDR 160610 (only shoot of the day).

I always use the date structure of YYMMDD. By putting the year first, the computer will sort your sub-folders in numeric order.

Here is a shot of my buddy Rafa Goncalves from our morning shoot in file BLDR 160609A

Boulder 70.3 Pre Race
Boulder 70.3 Pre Race – Image # BLDR16 0046.jpg

And from the afternoon in file BLDR 160609B here is Callum Millward, shot for Quintana Roo Bicycles:

Boulder 70.3 Pre Race
Boulder 70.3 Pre Race – Image # BLDR16 0194

For the race day, I change my methodology just a bit to:

  • BLDR16 Race Day.

Here is a shot of Sam Appleton by the well-known yellow barn on Nelson Road just north of Boulder.

Boulder 70.3
Boulder 70.3 – Image #BLDR 612.jpg

Within each folder I build some ‘intelligence’ into the file number.

Without getting into the details at this point, I use Photo Mechanic to edit, sort my images in the order they were shot and rename them and enter descriptions before I import images into Lightroom for any post processing. For the Ironman Boulder 70.3, my sequence is:

  • BLDR16 0001

In this way, EVERY image I shoot has a unique identifying number. This is critically important to me. Since I send out password-protected galleries to Magazine Photo Editors, Art Directors and commercial clients, I frequently receive requests for high res images, where they only send the image number.

One variation on this theme is that when I have multiple sub-folders as listed above, I will start the first sub-folder as BLDR16 001. If I have for example, 156 images in the first subfolder, I would start the next sub-folder at BLDR16 0201. I want to ensure there is no possibility of confusion on which images are being requested.

For my race day images, I will typically start the numbering sequence at BLDR16 501 or 1001.

As I mention above, I do all of my numbering in Photo Mechanic before I even import images into Lightroom.

Since I shoot events, it is easy to organize this way. If I were shooting landscape and travel, which I do for fun, I would likely start with:

  • Year;
  • Continent;
  • Country;
  • City;
  • Location; and,
  • Event.


For example, my images from Marrakech are labeled: RAK16 066. (RAK is the Airport Code for Marrakech).

Since most of this happens when I am traveling. I do not have my primary external hard drive with me. I use a MacBook Pro from late 2014 that has a solid-state drive (SSD), copying images from the card reader to my desktop is very fast. If I am using the new CFast2 card from my 1Dx Mark II, it is lightning fast!

When I get back home, I copy the entire event folder to my primary hard drive. More later on updating the location in Lightroom. I promise to do a Lightroom overview post soon.

The entire file structure methodology above is related to working with the original and unprocessed files. As part of my workflow, I will typically provide up to 4 or 5 web galleries for After selecting and post-processing the images, I will export them to a new sub-folder, in this case named:

  • BLDR16 – Tri Mag Gallery 1.

Similarly I would other files that I export would be to sub-folders named for the intended recipient of the images.

All of this organization is great, but if you lose a drive, you are sunk! I have more than 10 years of images archived with the general policy that I keep everything forever.

When I am on the road, I travel with 2 LaCie 1 TB Rugged Thunderbolt / USB 3.0 drives. On one drive, I keep all of my current year files as well as my prior year files from all triathlon events and other major events that I am currently working on. The other drive, I use as a daily backup. It only takes a couple minutes a day to copy the files over and allows me to sleep at night.

When I get back home, all of my current files and changes are automatically backed up every hour using the Apple Time Machine system and a 2TB Time Capsule.

If you don’t want to use the Apple Time Capsule it is very easy to set up using any external hard drive.

In addition on a monthly basis I use a hard drive docking station and a group of what would normally be internal hard drives to create another back up off all of my files.

Later today I am heading off to one of the best races in all of Triathlon, Challenge Roth.












Marrakech – 1 More Adventure

One of the hazards of trying to squeeze in so much great stuff in a limited amount of time is the risk of both physical and mental overload.

The tour in the Atlas Mountains was amazing and both visually and intellectually stimulating and sometimes it takes a bit just to appreciate both the significance and the magnitude of what you have seen.

I did get out in the evening for a great dinner, in spite of being a bit lost!

After another peaceful breakfast on the terrace Mustapha arrived at 9:00 and we sat and talked about the day.

First on the list is the Ben Youssef Madrassa – an Islamic college that was founded in the 14th century and current facility was constructed in the 16th century and housed 130 students.   The school was closed in 1960, not bad – operating for 400 years.

The Madrassa was reopened in 1982 and is said to be one of the best examples Islamic Architecture.

Here are a few snaps from the morning.

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From there we headed to the tannery. Although I have been told of the many tannery scams in Marrakech and someone approached me I walked back to the car to meet Mustapha. He rescued me just in time!

We drove to the tannery with again had been operating in it’s current format for hundreds of years. Each process of cleaning, preparation and dyeing is done in permanently constructed ‘vats’.

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From the cleaning to drying in the sun, either on the rooftop or in the courtyard.

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There was a full array of natural pigments used in the dyeing process.

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The tannery is run as a co-op for 60 families, who’s ancestors came down from the Atlas Mountains to tan and make their leather products.

The tannery does have the reputation of being pretty foul smelling, so much so that upon entering you are handed a fistful of fresh mint to hold by your nose and mouth. I have always said that I am a lucky guy and once again it proved true, the cooler weather had the smell hovering right around Minnesota State Fair livestock levels.

Of course after the explanation of the tanning process and a bit of history is the showroom and push to sell you something / anything.

No pressure Mr. Paul, we just want to show you all that we do here! If you believe that, they’ve got you.

I will say the work was really nice and at least based on prices that I have seen are not too unreasonable. We moved away from the handbags, cushions and slippers, none of which appealed to me and on to the jackets.

As luck would have it, I have been looking for a jacket. I tried on several and although they had the cut and style of a moto jacket, the leather was so soft, I doubt that I will ever wear it will riding. We went back and forth on the price and I relatively sure I probably paid too much, but it felt good to me.

Our final stop of the morning was the Jardin Morjelle. Originally created over a 40-year period by French Painter Jacques Morjelle, is truly like stepping into and an oasis in the desert.

As Majorelle traveled he expanded the garden surrounding his workshop with plants he would acquire around the world. Subsequent to Majorelle’s death the property was acquired by Designer Yves Saint Laurent and was his residence.

Jardin Majorelle is now a public museum and one of the most visited spots in Marrakech.

It’s popularity made photos without a throng of people a bit challenging.

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I hope these few images convey a bit of the peace and cooler temperatures of the garden, oops Jardin.

After a stop for lunch and coffee we headed back to Riad El Mansour. Mustapha dropped me off and before I headed down the street remembering LEFT, RIGHT, RIGHT, I stopped and met Omar the Spice Merchant.  He invited me in, which I knew was a set up for buying something and likely over priced.

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Travel in Marrakech t

Travel in Marrakech t

Another great day!

More soon,


The Atlas Mountains – Stepping Further Back in Time

On the way from the airport, Mustapha had mentioned that he would be pleased to guide / drive me around Marrakech if I would like. The cost 20 euro for about 3 hours. Undecided and suffering from a caffeine deficiency, I told him I would let him know.

After spending several hours getting lost, I mean unintended exploring in the souks, which while fascinating would not hold my attention for all three days I was here. Wadi at the hotel called Mustapha on Thursday evening and we would leave at 9:00 AM on Friday.

Somehow on what was a short trip from the airport I had managed to learn a lot about Mustapha, whose family was Berber and from the Atlas Mountains. Mustapha thought the best day to head toward the mountains would be Friday, there was a weekly market we would see and Mr. Paul, I will show you the REAL Morocco! 

It did take about 40 minutes to get out of Marrakech, which has almost a million people. Marrakech was established in the 11th century and yet over the last 10 years the population has almost doubled with people coming in from the country for work, the primary business is tourism.

The four lane highway was really about 1 ½ lanes each way for autos and then ½ lane for mopeds, scooters, bicycles and donkey carts. Riding with Mustapha, there were a few things I immediately realized. 1 – I don’t want to drive and 2 – in Marrakech, there are no rules, only suggestions.

Turn signals while drive are strickly optional but remarkably I didn’t see a single accident. No automated turn signal, but eye contact, a motion of the hand or nod of your head and with an amazingly cooperative environment everyone eventually gets to where they are going and home alive at the end of the day.

A few minutes off the highway we came to a village and their weekly market. Somewhat like the souks of Marrakech but this time there are no tourists, well except for me. You can buy any vegetables you desire, pick up fresh meat.Travel in Marrakech travel to the Atlas Mountains

You know it’s fresh because you can see them men carrying it from the slaughter rooms to the butchers’ booth. Mustapha said in the slaughter rooms there is a government inspector to make sure good conditions are maintained.

Travel in Marrakech travel to the Atlas MountainsWe walked through the market, where you could also see a doctor / dentist / barber, all of which are in adjacent booths. Not what you would think of as health care, but it has been done this way for hundreds of years.

Travel in Marrakech travel to the Atlas Mountains

Of course there was the café, which except for the ambiance and attire could have been the Starbucks in my neighborhood. Probably the same guys every Saturday morning.

Travel in Marrakech travel to the Atlas Mountains

I shot a few images and trying to be noticed as little as possible. I really don’t think that the people minded having their photo taken, but they more likely viewed it as a revenue generating opportunity.   There were kids who offered to let me take their photo for a few Dirham – not the candid shots I had hoped for.

Travel in Marrakech travel to the Atlas Mountains

We continued our drive up into the mountains turned off the main road to a dirt road – to see a beautiful view for photos! Indeed it was amazingly.

Travel in Marrakech travel to the Atlas Mountains

Next up we pulled off the road near a Berber Museum. When the Berbers moved down from the High Atlas Mountains in the seventh century they settled here but it was a strategic error in judgement, since their enemies had the high ground. Later that would eventually move further down and found Marrakech in the 11th Century. This should give you a reference when the locals refer to something as really old!

Travel in Marrakech travel to the Atlas MountainsTravel in Marrakech travel to the Atlas Mountains

Travel in Marrakech travel to the Atlas Mountains


While I was wandering around the souks yesterday I couldn’t help but wonder where all of the products came from. Of course there are vendors for small electronics, household goods and typical apparel which is easy to understand, but where are the Moroccan products from. It really didn’t seem like the Souk owner was just the front man for the family weaving the rugs or making leather goods. Bargaining here is a highly refined sport and well, I am not good at it. I think I have pretty good negotiating skills but not for individual items.

With the souks and the vendors in mind, Mustapha took me to a Berber Cooperative, where 250 families from various villages in the mountains brought their carpets and other products to sell. Truly amazing work and as the man showing me carpets said, no pressure, no bargaining. I didn’t believe it for a minute, but then we never got to that point! I just told him I thought the work was beautiful but I would not be buying a carpet today.

RAK16 158.jpg

Our three-hour tour was not past 4 hours and we will still in the mountains. I said that I would be honored to take Mustapha to lunch. A bit more of a drive and we stopped at a wonderful spot, ate on the terrace with a great view. I had grilled chicken with lemon. When ordering, the waiter asked: Leg or Breast? I said breast. Without cracking a smile, he asked: Right or Left? And then started to laugh!

Travel in Marrakech travel to the Atlas Mountains

Although we had seen very few tourists since leaving Marrakech in the morning and there was not American among them. Sitting on the terrace at lunch, of course there was another American at the table next to us. A visiting professor of Comparative Religion, who at one time lived in Minneapolis. A small world indeed.

The trip back to Marrakech had few stops but a bit more traffic, but still great things to see.

Travel in Marrakech travel to the Atlas Mountains

Back at the Riad El Mansour for a bit of a rest and edit the images that I shot prior to heading out for dinner.

A full and amazing day, not only enhancing my adventure but expanding my life.

More soon.


The Marrakech Express

I am not an anxious traveler. I can adapt to most situations and if the hotel didn’t look exactly like I was expecting, within a day or so, I can pretty much feel at home. If things don’t go quite right I try not to let it detract from my adventure.

On May 5th I started out with a flight to Las Vegas, was picked up at the airport by my friends Bruno and Chris, who had driven in from Ramona, CA and had my motorcycle in their truck. After finding a convenient spot to unload, I headed out for a ride around Lake Mead and they went on to St. George, UT where Chris would be racing the Ironman St. George 70.3 on Saturday and Bruno would be driving for me as I shot.

Although the weather wasn’t the best, it also wasn’t the worst and we got the job done!

Sunday May 8th I headed from St. George to Zion National Park, up by Bryce Canyon through some amazing terrain and ended my day in Torrey Ut.

Monday was perfect weather and the night before I decided I would head down toward Telluride. Another amazing day. I didn’t have a place to stay but I was sure I could find something.

Tuesday morning had some rain and light snow at elevation and based on the radar maps it looked like it was snowing at Monarch Pass where I had planned to ride so, I adjusted and headed north to I-70, rolling into Boulder early evening.

My BMW is still in Boulder with a friend, I flew home, shot the Medtronic Twin Cities 1 Mile on Thursday evening, and Friday morning headed to The Woodlands TX for Ironman Texas.

Sunday back on an early flight to Minneapolis, with a couple of days to reorganize and finish the images from the last events.

For more than a month I had my reservations to Lanzarote. I knew when I was leaving, when I was returning and the route. I also knew that as long as I was in the neighborhood, so to speak, I wanted to visit Morocco. I had never been to Africa and thought it could be amazing. The day I was leaving for Lanzarote, I finally made my air travel reservations to Marrakech.

Still I waited to find a place to stay hoping that someone in Lanzarote would have a recommendation. No luck, back to for a look. I found the Riad El Mansour, five miles from the airport and nominal walk to the old city.

Prior to arriving, I received an email asking when I was arriving and for 15 euro, they would have their driver pick me up. All good so far.

I did manage to find their driver Mustapha, among the 100 other drivers waiting there. He gave me a quick highlighted tour on the way from the airport and said – now I take you the way you will walk to the hotel so it will look familiar. Again, all good. And then we stopped!

Parked the car in what I can only generously call a chaotic street and stopped right between the melon cart and the banana cart.

Travel in Marrakech

As we grabbed my bags he quickly pointed out the small sign beneath the canopy that had the logo of the hotel and said, See this is how you know you are in the right place. Left, Right, Right – remember Left, Right, Right! The next 50 meters were so filled with people and vendors that cars could not travel in.

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LEFT! The street narrowed to 3 meters, there were kids playing and a few doorways.

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RIGHT! A moped whizzed by from behind, with no one else in site. Walked under a shadowed structure built to connect the buildings on both sides.

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RIGHT! Ahead is a dead end, and a shadowy dead end at that.

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OK, I am now starting to re-think my low anxiety approach to travel. Just beyond the plant, we finally stop at a large carved wooden door and he rings the bell. We are welcomed by Abdess “Mr. Paul, it is so nice to meet you!”

I find that I am stepping not into a hotel, but to my eyes back in time and into and Indiana Jones Movie. It is amazing structure between 200 and 300 years old with only 6 rooms and a very peaceful interior courtyard.

Travel in Marrakech

I am in the Azure room. I mean with only six rooms you can easily use names instead of numbers

Travel in Marrakech
Azure Room
Travel in Marrakech
Azure Room

After a much needed nap, I headed out to explore the big square, the souks and the old city. After a few hours of wandering through the chaos, I returned to Riad El Mansour.

Peace and serenity, just a few meters from the chaos.

Time now for dinner and upon recommendation of Wadi at the hotel, it was Left, Left, Right and then a 1 minute walk and another right to Latitude 31. Again peace, serenity just a few meters from the chaos. This time with amazing aromas, in an open air courtyard with impeccable service and extraordinary hospitality. Latitude 31 was immediately on my favorite list.

Before turning in for the night, I asked what time breakfast was served. Mr. Paul, you are on holiday, when you get up, I will make you breakfast!

RAK16 067

If you are going to Marrakech – contact me, I will share the details of where I was. Not only did they enhance my trip but in doing so, they enhanced my life.

More soon.


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!


Let’s Play I Spy

Greetings from the 2014 USAT Age Group National Championship in Milwaukee.

Over the next 2 days, I will be tweeting images from the course.

If you find your photo, follow us at @CompImagePhoto and re-tweet, I will send you the print or a digital file!

Good luck and have fun.




It Lives – The Spirit of Triathlon Photo Contest.

APOLOGIES! Fool that I was I thought I could continue to review images, post blogs and promote the 2014 Spirit of Triathlon Photo Contest while I was shooting the Sochi Olympics.  If you have managed to follow any of my blog posts, you will understand my work schedule and hopefully forgive. Well either that or just concur with how stupid I was for thinking I could do both!

But Triathlon Season is starting and I am off to the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon this afternoon. In addition, in Minneapolis after a brutally cold winter spring is in the air. Well that is if you count walking my dog for the first time without wearing thermal underwear (me, not my dog), it is a good sign.

Since I have been utterly remiss in things we are extending the contest entry date to April 30th! All other details are the same, and we really have an amazing prize list.

Over the next few weeks, I will be shooting at the Oceanside 70.3, San Juan 70.3, St. Anthony’s Tri and St. George 70.3. If you are going to be there, shoot me an email and perhaps we can connect!

Here are three recent images that have been submitted. First is Pro Guy Crawford running into T-1 submitted by Dennis Tan.


Cool early mornings are always create a special atmosphere at an event, this one at the Savageman 70.3 by Barry Young.


Finally for today, where would any of us be with our family support. The Spirit of Triathlon goes well beyond the athlete. As we all know, competing is really a family event! This shot by Nick Morales.

~_Images_201_MoralesNi_3Get your photos together and sent in! We have some great shots this year – let’s see yours!

I am off to Abu Dhabi, but will post more in the next couple days.

ENTER HERE and after you enter, tweet your photo with the tag #SpiritOfTri

More soon –


Sochi – Heavy Medal

I had only been to the Olympic Park a couple of times – for the Opening Ceremonies, Curling, Short-Track and Speed Skating. Having said that, I never really got to see the Olympic Park at all. I was at the Main Media Center (MMC) and then on a bus to the venue.  I figured going down for a Medal Ceremony would be the best chance possible.

Keeping in mind that it is never practical to have all of the event venues at the park, here we have a Mountain Cluster and a Coastal Cluster. I n the best of days, it took me about 1:15 to get form my apartment to the MMC and that would be if I got really lucky and the buses miraculously conformed to my schedule (I think that happened exactly once!) In general, I always allowed 2 hours and that was just to get to the MMC.

Although this may seem more typical for the Winter Olympics, in London the Triathlon Venue was nowhere near the Olympic Park, it was in Hyde Park!  Sailing and Rowing were even farther away. I have heard that in Vancouver, all of the Media Housing was 3 hours from the Mountains. This didn’t make me feel any better, but just accept things as part of my daily routine.

Wednesday’s US performances included Ted Ligety’s Gold Medal and the Silver and Bronze by the Women’s Bobsleigh made Thursday night’s ceremony a good choice.  After returning from the Extreme Park, I had just enough time to have a bite to eat (museli and yogurt) and go grab the bus first to the Gorki Media Center and then down to the MMC.

I traveled light only bringing one camera and a small one at that (5D Mark III) and 2 lens, it sort of felt like I was cheating.  As it turned out when I arrived at the Photo Platform for the Medal Ceremony the 400 would have been more appropriate, but I made it work!

The Medal Ceremony actually started at 8:14 pm every evening (that would be 20:14!) but was preceded by a concert and entertainment that began at 7:00.

There was already a crowd of the usual suspects when I arrived at the Photo Platform and by this time, knew several of the guys from other events.  It was crowded but we all made it work. In case you are wondering, all of those great head-on shots of the medalists are shot from positions that occupied by the IOC Photographers, Getty, AP, Reuters, Sports Illustrated and the other major services. They deserve that access because of their distribution and the pay a premium to get it too! The have dedicated Ethernet lines in these positions that the plug right into their cameras and beam their images back to their editors.  After the medal presentations the athletes are escorted to a position where the other photographers can get their shots.

Here are a few celebrating smiling faces!

The Silver and Bronze Medalist for the Women’s Bobsleigh.

OLYMPICS: FEB XX XXII Olympic Games - Medal Ceremony

Giant Slalom Champ Ted Legity.

OLYMPICS: FEB XX XXII Olympic Games - Medal Ceremony

Norway’s XC Sprint Champions.

OLYMPICS: FEB XX XXII Olympic Games - Medal Ceremony

Norway’s Biathlon Mixed Relay Champions.

OLYMPICS: FEB XX XXII Olympic Games - Medal Ceremony

More soon.


Sochi – This Could Make You Dizzy

For the last week or so, I had planned to spend Tuesday the 18th down at the Coastal Venue. My primary reason was so I could at least have a walk-about in the Olympic Park. I have been here 2 weeks and really haven’t seen it. I don’t want you to get a Hogan’s Heroes view of things, but the Media are typically on one side of the fence (the Clean Zone) and the spectators are on the other size of the fence.  You know, sort of like the Minnesota Zoo, with the animals in the clean zone. Wait, perhaps that is based on how grumpy and grubby we are after two weeks of shooting. But I will stay positive.

The good news about being there in the rain is that the venues are inside.  After some delay due to phone issues and transportation issues, I arrived at Short-Track Speed Skating.  Unlike the text I sent a friend yesterday, it wasn’t Speer Skating, although that does bring an interesting visual to mind.  It was the Men’s 3,000 meter relay. Lots of laps, lots of guys on the ice, sort of like Roller Derby.

From there to Adler Arena for Long Track – the Men’s 10,000 meter.  24 laps of the oval, 2 guys at a time, 7 pair, lots and lots and lots of laps. Since I could only shoot from my position, I could get the same shot over and over and over and over and over and, well you get the idea. The good news is that it gave lots of time to practice different kinds of shots, such as panning, which I personally suck at.

In the small world category, I sat down next to a guy and after a while said, where are you from? He said, Minnesota. Really, where? Minneapolis, Really? – Carlos Gonzalez from the StarTribune – I knew he looked familiar.

It was a Dutch sweep and there was a lot of Orange in the house, but that seemed like it was the natural order of things, even though I know that Hans Christian Andersen was from Denmark, it still seemed right.

One of my better panning attempts.


Classy but crazy Dutch fans – her dress looks sort of like a tin of cookies I once received.


The Belgium’s (remember the gold bobsleigh?) have very classy race kits,

_IX_2300Finally, here is what an Olympic Record looks like._IX_2293I  am off to the Alpine Center.

More soon.