Wednesday, November 27, 2013

At the Milton 5K Gobbler for Best Buddies in Milton, MA (November 23, 2013)

I took this photo as I was running.  These runners were just behind me.

I love how every runner is different.
Some show power.  Others...a kind of weightlessness!

(I took many photos as I ran.  I have a whole series of the woman
in bib #4359--the one who is "floating."  And in every one
of those photos, both of her feet are off the ground!  Amazing.)


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

 Milton, MA (November 23, 2013)

In any race, a lot of runners are serious and focused.
   Some look like they're in pain.

But a lucky few are just relaxed and happy--
SMILING as they run down the street!  

(Like these two runners at the 
Milton 5K Gobbler for Best Buddies.)

I took this photo in the first minute of the race.
These happy runners were just behind me.

(Yes, I was running at the time.  
Didn't stop or slow my pace.  After all--I was in a race!)


Friday, November 22, 2013

Lexington, MA (November 22, 2013)

My feet have always been large. (Size 13)

 But years of barefoot running has made them much larger.
Now most size 14's are too small.

So a lot of my shoes look like these moccasins!

At Piggys 5K in Waltham, MA (November 16, 2013)

I love this image.  This runner is racing her shadow.
Who will win?

She was just behind me for most of the second mile of the race.
I took this photo as I was running.



Thursday, November 21, 2013

At the Piggys 5K in Waltham, MA (November 16, 2013)

A special moment!
These two friends high-five--without breaking stride!

I took this photo about a mile into the race.
These runners were just behind me.

(Yes, I was running as I took the photo.
Didn't stop or slow my pace.  After all--I was in a race!)

 I was running as fast as I could.
But these guys were just having a good time!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

At the Piggys 5K in Waltham, MA (November 16, 2013)

I took this photo as we ran up the first hill on the course.
It's not very steep, but it forced all of us to change stride and dig.

This runner was just behind me when I took the photo.
(Yes, I was running.  Didn't stop or slow my pace.  After all--I was in a race!)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

At Piggys 5K in Waltham, MA (November 16, 2013)

Look at him go!

He's wearing Vibram FiveFingers minimalist shoes
(often called "toe shoes" or the oxymoronic "barefoot shoes".)

He was just behind me when I took this photo.
(I was running, too.  Didn't stop or slow my pace.  After all, I was in a race!)

Monday, November 18, 2013

At the Piggys 5K in Waltham, MA (November 16, 2013)

These runners were just behind me when the race director told us to Run!

I took this photo as I launched into my race pace.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

At the Piggys 5K in Waltham, MA (November 16, 2013)

Self-portrait

A camera I'd set up near the finish line, 
captured this photo as I ran the final 100 yards.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

At the Boston Barefoot Running Festival 5K in Boston, MA (September 14, 2013)

Yes, his name is Miles.
(I guess his parents knew he'd grow up to be a runner!)

Miles was just behind me when I took this photo.
I was running, too, in a terrific 5K for barefoot runners.

I'd stayed ahead of him for 3 miles, but a moment after I took
this photo, he sprinted past me like I was standing still!

Friday, November 15, 2013

At the Lisas Lung Cancer Awareness 5K in Lowell, MA (November 10, 2013)

How does she do it?  Her feet never touch the ground!

At Lisas Lung Cancer Awareness 5K in Lowell, MA (November 10, 2013)

This runner pushed me hard for much of the race.

(I took this photo as we were running.)

I love her focus.  Her concentration!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

At Lisas Lung Cancer Awareness 5K in Lowell, MA (November 10, 2013)

Here in the Boston area, each of us knows we could have been
 at the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the bombs went off in April.

For many of us it feels like yesterday.  You might remember:

In the days following that dark event, runners did not cower.

We ran.

In groups to support each other,
and alone because we can.

We are Boston Strong.

I took this photo very early in Lisa's Lung Cancer Awareness 5K.
These runners were just behind me.

(Yes, I was running as I snapped the photo.
Did not stop or slow my pace.  After all--I was in a race!)

What do you see in this photo?

I'll tell you what I see:

We run.

Seven months after those cowards' bombs went off.

We run.

They can't stop us.

We run to defy terrorists.

We run to defeat cancer.

We are Boston Strong.




Wednesday, November 13, 2013

At the Monster Dash 5K in Marshfield, MA (October 27, 2013)


Many of you have asked how I take race photos that "look just right."
I have replied that it's a rare photo that looks just right when I snap it.

I put a lot of work into each photo, before you ever see it.
There are four major steps:

1)  The most important step is winnowing down the hundreds or thousands of
raw photos to select a few that really capture a moment worth sharing.

2)  Then I crop the photo, to make the element(s) of interest stand out.

3)  If necessary, I remove any distractions.

4)  Finally I adjust the contrast, highlights, shadows, and color balance.

Of course, those are just words!
So here are a few pictures, to help you visualize the process.

Take a look at the photo at the top of this post.
It's not the photo I snapped with my camera!

Here's how that photo came to be:

As I stood with other runners at the start line of the Monster Dash 5K
in Marshfield, MA, I snapped many photos of the race starter.

(If I had an SLR, and could ask the race starter to wait a minute or two,
I could have zoomed in and gotten a really great photo of her.

But of course she wouldn't delay the race for me!  So I just took a quick series of
photos with my point-and-shoot, while I readied my legs and lungs to run.)

After the race, I reviewed my photos of the race starter, 
and decided that this one was the best:




So that was step 1: Selecting a candidate photo.

But the photo above is not ready for publication.  
It has nothing to draw your eye.  No subject worthy of interest.

(Unless you want a photo of power lines.  Those draw the eye quite nicely here!)

So I cropped it.  That gave me this image:



That was step 2: Cropping the photo.

It gave me an image where the subject is prominent, and draws you into the image.

But it's still not ready for publication!

Your eye is not drawn solely to the starter, and to her megaphone.
There are distractions!  
A pile of granite blocks.  A woman sitting on those blocks.  A discarded ladder.

So I removed those distractions, using a photo editor.
Then I adjusted the contrast, highlights, shadows, and color balance.

That gave me this image:



No more distractions!
The contrast is sharper.  The earth is darker.

You eye is drawn to that megaphone,
and it's quite clear that this woman is speaking directly to YOU.

Just to be clear: I am not saying that this is a great picture.

Merely that it captures a moment, and does so without distraction--
due to the steps I took after I snapped the original image.

I do this with every photo I publish.
Hope you enjoy them!

At the Lisas Lung Cancer Awareness 5K in Lowell, MA (November 10, 2013)

I took this picture during the first minute of the race.  
This runner was coming up alongside me.

(Yes, I was running as I took the photo. 
 Didn't stop or slow my pace. After all--I was in a race!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

At Lisa's Lung Cancer Awareness 5K in Lowell, MA (November 10, 2013)

Here we come!

These runners were just behind me when I took this photo, 
in the first minute of the race.

(Yes, I was running.  Didn't stop or slow my pace.  After all, I was in a race!)

Monday, November 11, 2013

At the Lisas Lung Cancer Awareness 5K in Lowell, MA (November 10, 2013)

This runner is sprinting the final yard to the finish line.

That pole in the foreground is supporting the finish line clock--
as you can see in this photo:


The race is more than 5,000 yards from start to finish.
But it's always that final yard that seems most important!




Sunday, November 10, 2013

At the Mystic Marauders Triathlon in Winchester, MA (October 5, 2013)

Is there anything more dramatic than the open water swim in a triathlon?

I took this photo as I was swimming.  These two swimmers were next to me.
(Yes, I was swimming.  Did not stop or slow my stroke.  After all--I was in a race!)

The Mystic Marauders is an group of triathletes who swim, bike and run together.
The Mystic Marauders Triathlon is the group's informal end-of-season race.



Saturday, November 9, 2013

At the Genesis Battlegreen Run in Lexington, MA (November 3, 2013)

This is a rare sight!

As these two runners sprint to the finish line...
all FOUR of their feet are well off the ground!

Friday, November 8, 2013

At the Genesis Battlegreen Run in Lexington, MA (November 3, 2013)

How does she do it?  I'm running right next to her as I take this photo--
and my feet keep hitting the ground!

At the Genesis Battlegreen Run in Lexington, MA (November 3, 2013)

When I was a kid, I loved comic books.  Now--decades later--
when I run a race, I feel that I'm surrounded by super-heroes!

This runner was just behind me when I took this photo.  We were both running.
(No, I didn't stop or slow my pace.  After all, I was in a race!)


Thursday, November 7, 2013

At the Genesis Battlegreen Run in Lexington, MA (November 3, 2013)

The Tuesday Night Turtles is a running club in Rhode Island.
They are all fast!


This runner was just behind me when I took this photo.
A moment later, of course, he was ahead of me--and then gone!

At the Genesis Battlegreen Run in Lexington, MA (November 3, 2013)

On April 19, 1775, Minutemen from Lexington, MA engaged in the first
forcible resistance to the British crown, in the Battle of Lexington.

Their courageous act is remembered today as "The shot heard 'round the world."

So it is only appropriate that this runner wear patriotic garb in his run through Lexington!

He was just behind me when I took this photo.  I was running, too.
(No, I didn't stop or slow my pace.  After all, I was in a race!)


Cold rain.  Black skies.  Now! 

But earlier this morning the sky was blue...
and gusty winds blew me along like a weightless leaf!

Glad I ran then!
At the Genesis Battlegreen Run in Lexington, MA (November 3, 2013)

This amazing runner maintained a 6:30 pace at the 10K race--
while pushing that stroller!

He was just behind me when I took this photo.  (A moment later he was far ahead. :)

Despite that stroller, he finished 10th out of more than 200 runners!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

At the Genesis Battlegreen Run in Lexington, MA (November 3, 2013)

Photos don't lie.  Here we present photographic proof that Errol Flynn--
film star of 1930's swashbucklers Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk, and Captain Blood--
is now winning races and setting course records as a runner
from the Greater Lowell Road Runners (GLRR).

On the left you see Errol Flynn.  On the right you see GLRR runner Bashkim Zaganjori.

Mere resemblance?  Clearly not.  Photos don't lie.

Erroll Flynn has come back--and he's running at a 5K near YOU!

At the Genesis Battlegreen Run in Lexington, MA (November 3, 2013)

This is his first 5K!  As you can see, he's having a terrific time.

I took this photo as I was running.  This runner was just behind me.
(I didn't stop or slow my pace.  After all, I was in a race!)
  
Moments later he passed me and I didn't see him again until after the race.

He came up to me as I was enjoying the terrific post-race food.
"Don't you usually run barefoot?" he asked.

I told him yes, but with temps below 40 and with some snow just an hour earlier,
I decided to run this race in shoes.

He recognized me because he'd seen me run another 5K barefoot,
more than a year ago, and he'd asked me a lot of questions about it.
He said it inspired him to start running himself.

He sure knows how to enjoy a race!



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

At the Genesis Battlegreen Run in Lexington, MA (November 3, 2013)

I took this photo about a minute into the race.  I was running the 5K.  
5K runners were told to stay to the right of the yellow lines.  10K runners started 
a couple of hundred yards behind us.  They ran to the left of the yellow lines.

In this photo, I captured an image of one of the lead 10K runners, 
overtaking me (and other 5K runners) as he FLEW along!

(I did not stop to take this photo.  I was running as fast as I could.  After all, I was in a race!)

At the Genesis Battlegreen Run in Lexington, MA (November 3, 2013)

I took this photo less than a minute into the race.  These runners were just behind me.
(Yes, I was running as I took this photo.  Didn't stop or slow my pace.  After all, I was in a race!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

At the Genesis Battlegreen Run in Lexington, MA (November 3, 2013)

Most races start with a horn or perhaps a starter's pistol.  But the Genesis Battlegreen Run
in historic Lexington, MA starts with a MUSKET--fired by a Minuteman in full period garb!

This photo was taken just minutes before that blast.

These three runners (all members of GLRR--the Greater Lowell Road Runners club)
will each win individual awards at the race.  

Bashkim Zaganjori (on the left) will win the race overall,
setting a course record and a PR (Personal Record).

Together, these three will win a team award as well. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

At the Monster Dash 5K in Marshfield, MA (October 27, 2013)

I love a happy runner!

This woman was all smiles as she romped to the finish line.

(I had just run the race myself.  When I crossed the finish line,
 I walked a few yards back to the final turn. That's where I took this photo.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

At the Monster Dash 5K in Marshfield, MA (October 27, 2013)

Running is not a solitary activity.  Even when we run alone...
we are touching the contours of the earth, dancing with the sea and the sky.

I took this photo as I was running.  I was catching up to this runner.

A minute or two later I passed him--but of course that was not to last.  
He soon passed ME...and then disappeared in the distance!


At the Guild School Trick or Treat 5K in Waltham, MA (October 26, 2013)

Some runners are all fury...power...and raging energy.
And some just float serenely over the hard paved earth.


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