Tour of California, Stage 7 (Pasadena)









The Tour of California bike race passed through Pasadena this afternoon. It was the third time in recent years I've tried to photograph the race and the third time I came away with photos that were just okay.



It's a tough event to shoot. The riders, often until the end, aren't exactly emoting. They kind of look like the blokes you might find around the coffee shop after their Sunday morning ride. The race is often held in the middle of the day, meaning crap light. And support vehicles often get in the way.

The best photographs, I think, come from those who scout locations and set up their photos far in advance -- incorporating as much of the local scenery or urban landscape as possible (which is kind of the point of multi-day races).

I thought the Colorado Bridge (aka the 'Suicide' Bridge) may be a good shot locally and got there in advance to set up a shot. The light got worse as time went by; I tried to make the best of it by locating myself on the south side of the bridge. Naturally, the cyclists stuck to the northern side. I think the black and white is a little more interesting than the color version.

The pope-blessing-cyclists photo is just for fun. And just to prove that you can't hold a big public event without one total nutcase showing up.

The top photo is my favorite of the day. It was taken in Old Pasadena, after the cyclists crossed the bridge. Standing just a few feet from the cyclists, I ripped off a bunch of shots as they went by. This one had the most emotion with the lead cyclist actually showing some effort. I tried straightening and cropping and went back to the original shot -- which I think best shows a bike race on city streets. 

All photos were taken with my Nikon D5100 and Nikon 35mm 1.8 lens. The pics were shot in RAW and processed in Lightroom 5. As per usual, I try for some different looks to see what is best for a particular photo. 

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--S.H.

The photos above are ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 


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