How to Shoot an Event Using Street Techniques

Thursday the 25th of May the Tour Series cycling came to Aberdeen. Before my Illness I was a keen cyclist and have been to a Paris stage of the Tour de France. I was unsure what to expect from the Tour Series, but was really impressed when I got there. Firstly the weather was great, unbroken sunshine all day little wind and hot. This helped to add to the carnival atmosphere and got the locals out on the streets. The circuit was right in the city centre using Union street as the finishing line and skirting round Union Terrace gardens. This showed off some of the best Granite architecture in the city and incorporated at bit of Pave in Back Wynd. I managed to park very close to one part of the course, this wasn’t near the finish line but gave me some good vistas and bit of room to see the race and fans.


The races themselves were on all day, culminating in the Professionals in the evening. From a photographic perspective I used one camera and a single 40mm F2.8 equivalent lens. I also added a small speed light for fill and to freeze motion if required. Rather than standard sports photographic shots I looked to incorporate the light and use the strong contrast rather than fight against it. I wasn’t overly fussed about freezing motion, in fact I wanted to add Dynamism with Dutch tilt and a bit of blur in places. From my perspective the pre race offered more opportunities for images compared to the actual race itself. Keep your wits about you, chat to people and keep your camera out at all times.


If you want to see pro cycling then a circuit format lets you see more racing. The race starts in a bunch but soon spreads out. The surprising thing if you’ve never been before is the speed of the riders. The skill involved in negotiating a city circuit is another impressive thing about this format. I really enjoyed the experience and would highly recommend going to see the Tour Series if it comes to your City. If they return to Aberdeen I hope they bring the weather with them again.


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