Here is some info from Eric Palmer on what can be expected at the 15 February outing to shoot mountain bikers in Paarl. We will show a preview of the types of images that can be shot at the meeting on 11 February.
Ok, so we will meet right up at the gate to the Taal Monument. The “Playground” is quite a large area just below the monument & it can be a great feature in the BG of your shots. You don’t have to walk far to get to some really good opportunities, but the terrain is quite slippery gravel so advise to take hiking boots or comfortable shoes with good grip.
As far as camera equipment goes, just about all lenses from seriously wide & fisheye to about a 200/300mm. Doubt you would need anything much longer than that, but can give it a go if you feel strong enough to carry it. Flashes for close wide shots if you have one, not a necessity. Bring a few cards as you often shoot quite a lot more with the action than you would anywhere else. Make sure batteries etc are charged & cards formatted.
Being in Paarl it will most probably be pretty warm, so bring a hat, sunscreen & lots of water!!! Up at the playground there is very little shade & no shops, so bring all your nibblies & drinks with you. I would like to meet there between 8 & half past because of the heat & shoot up at the top until about 10am or so & if people are still keen to shoot & the riders aren’t dead by then we can move further down under the trees where it is more downhill racing trails rather than big jumps & drops, but is still a lot of good photo opportunities.
Think that’s about it on the what to bring side & would just like to give a little warning as I don’t want any accidents. BE AWARE!!! These guys fly over things & down tiny paths & don’t want anyone in a collision. I will warn everyone when we are there, but in action photography (just like any other form of photography) you need to observe for a while before you start to shoot. Watch where the guys go & what lines they take so we can stay well out of their way & see where the main action is happening. I’m pretty sure the guys wont mind doing a few portraits too, the gear can look quite impressive & will be a nice change if the action gets too much for you.
Great, looking forward to it! Should be a good fun morning & the riders are keen too! Should have at least 20 guys there if not more.