Posts Tagged 'la vuelta'
I think every year I have photographed La Vuelta Puerto Rico it has rained at the start of the event.
Usually it’s a light rain and maybe last five to ten minutes. Not this year. Tropical downpour from the start!
This is when you find out that “all weather” light jacket you purchased is not really rain proof and how much water can your gear take.
Turns out cameras will absorb a lot of water, perhaps have a few quirks with rain and humidity, yet keep on shooting.
Good thing along the way the rest stops had automatic hot air dryers in the bathrooms.
Enjoy. – Chris
This is the second year I had the opportunity to photograph La Vuelta cycling peloton in Puerto Rico. Probably one of the most physical shoots I’ve ever experienced. I’m riding on the back of a motorcycle for 3 days covering 375 miles while photographing cyclists just a few feet away that can exceed 35 miles per hour.
The event tests your photography skills for sure, knowing your craft is a must. The day starts in darkness and will turn into extreme bright sun within just a couple hours. Each day consists of : Get on the bike, photograph the cyclists as your motorcycle whizzes by, get ahead of the riders and scout a location to shoot, get off the bike quickly, get in position, check your gear, check the light, shoot the cyclists, run back to bike, get back on bike, adjust gear, go go go! Great team we had again this year Chris Pike, Kip Pierson and myself. Thanks to Kip and the La Vuelta team for bringing me back.
Enjoy. – Chris
Back in January, Justin from Leica Camera generously loaned me a Leica M9-P to photograph the La Vuelta in Puerto Rico which is a 375 mile cycling endurance event from San Juan, PR and back to San Juan. This was my first time ever photographing La Vuelta and I thank fellow photographer and friend Kip Pierson for allowing me come down and assist with the photography.
Ok so first the M9-P. Wow! Ok yes it’s basically a glorified M9(no red dot, sapphire LCD cover) but there’s something to the chrome M9-P, I’m instantly reminded of my M3. Matter of fact I felt like I was using my M3 except I could see images on the back of the camera of course. The chrome is just simply beautiful and the old style Leica logo script on the top plate is nearly identical to the older M cameras(M1,M2,M3,M4). Now I’m a huge fan of the older M’s so I instantly fell in love. The 18mp files are like butter. Most of my images were with an iso range of 640-1250 so I could freeze the subjects. I could go into Leicaphile geek technical details but maybe I’ll save that for another post.
So on to La Vuelta…
Probably the most physical event I’ve ever photographed. 3 days of photographing from the back of a motorcycle. I dare anyone to say wedding photography is hard after trying this! But in many ways it it similar to wedding photography, the event has that organized chaos feel. You have to be on your toes at all times, these cyclists are moving at speeds of 25-35mph and staying focused(bad pun) is a must. Low light mornings, bright and hot sun to afternoon down pours add to the experience. “Finding the light” is the challenge.
The following images are from the M9-P. I found ability to get close to the cyclists with the M9-P while holding on to the back of the motorcycle much easier than always using a heavy dSLR. With my 21mm I was able to stay within a few feet of the riders while still capturing the Puerto Rican surroundings around them. I wanted not to just photograph the cyclists but show the small towns, the insane traffic (yes the streets were not closed), the beaches and ocean, what the riders were going through during the 375 mile event. I could set my focus on the lens to 4ft, keep an aperture of f/4 to f/8 and know I had a good focus range because many times it was just not possible to look through the VF while speeding by on a motorcycle.
By the way I really hated sending the camera back but thanks again to Justin and Leica for allowing me to use the M9-P.