IRONMAN 70.3 Super Frog, Imperial Beach, California. I spent the morning wishing I was racing until I saw everyone running... Pretty much the entire run is in soft sand.. In that moment I smiled knowing I made the right choice to be a spectator and take photos. A rolling start for a 2 lap swim gave me a lot of options to document the swim. I chose not to get in the water but I ran around to capture every other angle I could. After the swim I walked a couple miles onto the bike course. A 4 loop course gave me quite a few options to play around with different lens options. After the lead pack made it through 3 laps of the bike I headed back to the run course to finish the day.
Going into 2016 still recovering from injuries from 2014 and late 2015, I saw glimmers of hope after making it through races that I didn't expect to see the starting line. But that doesn't mean I avoided injury this year. Injuries have haunted Katie and I making it an interesting year. Amongst work, and travel for work, we have definitely found ourselves focusing on the rehab side of things so we can be strong next season. We took a long break of proper regimented training to focus on recovery and business. After completing our first full week of training last week we came into this week a little fatigued. A 14 hour training week of mainly endurance aerobic exercise, I forgot how good it feels to complete a week full of my favorite disciplines.
With business being crazy busy and having the workload pile up I have been spending a lot of time on the computer. The long hours going through photos, making albums, taking more photos, shooting more weddings, meeting with clients, emails, conference calls, paying bills, so on and so forth. It gets to the point where I need to change it up a little. Sometime I just need to recharge the batteries to remind myself how lucky I am that I get to do what I do for a living.
I grew up loving the art of cinematography but I have avoided it for years. I create photos for a client monthly that asked me if I could shoot some video for some ad campaigns. I took a few of the products that I had, created a couple 20 second clips and it lit a fire inside of me. I forgot about my passion for video and video editing. This was the perfect escape for me to create something different to get my creativity back where it needed to be.
When I work on photos for clients my head needs to be in the right place. I love what I do and I couldn't be any happier with my choice of profession. I have realized over the years that the best way to keep my head in the game is to switch things up when the mundane becomes too hard to obtain. I'm not one to rush things out the door just because I can throw a one click filter on photos and hope people are going to be happy. The sad thing is that one click filter is good enough for most people. The good news is I'm not most people and I enjoy taking the time looking at each image and fine tuning things to match my aesthetics.
I have been taking my FUJI XE-1 on bike rides lately and I love that I can take a small camera on the road that produces amazing results. I don't have to worry about the FUJI the same way I have to worry about the Canon or the Nikon making it fun to experiment when getting a sweat on.
With the itch to create video and put more wood in the fire, Katie and I went for a 20 minute run to create this short film of appreciation. Thanks to Saucony, Katie and I have both been pretty decked out in our favorite running gear this year. We haven't been able to run as much as we would have liked so we thought this was the perfect way to showcase a brand that we truly stand behind. Saucony, #findyourstrong
My first time shooting video with the FUJI XE-1 and I happened to be on a bicycle...
I Took the FUJI on the road to experiment with its video capabilities... I have been taking it on the road to shoot photos but after making a couple videos for a client with my DSLR's I wanted to test the FUJI. I went on a bike ride with a friend, Jason, www.roguecyclesports.com I had no idea how the camera functioned with autofocus, continuous focus, rolling shutter, so on and so forth. I played around a little bit. Riding a bike and shooting video is not for everyone.. This is not GoPro point and shoot video that requires no attention to the camera. My plan was to execute a 30 second video and to shoot enough angles to end up with this. My first attempt at FUJI video while riding a bike with Rogue Cycle Sports.
THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN MORE PHOTOS THAN WRITTEN CONTENT...
IRONMAN 70.3 St. George Road trip with a stop in Joshua Tree and off the grid recovery in ZION National Park. Katie and I hit the road Wednesday evening headed for Joshua Tree to test out our camping gear from Therm-a-Rest, Zippo, and GSI outdoors. We decided we wanted to be "half way" to St. George to minimize the driving on Thursday. In the end we probably added on a few hours of driving but it was well worth the adventure!
If you're here to read my race report and don't care to hear me talk about cameras you can skip the next paragraph... Or just skip through until you see RACE REPORT...
I received an email from B&H with rewards money from a recent camera purchase that was the sum of enough money to buy myself a new little toy. It was very affordable and a justifiable purchase right before heading off on race vacation. I have been looking at mirrorless camera systems for quite a while now. With my expensive taste in cameras it's been hard to pull the trigger to buy the system I really wanted. After doing my research, I ended up with the perfect walk around toy. The Fuji X-E1 with an 18mm f2 lens that converts to being a 35mm equivalent because if its APS-C "X-Trans" CMOS sensor, "crop sensor," stoked! There's nothing I enjoy more than being away from home with a new toy to really push the limits to see what it's capable of. I never thought I would purchase a crop sensor camera but so far, I am more than happy with my purchase.
This is what eating peanuts at 85 mph looks like...
Katie has pleaded with me for as long as I can remember to teach her how to create awesomeness with the night sky so we took 8 photos before bedtime to create this image.
-Eighth times a charm?
Sunrise with the Fuji exposed for the highlights, pulled the shadows in post. Pretty impressed with this little camera...
- WE MADE IT TO ST. GEORGE IN ONE PIECE -
When we arrived in St. George we went directly to Athlete registration and took a little lay down in the Rapid Reboot tent. It was cool to see people who have a passion for the sport bring a product to the market with a more affordable recovery boot. While they are still working out the kinks in the product before opening sales to the public, I am still a Normatec fan. Even with the more affordable price tag, I would be happy spending the extra money on a product that I trust that gives me the recovery and power that my body desires. They were good enough to put Katie to sleep but it could have been the dry hot heat that quickly dehydrated us upon our arrival. After making our rounds through IRONMAN village saying hi to friends working and racing it was time to get unpacked and settled into our condo.
After we unpacked the car and settled in the wind was picking up and the sun was setting. We quickly put together our bikes and got on the road for a short 45 minute bike ride. We took it easy and embraced the wind and heat putting our bodies in a state of auto pilot trying to get the blood flowing after a long day of driving.
After a long day and a late night Olive Garden dinner we woke up later than planned but kicked the morning off with a shake out run. I obviously had to bring my new toy out with us to snap some photos and these were my first action shots the the Fuji. I wasn't sure how they were going to turn out as most of the reviews said it didn't handle action photos well... Some people clearly don't know how to use a camera to the best of its abilities. Is it a top of the line sports camera? NO! But its fascinating what you can create with what ever tools you have access to. If an iphone is your camera, you can crush iphone photography if you learn how to use it.
With our shake out run/photoshoot out of the way we headed back to IRONMAN village to get Katie squared away with race wheels from Race Day Wheels and Velo Stop. Marc and Brian were very kind and helpful with getting Katie all squared away with a set of ZIPP carbon clinchers, 808 rear and 404 front. If you don't own a pair of race wheels, Race Day Wheels and Velo Stop are the people to contact to make sure you find faster!
Adventures in ZION were a bit of a struggle to say the least. Walking for me personally was dreadful. Both Soleus aching with every step. It felt like the old fat Topher was repeatedly jumping on both of my legs and beating me with a tire iron. It progressively got worse as the week went on. It was ten times more painful than what I was experiencing on race day during the half marathon. Most likely due to being numb from the cold temperatures. Mile one and two I was still freezing cold. I wont forget the pain I was in as I started the first hill on the run and telling myself to shut up and keep moving. I was pleased to walk through every aid station to relieve the pain to justify continuing forward on the run...
The first few days in ZION were filled with bike rides, eating unhealthy snacks, ice baths in the river, rounded out by napping by the river. What a peaceful place to just be still and not do anything at all. I always struggle after races to regroup and think clearly so this was the perfect place to find my happy place. It didn't hurt to be able to get back on my bike and take in the scenery considering I couldn't ride my bike for three weeks leading up to the race...