March 4th 2015
Had a great time shooting the Desert Classic Duathlon in Arizona on the 1st. I was really looking forward to covering this race, and riding the trails at McDowell Park. Unfortunately we were experiencing a real snow storm in Albuquerque on the Friday before the race, which crapped on my plans for leaving early and spending Saturday riding my mountain bike at McDowell. I did get a little trail time Saturday night, which was just enough to convince me that I need to go back and ride McDowell soon.
I was hired by Chasing 3 Race Productions to cover this race, and as usual their team did an excellent job coordinating the race. As a racer I used to take for granted the effort required to setup a race, but now that I have seen it first hand many times, I often wonder how race fee's are not hundreds of dollars, especially at smaller races. I know volunteers are a factor, but it really comes down to a devoted team that works tirelessly preparing. Big thank you to Angie Kandalaft and her team at Chasing 3 Race Productions.
A couple weeks before the race, I finally broke down and ordered the camera backpack I have been wanting from F-Stop Gear. I have been researching F-stop bags for a while, and have been through many bags that fit my needs poorly. I will be posting a detailed review soon, but I will say that the bag has already exceeded my expectations. There was a mistake with my order, but the customer care at F-stop is top notch and the mistake resulted in me getting the bag that was better for me anyway. I had originally ordered the Tilopa backcountry bag and an XL ICU in the bright Malibu Blue. However, I received the latest version of the Satori in black, which is a larger bag. At first I was disappointed, but after filling the ICU and loading the pack, I realized I needed the larger pack to fit everything. I still wanted the bright blue version and Steve at F-Stop allowed me to use the black pack until my blue Satori arrived, which is great customer service in my opinion.
Any day on my mountain bike with camera in hand, is a good day. Behind me you can see the setup I was using for many of the trail running shots. Single Nikon SB600 triggered by Pixel King Pro and mounted on a Manfrotto 1051BAC stand. I love those stands because they are really lightweight and pack small. I have ben asked a couple questions regarding the strobes I use. The reason I use SB600's, is they are very powerful for their size and still give me the TTL option, which comes in handy when subject distance is variable. That being said, I am getting ready to upgrade all of my strobes with some reviews to come. This was also my first race using the F-stop Satori, seen leaning against my bike tire and open in my truck bed. In short, it was fantastic!
F-Stop Satori in murdered out black. I honestly love the all black bag, but I have a practical reason for wanting the bright malibu blue version. When I am contracted to shoot races with road biking sections, they are sometimes on open roads to traffic. I always make a point of being aware of my surroundings and traffic. However, I am often on one side of a road shooting riders on both sides moving opposite directions, all while traffic can be passing by. This scenario can make being aware of traffic difficult. The bright malibu blue makes me really stand out to riders and drivers and will hopefully help keep me safe while I do my work.