Criterium Pit Stop

By: Gustav Hoiland

Jul 11 2010

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Category: Uncategorized

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Focal Length:52mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80

Ahhh, bicycles. Road racing bikes to be more specific. Road bikes and their collegiate riders, all packed together in an exhausted whirlwind of struggle that lasts for a half an hour and eventually spits out a champion. Sometimes one of them gets frisky and before you know it there’s all manner of screaming, gnashing, breaking and other unpleasantries in the air. If wheels get broken or flatted the determined rider will hobble over to his team’s spare set, throw’em on, and jump right back in.

I like this shot. It’s not my favorite, but it demonstrates the power of getting low. It’s usually uncomfortable, a bit restrictive on movement, and above all tends to look really silly. How many minutes can I lay on my back or stomach in the wheel pit, waiting for the approaching hum of a hundred riders on rubber? I don’t know if I should be self conscious or if it should be embarrassing or what, but  passersby always give me really strange looks. Thankfully they’ll forget about it in a minute (and certainly months later when I dig up the image), and I too will forget the petty infractions on my comfort.

I like the different sections of color throughout. On top we have this thick olive hue that’s textured almost like sandpaper. Below that is a mash of blues, reds, flesh, white, and so forth, again in busy/high detail presentation. Finally there’s this blurry gray that never really reaches pure black below all else (or rather in the bottom 2/3 of the frame). There’re snippets of red and yellow to be sure, but they’re just accents.

Last thing that’s working for me is the angle of the wheels relative to the direction of the riders. Had the wheels all been tilted to the left I don’t think this’d work nearly as well. If they were tilted up it’d draw our eye into the riders more perhaps. But here it’s kind of pulling our eye off the riders and out of the frame to the right, which is where the racers are all headed.

Ahhhh, bike racing.

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