Town centre cycle racing


Prominent Member
Howdy - I wandered over to the brown-ness of Woking town centre knowing that a professional road-race competition would brighten things up a bit.

The race series called the "Tour Series" runs at 10 city-centre locations around the UK and features teams of professional riders. The race runs for 5 laps plus 1 hour which is a bit weird but there you go.

Access for photography was easy as pie as the crowd was allowed right up to the barriers. Having a monster 300mm 2.8 lens did have some advantages though in areas that were particularly busy. I'm really missing a 70-200 at the moment. The 300 was great to get in close though, and I decided I'd shoot to fill the frame as much as possible. I also did some wide angle panned stuff in close at a hairpin - you can see those and the rest here.

As per usual, the mission is to get "the other shot" rather than a standard bicycle racing picture. With the sun low in the evening sky there were some interesting lighting possibilities available. Also I was constantly looking for a good background or interesting vantage point that other photographers hadn't spotted.

#1 utilising a shaft of sunlight between two buildings to light just one rider. Underexposing by 1 stop.

#2 Slow shutter to get streaks of colour. Had to get on top of a car park for this.

#3 Same shot but with better panning :D

#4 It's always good to get in close and blind the poor buggers. Here a slow shutter with flash gets motion but also freezes the action at the same time.

#5 Hard work

#6 Winner

Good fun photography - highly recommended if the series comes near you.



Distinguished Member
Great set :thumbsup:

I love the expression of the bloke in #3 & #5 (if it is the same person). I wonder if it's a fixed grimace he's got.


Prominent Member
Ta muchly. It always pays to be on the lookout for shafts of sunlight. It's something I learned doing rugby one winter afternoon at Harlequins. I was cursing the bright sun on one side of the pitch and the shadow on the other as it makes exposure a nightmare.

After a while I realised I could use it to my advantage as there was a shaft of light coming in from between two grandstands. It was just a matter of setting the camera up and waiting for someone to come into it.

With anything that involves lapping a circuit, it's easier as they come round to the same place every lap.

Tobers Friday recommendation therefore is to seek out interesting shafts of light and use them to your advantage.

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