More Dragon Boat racing

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For the forth year the Bradford Dragon boat festival was held on the river Aire at Roberts Park Saltair. It is the only three day festival for Dragon boat racing in the country.  I have covered it of the last few years.  as it is a good opportunity to get some different type of sports action images. It can give you some good colourful images too.

Over the  last few events I have taken a number of approaches to photographing the Dragon boat racing. If you want the standard freeze the action shot then a high shutter speed does the job.  However for me the approach I really perfer is using a show shutter speed together with a panning action to get the background blurred.

I usually start with my shutter speed set at around 1/30 sec ( but it can vary downwards to get the really blurred colourful shapes). I also add an on- camera flash unit, with the output dialled down. (-1 is a good starting point ). But  check the images to make sure that you can’t tell that there is a flash being used. This helps to freeze the water droplets spray that you get from the paddlers paddles as they work to propel the boat forward.

Show here a few of the images from this years event:

sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed in this one the boats are all very close in the reave and there is lots of effort going into the paddling by all the crews
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-13 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed all the paddlers in the shot have they paddles synch and all pulling the water together
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-14 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect with a flash firing to captured the water spray droplets
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-14 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed an on camera flash fired and froze the water droplets as all the crew reach forward to pull the paddle back towards them
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-14 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed in this image on the paddlers has spotted the camera and is looking at it a smiling as they power past
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-16 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed and in this image a feeling of really speed as all the paddles have the paddle at the top of the stroke and they arms are all up in the air
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-18 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to help capture the feel of movement and speed in the image a male crew are all at the same point in the stroke with all their hands at the same point along the side of the boat
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-16 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed and a on camera flash was used to spot the water splashes as they paddle hard
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-10 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed anone camera flash has captured all the water splash making it slightly more abstract type sports image
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-10 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed the on camera flash has frozen the water splash from the effort the paddlers are puttting in to power the boat foreard
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-10 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed which really comes out in the shot
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-14 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed the colours the team in the front boat of this image are blue and red and stand out, as they paddle hard past me
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 1/30 sec @ f-11 / ISO 100
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect and feel of speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Dragon boat racing

A chance to shoot some Dragon boat racing on the river Aire in Saltaire was too good to miss.

The event held at Roberts Park a World Heritage Site where the River Aire runs along the side of the park and gives a great vantage point to watch and photograph the close Dragon boat racing.

The Dragon boat racing event was billed as a team building event and the idea was that each team member would do there best to raise £50 for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal 2017 Charity: YoungMinds 

As well as the boat racing there was a large number of landside attractions from stalls, food, bars and entertainment to live music and just so much more in a stunning spectacular, picturesque venue. It gave some good photographic opportunites:

So here are a few images from this years Dragon Boat racing event.

sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, image captures the dragon boats head
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Having taken a few classic Dragon boat racing shots, I decided that the colours in the scene might provide something different and colourful absrtact images.

I set a challenge and started to use a slow shutter speed and then added on camera flash set to second curtain sync.

Playing with different slow shutter speeds gave a set of interesting and sometimes abstract images which I really liked.

As you can see below:

sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used with panning of the camera to give an abstract effect and feel of speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect and feel of speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an feel of the speed the boat is traveling
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
dragon boat racing abstract
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

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