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Thursday, September 5, 2013

road race!

As you might imagine, I'm already missing my bike, and it looks to be at least a few months before I will be able to ride or swim (or hold my Canon 6D, for that matter). Kim's recent posts on street photography got me thinking about my own approach...and why I don't feel comfortable with my camera in public. It seems to be only when I step out and play the Photographer. It's not always this way...doing the tourist thing: no problem.

And neither was it on this day: August 28, 2011. It was the 6th and final stage of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge. A kind of mini Tour de France - right here in our own back yard! On one of our own personal favorite routes: Lookout Mountain. Neither Bob nor I are particularly crowd-lovers, so to get us out in the middle of massive crowds - and on a hot summer day is really saying something. We hopped on our bikes early that Sunday morning and pedaled westward on our normal route to neighboring Golden, where things were just warming up.

Looking at many of my photos (taken with a little Sony point-&-shoot camera) I now realize that, on that day, I was not the least bit self-conscious about photographing in public: probably because just about everyone there was doing the same thing! Bike race groupies were rubbing shoulders with tourists and professional photographers - and we were all after the same thing: some memorable shots of a memorable event. There were almost as many cameras as people.


the starting line in downtown Golden

 that's me checking out one of the support cars
that zip along the route with the cyclists

one of the racers
warming up before the start

each cyclist signed in at the grandstand,
then was interviewed and photographed

the racers - and support crews - were assembling at the start line down the street
while the crowds vied for the best spots along the route

this handsome fellow didn't mind me taking his picture
(that's Lookout Mountain in the background,
with the giant Colorado School of Mines 'M'
painted on it)

 he even agreed to pose with me
(we much prefer this photo

 here comes the peloton

in just a split second they passed us
(it was literally 'just a blur')

As soon as the peloton sped past us, Bob and I got on our bikes and raced back home - via the Coors Greenbelt trail, so that we could set up with the crowds along 32nd Avenue (just a few blocks from our house) to watch them speed by again, on their way to the finish line in downtown Denver.

We missed the race last year, with the last stage scheduled on Kelly & Aaron's wedding day. And this year...well, we were otherwise 'distracted.' It's been fun re-living this event today!


I thought I'd try taming all the chaotic color and unify everything with an old-fashioned newspaper look in these shots. Encouraged by Kim's tutorials in her Start 2 Finish class, I played with some black & white and duo-tone processing, which I did in Lightroom. I cropped each photo, then added a subtle vignette with a preset. I finished up in Photoshop, with a simple edit: one layer of kk_dollard_grunge (Multiply blend mode 40%); plus one layer of kk_oro (Soft Light blend mode 60%). I tried to create a Photoshop action out of this, but it didn't work, so I did it one photo at a time. I will try again another day.

Linking up with:


  1. Great work on the processing. I think I feel that I stick out more with my Canon Rebel when I am out and about taking pictures. I always look at people carrying big cameras so wouldn't they look at me.Something to work on and practice will help.

  2. Love these shots I find it so difficult to take street photos if I am at anevent I find it easier safety in numbers maybe..

  3. I feel the same way about taking pictures out and about....I am always concerned that when I have my big girl camera that they are going to think I know what I am doing.....

    These are great shots and I know you enjoyed revisiting this event...

  4. Lovely street shots...and the sepia tones take the cake!

  5. These are truly brilliant! I love the tones. I feel uncomfortable at the thought of photographing strangers but when I actually get around to do it I find I really it. Next year the Tour De France is starting in England - I can't wait to see it - the stage is called Le Tour de Yorkshire! Thanks for linking to my blog!

  6. I really love that last shot. They look awesome in monotone.