Howard Tanner Photography | Tour for Kids

Tour for Kids

August 11, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Well it's high time I got around to writing some more blog posts. Yes I've been bad recently and frankly have been so busy that blogging was always the next thing on the 'to do' list but it never seemed to get to the top.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting the Alberta version of Tour for Kids. The tour is a three-day cycling adventure through the Alberta Rockies covering some of the most picturesque scenes anywhere in the country. Of course the purpose of Tour for Kids is to raise funds to support the work of the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta. This is a great charity not only for their great work, but also with the riders and sponsors covering the cost of the event all the money raised goes to support the foundation.

Being a three-day shoot has several challenges. The first was the long days. The first two days averaging 18 hours the last day was a mere 12 hours. This shoot was part sports photography and part photojournalism. The goal being to tell the story is a compelling and meaningful way.

The first day started off on an ominous note with seriously heavy rain all night and the three-day forecast did not look good calling for rain, rain, and more rain. It was not going to be an easy three days. Mercifully the rain stopped long enough for the group of volunteers and riders to get organized and loaded up for the trip to the rides starting point in Banff National Park.

Shooting cycling is fun and at times can be challenging. The first day was no exception as the thick clouds blocked a great deal of sunlight and obscured visibility. The only good point with it being overcast was that the light, although poor for shooting action did produce a nice soft lit look.

Cloudy skiesThe day was very heavily overcast making it challenging to capture motion. I used a small hill to slow the action down which making it possible to get the shot.

With the weather not cooperating, normally the views are spectacular along this road, I decided to shoot up close and personal.  The wonderful thing about shooting cycling is that you don't always have to show the whole rider and bike. As long as you include enough key elements your viewers will know that it is a person on a bicycle.

Of course an event list this is far more than just a bunch of people cycling, there is a hoard of volunteers that make everything possible. The volunteers are the first ones up in the morning and the last ones to stop at night. They truly are the heart that keeps the event beating.

Fun with volunteers. Since being a volunteer often involves long hours is always fun to spend some time and see if they have a fun and crazy side. To help make the event fun the coordinators set themes each day for the volunteers. Day one was tight and bright, day two Christmas in July and finally mustache bash. By day three the volunteers were still in high spirits and needless to say were having a ton of fun.
The theme for the day was moustaches. Yes this one is on upside down.

Did I mention rain. On day one just as dinner was being served (outside) the rain started and it poured down in a relentless stream which lasted all night and through most of the morning of day two. Tome to break out the rain cover. It is impossible to have a rain cover keeps all the rain off of your camera. The best that one can hope is keeping the camera and lens from getting soaked. Now in the world of digital cameras there is a lot at stake. You can have any number of failures, anything from memory cards to condensation on the sensor and shutter release malfunctioning and permanent equipment damage. Today's modern digital cameras are pretty good but as we know from observing nature, water always wins. My trusty cleaning kit saw a fair bit of use drone the weekend cleaning spotted lens' and wet camera bodies. Thankfully I did not need to pull out my back up gear.

The rain did produce one of my favourite images from the weekend. You can visibly see the rain streaking across the image.


What is that...the sun? At the end of day two and after yet another rain storm the sun finally made an appearance. This meant it was go time to capture some background images of Camp Kindle. For those not familiar Camp Kindle is a world class camp that is operated by Kids Cancer Care and allows the kids with cancer as well as their families to have a camp experience. Not being sure what what weather the morning bring I rapidly ran around the camp to get as many different views as possible while the evening sun was shining. To my surprise and delight the sun made another appearance the following morning. This was incredibly lucky as sone areas of the camp favored the evening light and others the morning light.


The finishers medal.

I arrived back home very tired and with a hard drive full of images. All in all it was a great three days. 






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