UCI Pro Cycling race with 2 E-M1s and Oly 12-40 & 40-150 PRO

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RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 27,393
UCI Pro Cycling race with 2 E-M1s and Oly 12-40 & 40-150 PRO

My hometown Schoten hosts one of the oldest cycling races on the professional cycling calendar.

Traditionally on the Wednesday between the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, the Scheldeprijs (Grand Prix de l'Escaut) takes the racers from the borders of the river Schelde through the Campine region and then onto three local rounds in my town, with a finish near the main square, and my home, usually with a mass sprint.

(It has been called the unofficial world championship for sprinters.)

More general info (history etc) here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheldeprijs

Videoreport on national TV of 2021 edition : Scheldeprijs op Sporza

Last Wednesday the weather was not as bad as predicted and I had a slow day at the office, so I decided to catch the final local rounds and give my cameras a workout.

(This year, there was also the first ever edition for women racers, but I was too late to catch that. There arrived quite a long time before the men.)

I first positioned myself close to the Albert Canal but that was a bit boring. The riders pass that spot hard and fast and usually in a tight pack. The road is fairly broad so getting a head-on view is not easy.

So I moved to a spot near the end of a stretch of cobblestones (fairly smooth, not the kind of carefully cultivated hell that they maintain around Roubaix).

I did not manage to get back to the finish but frankly that is much less interesting to watch and photograph than this cobblestone stretch. (Near the finish, the officially accredited press has all the best spots and COVID-measures making getting close just impossible.)

I used two E-M1 cameras (both oldest models Mk1), with Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 PRO mounted on one camera and Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 PRO on the other.

This allowed me to first catch and compress the approaching riders in the mid-distance with telephoto and then switch to the wider lens for catching them really close. (In fact, SO close that my lens sometimes got water splashes onto it when they rode through a puddle behind which I had strategically positioned myself for reflections. I did make sure to stay safe though, both for myself and the riders.)

I shot with Manual pre-focus, slow burst and also manual exposure settings (a combination of sufficient shutter speed for passing cyclists, as high an aperture as possible and ISO at 2000 to make that combination possible).

Here is a full gallery for your viewing pleasure : Scheldeprijs 2021 by Roel Hendrickx

It consists of three versions of largely the same batch of 40 images, in three colour treatments (vintage desaturation, classic contrasty B&W and punchy natural colour).

A few samples from the different kinds of colour toning/treatment.

Enlarge for better view.

Telephoto / vintage look

Telephoto / B&W (the only image from alongside the canal that I kept)

Telephoto / natural look (drastic crop from an image with many distractions around the riders)

Wide lens / vintage look (note the watersplashes from the rider preceding the one in the frame)

Wide angle / B&W

Wide angle / natural look

Thank you for taking a look.  Hope you enjoyed it.

All comments and C&C are welcome.

If there are any questions, I will do my best to answer them.

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Roel Hendrickx
lots of images: http://www.roelh.zenfolio.com

Olympus E-M1
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