Track and Field: Focused Abandonment

Being a photographer is a lot like being an athlete. Sure it takes some skill, but ultimately it comes down to a lot of training, dedication, and focus (pun intended). That goes for being physically fit as well as technically competent. Many photographers, especially those covering extreme sports such as rock climbing, have to be just as in shape as the athlete in order to keep up with the event.

Basically, photography can be a lot of hard work.

But on this day of track and field events at Geneva there was no comparison, it was the photographer who had things better off. At least I could wear a coat and gloves.

Geneva hosted the PAC track and field events on Tuesday April 15th. The day before was a beautiful 73 degree spring day, but on the 15th, Beaver Falls kicked in. One day we were having visions of summer and beaches, and the next we were having a schizophrenic weather experience, as it turned to all day snow showers and a high of 35 degrees.

You can imagine what this meant for the athletes. Take a moment and shudder on behalf of those steeplechase runners in particular who had to go through the water trap. 

Two Geneva runners commiserate together after completing the steeplechase event.

At this point in the day it was about 31 degrees.

Despite the cold, I was impressed by the ability of the athletes to push away the effects of the weather and compete at a high level.

I began with the discus and shot put throwers. I enjoyed capturing the moment of intense focus in preparation as well as the instant just before release.

This was captured with the Nikon D600 with a 14mm wide-angle view.

From there it was over to the long jumpers, who without a doubt had the absolute best expressions. 

The events finished out for me with the 400 meter baton run. It was exciting to see these runners give their all in a dead sprint the whole way.

Josh Guiser brings it home for the win.

I love capturing the tender moments of weddings, the cute moments of family shoots, and the romantic moments of engagements, but there is nothing like seeing up close the moment of intense focus just before the apex of athletic challenges.

The faces of the athletes at that moment of intense personal focus is an abandonment unlike anything else. It is a unique and exciting moment, one that is extremely satisfying to succeed in capturing.