A Photo In The Life Of

A Photo In the Life Of is a weekly photo blog written by Larry Lewis. Topics include photo opportunities, past and present, product reviews and other topics of interest to photographers and photo lovers.

The Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 18, 2015

The only thing I like better than racing in The Marathon is photographing The Marathon.

We novice and enthusiast photographers get very few opportunities to photograph professional sport. Many venues don't even allow cameras to be brought in. That is why The Marathon is so special. Not only do we have excellent lighting and thousands of vantage points along the route, but we get unparalleled access to top international and local athletes. We can position in the front row with professional photographers and with the favorable light we don't need professional lenses to capture high quality images.

There are countless subjects to shoot and stories to tell at the race. Whether you are shooting the jubilation at the finish, the anguish at a difficult point of the race or the organized chaos of the water stations, there is enough drama to keep you going back many times. You can even spend the day shooting the crowds of fans without taking a single image of the race itself and go home with a wealth of interesting, unique images.

As a runner I tend to shoot the positive. I prefer the images of strength and perseverance. I like the colourful apparel that convey the competitor's personality. My bias probably stems from the fact that I've experienced the highs and lows of racing and want all the competitors to succeed. I have seen many pictures of the anguish and weakness (and have seen images of myself in this state) and see the beauty in these as well but it does hit a little close to home.      

The images that I'm featuring today were shot on a beautiful, cool fall morning. My photography on this occasion was secondary to my duties as a marshal. Because of this I wasn't able to move around the course or shoot when the course was busy. Regardless I'm happy with the images. Next time I'll spend a little more time and take a little more care.

The Canadians

Top Canadian Man, Eric Gillis

Top Canadian Man, Eric Gillis

Second fastest Canadian Man, Kip Kangogo

Third fastest Canadian Man, John Mason

Top Canadian Woman, Lanni Marchant

Second fastest Canadian Woman, Leslie Sexton

Third fastest Canadian Woman, Natasha Labeaud

The Winners

Below are images of the lead groups in the men and women's events. They are fast!

All images were shot 'from the hip' with my Canon 5D Mark II with Sigma 70mm f2.8 lens. I set up my camera predominantly with a high ISO setting and kept the aperture at f5.6. I chose these settings because I didn't have time to continually adjust my camera due to marshaling duties and these settings would give me the shutter speed to capture relatively sharp images. Additionally with a prime lens I wasn't tempted to play with the focal length.   

I highly recommend getting out and shooting a local race. You will see some highly trained athletes and maybe a few neighbors while supporting local amateur sport. 


A Photo In The Life Of is a weekly PHOTO blog on LARRYLEWISPHOTO.COM.   It is an evolution of my original blog A Photo in the life of  that began in 2006.  I hope to give a little context to my photography and maybe make a few new photography friends. To purchase a print visit Shop. If the image is not listed Contact Me for availability.

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