Thursday, October 21, 2010

Running Pictures

It is always a good feeling when you run a race (5K, 10K, Half or Full marathon). Most of the big races have people that take pictures of the runners. This is cool as it is nice to have a picture of you running the race, especially if it is your first. But many times, these pictures do not come cheap. For my first marathon, they wanted $20 for a digital copy. That is per picture. What a rip off. Although it would have been nice to have a picture of me running, I didn’t think of having a friend take a picture of me as I ran by them (and none did) and I am not about to shell out $20 for one of the official ones.

Now that I have got my first marathon under my belt and a couple of halves, I started thinking that I really don’t care all that much for pictures of me running. What I really want are pictures of what I see as I run. Many of the marathons allow you to run right down streets through the scenic parts of cities or other places. For example, the Las Vegas marathon runs right down the strip. How cool a site must that be. Or the Half marathon I am doing this weekend, the Columbia River Power marathon lets you run right across a working hydro-electric dam and an interstate bridge over the Columbia river.  Compared to those views, what is a picture of me? So the question then becomes, how do I take pictures while I run?

I asked this question on Twitter and got the same response from several people: “With a camera.” Not really the information I was looking for. I thought about some type of spy camera or one built into a hat, but I don’t run with a had and most either cost too much or are just too cheep. So that leave just carrying one. However, being this is a running race, I don’t want to have to stop to get out the camera, take the picture, and then put it away. That means I have to have the camera in hand at all times and be able to operate it with one hand, without looking (or at least without taking too much focus away from my running). I do run with my iPhone (I use the Nike+ GPS to track my runs) so I would have that with me, but if you have ever used an iPhone to take a picture, you would know that it is not one-handed friendly at all.

That brought be back to my old trusty (and cheap) Kodak Easyshare C713 camera I bought at Wal-Mart. It was one of those in the plastic on the rack and not on display with the other cameras. I have taken this camera with me all over the country.


Although it looks rather warn, it still works and takes great pictures (7 megapixel). What I think will make this camera perfect for taking pictures on the run is that 1) it fits in my hand 2) has a wrist strap so I don’t drop the camera, 3) I know it well enough that I can turn it on and take a picture without looking at that camera, and 4) is has a stabilization mode. I even practiced with it running up and down the hall taking pictures.

I get to run across that Dam on Saturday and I hope to have lots of pictures to share with you all. I will also let you know how running with the camera went.


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