September 2015


Wow. Wow. Just wow.

It’s gonna be hard to live a normal life after spending the last week chasing world class athletes around Richmond, and seeing my beloved city look so beautiful on a world stage. I watched the last lap of the Elite Women’s Road Race from Libby Hill and as Elizabeth Armistead crossed the line in a nail biter on the big screen, I was emotionally shook and tears filled my eyes. Almost immediately, the feed cut to a shot of downtown Richmond from the helicopter, with the lush and rocky James meandering along its shores, and my heart swelled further.

Thank you to all those that were responsible for bringing this tremendous event here, and to all those that played any role, no matter how small, in making it so successful. UCI, Richmond 2015, Mayor Jones and the City of Richmond, all the generous sponsors, all the cheerful and omni-present police officers, emergency personnel, and all the volunteers and course marshalls. And thank you the fantastic athletes for training so hard and bringing your efforts to Richmond, and thank you to all the visitors from other states and countries who took a chance on coming to Virginia and woke up our sleepy town for a week.

I have had a wonderful time photographing this event and, hopefully, I will find some opportunities to share some of these images. By the Men’s Elite Road Race on the last day I felt I had some pretty special images “in the can,” as we say, so I played it a little less safe with my photography, keeping my Canon 90mm tilt-shift lens on for much of the day. It is one of my favorite lenses, but for this type of thing in particular, it really amps up the “hit/miss” factor. Fortunately, there were some pretty good hits yesterday.

Enjoy, and if you don’t mind sharing the link to this blog, I would appreciate it!

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman Photography. No reproduction without prior written consent is authorized. See http://www.saxmanphoto.com for more details and more photos.

Whew. What a day! We had a pretty good rain last night, which made the road course slick for the Junior Men’s and Elite Women’s today. What phenomenal racing, though. The finish for the Women’s race was so exciting that when Great Britain’s Elizabeth Armistead crossed the line, it was all I could do to choke back the tears. To think that a race of over 80 miles, spanning about 4 hours came down to a difference of a wheel length is incredible. These athletes are amazing!

Less amazing is me and my editing abilities. After chasing these cats around for 5 days, I am wiped out and have decided I can no longer edit my own work. So, here for your enjoyment, is probably more images than I should include.

Enjoy!

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman Photography. No reproduction without prior written consent is authorized. See http://www.saxmanphoto.com for more details and more photos.

The eagerly anticipated Road Course races began today, with the Women’s Junior group starting off, followed by the Men’s Under 23. The racers did not disappoint, crushing the cobbles and flying down the streets of Richmond at speeds of up to 50 mph. To see a peloton of cyclists traveling at high speed, inches from each other and inches from the spectators is a breathtaking sight to behold.

Weather is gonna get wet tomorrow, so it will be interesting to see the impact of that!

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman Photography. No reproduction without prior written consent is authorized. See http://www.saxmanphoto.com for more details and more photos.

Technically, it’s Friday. But my team participated in a group trail ride yesterday, so I did not have a chance to post until now. Not a lot of time this morning, either, as the Junior Women’s road race is getting underway, and I want to get some shots of that.

Enjoy!

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman Photography. No reproduction without prior written consent is authorized. See http://www.saxmanphoto.com for more details and more photos.

It was a beautiful day in Richmond, and the elite men were getting it done in the 53km individual time trial. These incredible athletes began their runs at King’s Dominion amusement park and the course took them through rural Hanover and Henrico Counties before ending at 5th and Broad in the city of Richmond. I considered photographing in these areas, but having resigned myself to primarily getting around by bike this week, I decided to stay closer to downtown. And as much as I love the images I am getting, I worry they are beginning to look the same. It may be time to vary the setting a bit, and the road circuit, which takes place tomorrow, may give me that opportunity.

I try not to be too heavy handed with the post production on my work, as I feel it often detracts from the subject matter. But, the last image posted here, which I would consider a “miss” (there have been a lot of them, trust me), had such interesting color and composition, that I decided to crank the pixels up a bit. If you like it, great. If not, I apologize, and yeah, I feel ya.

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman Photography. No reproduction without prior written consent is authorized. See http://www.saxmanphoto.com for more details and more photos.

More time trials today, and more people cheering on the streets, a trend we hope and expect to continue. The day was comfortable but overcast, with a few peaks of sun in the afternoon to bring out the colorful kits flying by at 30-40 mph. Was very pleased with many of my shots today and am posting more than I intended, but feel they all bring something a little different to the light table.

Having fun again with the street signs as compositional elements. Love the low camera angle, even though my neck is sore from craning underneath the steel barriers. The crispness of the high shutter speed stuff is great when focus is nailed, but I keep gravitating back to the pan/motion blur effect. I feel it captures the excitement and speed of this wonderful event, and so I find myself pushing that shutter speed slower and slower. It’d be interesting to hear comments from readers with your preference- crisp freeze-frame shots or panning motion blur? Or somewhere in between?

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman Photography. No reproduction without prior written consent is authorized. See http://www.saxmanphoto.com for more details and more photos.

It’s been kind of a big deal around here the past couple years: The UCI Cycling World Championships are being held in little ol’ Richmond, Virginia, the first time in the United States in about 30 years. After much hulabaloo, hype and anticipation, the big event finally got underway this past weekend. As I was racing a bike myself at the time in a six hour single track enduro, I did not get out to see any of the happenings until today.

Individual time trials took place today, and I ventured out with camera in hand to check it out. I hope to do the same each day this week and post a handful of my favorite pics from each day here. Keep checking back for more!

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

Richmond 2015 UCI Cycling Championships in Richmond, VA

All photos ©Jeff S. Saxman Photography. No reproduction without prior written consent is authorized. See http://www.saxmanphoto.com for more details and more photos.