Baby, We Were Born To Run

It’s late now. And I was up early today (4:30 a.m. to be exact.) But after a catnap this evening, I thought I’d get this up.

The other day I mentioned that I had something interesting planned for Sunday. Well, the reason that I was up at 4:30 a.m. was because I had the unique and distinct pleasure of shooting the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge at the request of the Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ).

Back on January 1, when I shot the Polar Bear Plunge, I met a great gal named Lynn Schindel from the SONJ. Turns out we have a friend in common. I gave her my card and, thankfully, she kept me in mind. She dropped me an email on Wednesday and asked me if I’d like to be one of the shooters for the event. Aside from the fact that it’s a great event for a great organziation, the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge is the only time pedestrians may travel on foot through the tunnel. I was in.

So, it was up at 4:30, grab some coffee at Dunkin Donuts and head up the NJ Turnpike Got there, met up with Lynn, got my shot sheet, checked my CF card and was off.

Ironically, on Friday, I had read a very good and timely post over at Digital Photography School called “Shoot Like A Photojournalist” by Chas Elliott. His blog is here. He gave me a lot of great ideas for when I hit this event.

Even thought I was one three shooters (plus one from the NJ/NY Port Authority), and there were certain shots I was expected to get (runners, awards ceremony, etc.) the rest of the time, I was out trying to tell the story with my camera. With so many interesting people it wasn’t hard.

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After a while though, it dawned on me what I should also shoot…the thing that all these folks had in common (besides their fitness levels.) And when you walk around a running event you start it notice it. The shoes. It’s gotta be the shoes. All makes, models and colors. But it’s gotta be the shoes!

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And, during the whole time, I always tried to get my camera in a new place. After 9/11/, I’m fully aware that getting a half mile into the Lincoln Tunnel and sitting on the catwalk while 3,000 runners pass you is pretty damn cool. Something I wouldn’t get the chance to experience without enjoying having the 20D to my eye. And while I’ll reserve posting any shots from inside the tunnel (I’m not sure what the rules are about that given security concerns but I got some cool ones. I can say it’s remarkably well lit – and also the road surfaced was degreased the night before and clean, fresh air was pumped in. Still, hitting the crowd with 430 EX at about -1/3 power or so was the best thing I could have done), I did try to get my camera into a new place. While the other shooters stood and, well, shot, I took a different tract. I like the low-angle shot and this gave me some great opportunity for that.

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One of the most fun parts was that I got to meet up with a bunch people from my job who entered the race as a team. After doing the nice “corporate” shot by the entrance to the tunnel…I took the camera down from my eye, looked at them and said “OK, you guys just ran 3.1 miles on HOT day for a great cause. Gimme some craziness and have some fun.” Love what they gave me (especially the cup on top of the guys head :-D)

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I’m still working through the ton of images from today. If anything else pops out at me, I’ll report back. These were some initial looks from a great day. Big thanks to Lynn and the Special Olympics of New Jersey. On a day that started out warm and turned flat-out hot (Texas hot at 92 in the Great State of New Jersey today), this was a pretty cool event to be a part of.

[Update: A big PS on Monday because I forgot this yesterday. As I leaving the tunnel to make my way to the awards ceremony, I turned around one last time. I’ve always driven down the road I was walking on, so it was odd being there. When turned around, I saw again the banner that was announcing The Lincoln Tunnel Challenge. And it struck me that it was hanging in the same spot were a huge American Flag hung after 9/11. When I would drive into the city, I’d see that flag and get chills. I’m not quite sure when they stopped hanging the flag in there – I knew it would be there forever – but still remembering that gave me chills again yesterday….]

© Mark V. Krajnak 2009 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 20D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS2 and Nik Software.

5 thoughts on “Baby, We Were Born To Run

  1. Mark, it was my good fortune to have met you. Great job. LOVED the shots and the energy behind the lens. Thanks again for the early wake up on an otherwise possibly lazy not yet Summer Sunday morning. You done good.

  2. Pingback: In Contrast…. « Mark Krajnak’s JerseyStyle Photography Blog

  3. Pingback: Tear Sheet: New Jersey Cops Magazine « Mark Krajnak’s JerseyStyle Photography Blog

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