Lessons Learned From My First Color Run Photoshoot In Paris

The Color Run is a 5 km fun race, where the participants (and photographers) get sprinkled with a different color powder after each kilometer before ending at a giant party. The race is neither timed, nor do participants actually need to run. Everyone is free to walk, crawl, jump, etc. The aim of the Color Run is to promote health and fitness in a colorful way.

Since I fully support ideas that get people out of their houses and up on their legs, I had a closer look at this year’s Color Run in Paris (April 16, 2017), specifically at the pink color zone. Here is what I learned while looking at “the happiest 5K on the planet” through my camera lens.

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Wrap your cam

Sure, it is fun to be enveloped in 💙, 💚, 💛 and 💗 powder clouds while seeing bright smiles on all the faces around you. But if you don’t protect your camera, you will quickly turn from 😊 to 😢.

To prevent any gear damage, you actually don’t need any expensive equipment or camera cases. A couple of ziplock bags and tape will do. I ended up following more or less the instructions given in this video to wrap my Canon 60D and my 18-250 mm lens in a freezer bag, sealing it off with some gaffer tape.

While wrapping, keep in mind that you still need to be able to control your camera, including the change of settings and zooming in and out. You also want to keep your viewfinder and preview screen free for a quick photo check during the race. That being said, it will be easier to do all of this if you use a “plastic tunnel” in which you can also wrap your hands rather than choosing a plastic bag which is closed on one end.

To complete your protection, get yourself a cheap filter that you can place on your lens and use your lens hood.

It goes without saying that a waterproof case would be the best protection for your DSLR. I only have a waterproof case for my GoPro. So this one was my camera of choice when photographing among the runners and volunteers who threw the color in the air.

Wrap yourself

Now that you got your cam in the clear, protect yourself and your clothes. For obvious reasons, dress in an outfit that can get stained 👕. While the color thrown on runners is usually not hard to remove, I personally wouldn’t risk to ruin my latest shopping treasures 👗.

And if you plan to photograph the complete race in one of the color zones, right beside the volunteers throwing the color, consider wearing a face mask over nose and mouth to avoid breathing in too much of the colored powder over a longer time 😷.

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Me among the pros

Planning ahead and wrapping up

The participants of the Color Run will start the race without color. Forget the starting location for fun photos.

The first color zone is set up after kilometer 1. The second after kilometer 2, and so on. On the official Color Run website you can probably find details and a map to know in advance were the course leads and color zones are set up.

The finisher zone is for participants only. So if you really wanted to photograph there, you would need to buy a race ticket and run, walk, jump there.

I recommend the 4th color zone though. You should have easier access as photographer and the participants will have been sprinkled in at least 3 colors already. Since it’s no professional race, many participants are actually no longer running at this point, but they will stop to take selfies 🤳 or ask photographers nearby to take their group photo 📷. This happened to me several times, even though I wasn’t an official race photographer.

Normally I would also recommend to get in touch with the Color Run team on Social Media, but I was disappointed by the answer of the team behind the French account as they couldn’t give me good advice with regards to photo locations in Paris. Feel free to try anyway. You might get more lucky 🍀.

Once you got all the colorful shots you wanted, start spreading your images on Social Media immediately and over a course of 2 or 3 days after. Anything lasting longer will stay unnoticed. For a chance to get some extra exposure on the official Color Run accounts tag your content with #colorrun #colorrun[cityname] #colorrun[year] #happiest5k.

And now it’s time for some photos and a short video of my first Color Run 💗

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Free Entrance To The Paris Photo Salon 2016

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Paris: The three Towers

The Salon de la Photo will take place from 10 to 14 November in Paris, Porte de Versailles, Pavillon 5. 181 exhibitors are to be expected; photographers will show off their artwork and professionals will give talks.

I think there is no need to convince you that this is going to be big and beautiful. If you plan to come to Paris you can buy your ticket online for 9€ (instead of 12€ at the venue), or, and that’s what I just did, you can get a free entrance badge thanks to Canon France with the code CANN16.

All you need to do is to enter your code in the field after the sentence Should you be in possession of a document (invitation card, letter, e-news, advertisement…) with mention of an access code, please enter it here. Hit “Activate my Code” and print the digital badge they’ll email you over. That’s it — you’re good to go!

❤️ 💛 💙 💜 Canon!

You can’t make it to Paris for the Salon de la Photo? Follow the hashtag #SalonPhotoParis for live impressions and probably 1 or 2 photos. There should be someone with a camera there…

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Happy #WorldPhotoDay And Look What I Found

Today is World Photo Day. Yay. Snap. Snap.
But wait, you might wonder, I’m taking photos 365 days a year; what’s so special about August 19th?

Today is about sitting down and honoring all those visual storytellers who share the passion to communicate through this powerful medium and who strive to inspire and educate about wildlife conservation, the ecological crisis or social injustice (just to name a few examples).

Today is about sitting down and putting the people behind the camera in the right focus.

Thanks to the Social Media hashtags #WorldPhotoDay and #WorldPhotographyDay you can easily browse worldwide contributions shared by international photographers and associations today. Here are my favorites so far:

Do you have some #WorldPhotoDay favorites to share? Which ones made you laugh, think, cry?

If you like this post, please follow me on Instagram for a fresh photo each day

Weekend Wanderings: Cobblestone Playground

In an attempt to fight the city’s pollution, Paris’ most famous boulevard — the Champs-Élysées — is closed for cars every first Sunday of the month. It’s when the 2 kilometre-long street between the Place de la Concorde and the Arc the Triomphe becomes a playground for pedestrians and cyclists.

Besides artists, sports clubs and charities, visitors can currently also enjoy the decorations for EURO 2016. I had a look.

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ANZAC: Fields Of Remembrance

100 years ago, New Zealand went to war. The nation was still young, its population rather small, and the war wasn’t fought on their grounds. 103,000 New Zealand soldiers (10% of the population) served in Europe during World War One (1914-1918).

18,200 didn’t return home.

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Auckland’s Field of Remembrance in front of the town’s War Memorial Museum, which lit up in red and served as screen for images from WW1 (“Illuminate 2014: Duty and Adventure” by Gaylene Preston).

To remember these soldiers, New Zealand commemorates ANZAC Day each year on the 25th of April. This year, centenary commemorations started throughout the nation, and they will continue till 2018.

As the centenary commemorations will progress during the coming 4 years, the objective for all communities throughout New Zealand is to create Fields of Remembrance with personalised white crosses to honour those in their community who served the nation overseas during World War One.

100 white crosses have been installed already in Auckland Domain. More will be placed soon. (Please click on the images to see them bigger and in better quality.)

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Field of Remembrance in Auckland Domain.

More Event Photography!
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1 Million Tweets To #BringDownTheKing – Hilarious Marketing

Have a look at my mobile snapshots from a creative kiwi marketing campaign which caused “Game of Thrones” to trend on Twitter – just in time for the launch of season 4.

Short story: Game of Thrones fans were challenged over the past days to use their collective Twitter voices to topple King Joffrey (a fictional character created by George R. R. Martin) by tweeting the hashtag #BringDownTheKing.

For an explanation how this worked please click on the photos and read their captions.

Fans of the show could follow the progress of King Joffrey’s tumble on the official campaign site bringdowntheking.com. Two webcams broadcasted live (24/7) from Aotea Square in Auckland, New Zealand.

1 million tweets using the hashtag #BringDownTheKing were needed; goal achieved in 5 days.

My favorite moments today, shortly before the king came down:

1. A seagull s(h)itting on King Joffrey’s head getting extra applause from the audience
2. A fan stealing the crown after the fall and running away faster than any security staff

There are things that the best marketing agency simply can’t plan in I guess.

By the way…

…I did my part:

 

…even though King Joffrey wasn’t amused:

 

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Champions

Auckland CBD Basketball

Champions do not become champions when they win an event, but in the hours, weeks, and months, and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely a demonstration of their championship character.
~Michael Jordan

Photo details (please click on the image for best quality):
Canon EOS 60D, 17mm, ISO 1000, F4, 1/8 sec., no filter, no flash.
Panorama out of 6 single shots with the above settings.

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