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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What’s New?

You might have noticed that I am blogging less often as I used to. It’s not that I have nothing to say or write about. And it’s definitely not that I don’t want to keep blogging. I do. Life is simply keeping me very busy these days.

But here are the good news: I keep on photographing. That’s why I recently updated most of my photo galleries on this site and you are welcome to have a look at what I’ve been up to in 2016 and at the beginning of this year.

I updated Landscapes, Weather, Nature, Animals, People and Urban to include photos from France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Here are a few of my personal favorites:

We are planning to travel quite a bit in 2017. New and old destinations are on our list and I promise that you will be able to read about our adventures over here 🌋🏕️🏖️🏜️🏙️

Talent

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Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
~Michael Jordan

Photo details (please click on the image for best quality):

Canon EOS 60D, 50mm, ISO 400, F16, 1/500 sec.
Location: Montmartre, Paris, France.

If you like this post please have a look at more Wise Words And Quotes In Images

Stravinsky Beat

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Reflecting life

Ever since I first visited Paris in 1998 I am hooked on the Stravinsky Fountain next to the Centre Pompidou. Back then I studied art and our professor insisted that we need to know the colourful art style of Niki de Saint Phalle. I couldn’t agree more. Her nanas are spitting images of life.

But when I recently passed the Stravinsky Fountain, I set my camera’s focus on the water reflections, mirroring a glimpse of Parisian life. Not a perfect one, but a beating and swirling one; beating like the pulse of a city that never sleeps and swirling like Igor Stravinsky’s “Feu d’Artifice” (Fireworks).

What can I say? ⛲🌊💙

Let’s put these reflections into context, shall we?

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Stravinsky meets Niki de Saint Phalle

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Stravinsky meets Hip Hop

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Stravinsky meets Paris

If you like this post please follow me on Instagram for more daily photos from Paris, France, the world…

Harmony

Love is the harmony of two souls singing together.
~Gregory J. P. Godek

Photo details (please click on the image for best quality):
Canon EOS 60D, 128mm, ISO 500, F9, 1/320 sec.
Location: Pont de Bir-Hakeim, Paris, France.

If you like this post please have a look at more Wise Words And Quotes In Images

New Life

New Life

The littlest feet make the biggest footprints in our hearts.

Our baby girl Ella was born on August 13. As proud parents, we can hardly wait to show her the world.
Two more feet to travel with us; two more eyes to open up new vistas; two more hands to link us together; one little sunshine to lighten our hearts on the way.

Photo details:
Canon EOS 60D, 50mm, ISO 640, F3.5, 1/50 sec., no flash, turned into B&W using Snapseed.

If you like this post please have a look at more Wise Words And Quotes In Images

Kiwi Curiosities

Thanks to one of my Kiwi tweeps (@nickwallen, a savvy Kiwi Marketing Manager) I recently discovered the New Zealand Story, a video “that defines the distinctly Kiwi attributes that make us [New Zealanders] unique”. To be precise, the story defines these three attributes as “typical lil ol’ EnZed”: Open spaces, open hearts and open minds.

After living in New Zealand for 3.5 years I wholeheartedly agree with its content, though the video doesn’t tell the whole story. How could it, in 3:45 minutes? Don’t get me wrong — it’s a great story, but it’s a flawless one as well. It’s TOO perfect. It lacks a little twist; or did you ever lose your heart to a perfect protagonist? I didn’t!

So I decided to use the occasion to publish my secret list of Kiwi curiosities (yes, I kept record), which – in addition to the New Zealand Video Story above – completes the picture and makes that small country on the other side of the globe uber adorable (at least for me). Have a read and let me know if you agree or disagree:

  1. At home – Kiwi curiosities that made me wonder on a daily basis:
  • Open spaces, yes. Open hearts, yes. Open minds, yes. Open windows, no. Want to get your windows cleaned from the outside? Professional window cleaners practicing high rise abseiling once a year is a thing in NZ.
  • Sinks without mixing taps. You got the choice between blisters, cold shock, or major bathroom flooding. Yay!
  • No mobile network in suburbs. Our friends living 30 km outside Auckland CBD cannot be reached after 6 pm. FYI: “Suburbs” in New Zealand can be whole cities, even complete stretches of a coast line.
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Finally clear view again!

  1. Locations and tourism – Kiwi curiosities that attract or confuse the common tourist:
  • Mountain names. Too long (Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­turi­pukakapiki­maunga­horo­nuku­pokai­whenua­kitanatahu), too scary (Mount Hopeless, Mount Misery, Mount Horrible, Mount Dreadful, Mount Bitterness), too… words fail me (Pudding Hill, Drunken Sailors Hill).
  • Talking about creative Kiwi names, please allow me to elaborate on bank names (ANZ, BNZ), restaurant names (Saigon, Tokyo, Brazil), hair dresser names (Newton Barbershop, Eden Barbershop, Roskill Barbershop), dry cleaner names (Symonds Street Dry Cleaner, Queen Street Dry Cleaner, Papanui Road Dry Cleaner)… you get the idea.
  • ALL towns in NZ are worth a visit. I ticked off the shearing capital, the salmon capital, the kiwi capital (not Wellington!), the gumboot capital, the doughnut capital… all equipped with life size statues of “whatever they’re famous for”. Why would you not consider a holiday photo with a 4 meter tall salmon as a must have?
  • A self-declared Republic in the Republic. The small township of Whangamomona on the Forgotten World Highway declared their own Republic as protest reaction to being moved to a different regional council. They have their own President (currently Murt “Murtle the Turtle” Kennard). No kidding!
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Doughnut capital in New Zealand — Springfield, what else?!

  1. Food – Kiwi curiosities I prefer to list without comment:
  • Fried pizza. Fried ice cream.
  • Vegemite (yeast extract spread from Australia) = yikes; Marmite (yeast extract spread from New Zealand) = yummi.
  • (Coffee) refill packs are more expensive than new (coffee) tins.
  • Bavarian hotdogs with Sauerkraut and milk roll (allow me one comment anyway: I’m German, you fools!).
  • Schwarzwälder Kirsch with strawberries (#OMG).
  • Typical food prices: .98 NZD or .99 NZD. But of course they have no 1 or 2 cent coins. If not paying by card, the cash price is rounded up or down accordingly.
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Kiwis love their food (drinks?) deep fried!

4. Personality — Open hearts, open minds, and…

  • Full trust in the honesty box system. I personally love it, though coming from Europe I need to work on that trust thingy…
  • A passion for meaningless security checks. Not sure I can generalize that point, but it happened to me, so it got to be on my list.
  • Embracing exaggerated journalism: “White Out – The Historic Snowfalls of 2011” — happened each time the national news had nothing else to talk about.
  • Crazy about the NZ catamaran racing in the Americas Cup 2013 against… oh, itself. “Did we win?”. #LOL
  • Down to earth people. I once asked on Twitter for Auckland cafes doing the best Latte Art. Gred Boyed, the host of TV NZ’s daily evening news tweeted me his personal recommendation. In France, I’m still waiting for Mélissa Theuriau to even join Twitter.
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Typical latte art: New Zealand fern!

5. On the road — (Spoiler) alert: Kiwis are bad drivers

  • Aggressive driving behaviour is the one point on this list which actually doesn’t make NZ more likeable. I have been constrained, pushed, honked and yelled at — both as driver as well as pedestrian.
  • Sticking to their national limit of 100km/h is not an easy task for many kiwis, especially the guys investing a ridiculous amount of money into a Porsche or Ferrari just for being told they can’t race with it.
  • Consequently, New Zealand is one of few countries that creatively address the problem of drinking and driving in innovative advertisements which other countries would consider taboo.
  • They teach dogs how to drive cars. Why? Good question!
  • Kiwis like to customize their car signs. I liked the sign of a German immigrant saying HOTOMA (hot granny).
  • Kiwis can take themselves very serious. In 2013, NZ changed an old road rule. They advertised for months (billboards, TV, social media) that the new rule would be in effect as of April 1, 2013. In March, they decided to change their ads and put the new rule in place March 25, just because they were afraid people would think the whole rule change would be an April Fool’s joke, increasing the chance of having more accidents in April.
  • When kiwis don’t drive, they walk or run. Barefoot. Whenever, wherever. My sympathy for that activity stops in front of the public toilet door. Theirs not.

There you go, that’s my personal list of Kiwi curiosities. It’s almost a declaration of love, ain’t it? :)

Quite a collection for someone who thought the Haka is the “most hilarious thing” about New Zealand. That’s 3.5 years ago now. Rookie mistake!

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