Sunday, August 4, 2013

Indian Ladder 15K Trail Race Photoshoot

More or less on a whim, I drove west out to John Boyd Thacher State Park near Albany, NY to take photos of the Indian Ladder 15K Trail Race. This is at the outer edge of my travel radius for most photoshoots, but it looked like a cool race in a cool place.

Runners in the Indian Ladder 15K Trail Race

The park (and therefore this race) is all about location. It's situated at the northern edge of a forested plateau, with a sudden escarpment overlooking the broad valley below. From the top of the cliffs, you can see downtown Albany and all of the surrounding towns. Looking at the course map online, I saw that the race route comes out into an open grassy area near mile 1 and I thought that this spot could make for some particularly attractive photos that showed both the runners with good morning light on their faces and soaring scenery suggestive of the race's name.

Unfortunately, I had a miscommunication with the police about parking, and ended up missing the shot I actually wanted when they came out to make me move my car (I'd parked it along a roadside because the gates to the parking areas were locked until 9, which was when the race started). Adapting, I got some less attractive shots of runners in the woods at mile one and a half. Many thanks to the helpful volunteer directing runners at the junction there. Once they'd all gone by I went back to the original spot and managed to salvage the shoot by getting some nice photos of each runner with the escarpment in the background at about mile four and a half The full photo gallery can be seen at Northeast Race Photo

Afterwards, I took a brief hike along the actual Indian Ladder Trail (which the race doesn't use, for obvious reasons as it's quite a popular tourist attraction) and was very pleasantly surprised at how cool it was. 

Cool cliff cove along the Indian Ladder Trail

The slowly-eroding escarpment at John Boyd Thacher State Park in New York

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