Tag Archives: track

The Frame: Hurdling the competition

Lauren Stoops of Orono High School clears the last hurdle in the 55 meter finals at the Class B indoor track state meet in Lewiston on Monday. Stoops placed second. Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Lauren Stoops of Orono High School clears the last hurdle in the 55 meter finals at the Class B indoor track state meet in Lewiston on Monday. Stoops placed second. Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Indoor track is not an easy assignment for me. The lighting is usually awful and not abundant. All the events overlap each other. I come with a list of students to shoot from the sports desk but they always seem to be competing at once, in different events at opposite ends of the building.

And wow, do they move fast.

When shooting the 55 meter hurdles I’ve developed a routine. I find the student I’m looking for, note their lane, pick a hurdle and prefocus. Then I wait, one eye open, one squinted, saying a silent prayer to the spirit of Barton Silverman.

On Monday, the light was as bad as ever at the Class B Finals in Lewiston. I had the ISO on my camera cranked up to 6400 so I could squeeze something like f2.8 at a 500th of a second out of it. That gave me a razor thin depth of field and just enough stopping power freeze the runner. My camera doesn’t shoot fast, either. I would get one chance at one frame where Lauren Stoops would be in the focus range.

Bang went the starter’s pistol. I heard the tramp of sneakers running at my right ear and the clank of knees on hurdles. I tried not to blink.

Snap.

I got it. It felt good. I didn’t notice the other runner on the ground until later. It added a bit of drama to the frame. I wish her left hand was in the shot, but I’ll take what I can get with indoor track.