Nowadays, I only shoot a couple of road races per year, the Chilmark 5K on Marthas Vineyard being one; I used to shoot many!

My preferred lens is the excellent Canon EF 300 f/2.8. Most sport shooters use a 70mm to 200mm zoom lens, I always have that lens on my backup camera, but it is not my first choice.

The 300 is super fast (to focus), super accurate, and produces a thin depth-of-field and a beautiful bokeh (lens blur). I have owned this lens for 12 years, and I have only ever used it at f/2.8.

The bottom line is that it produces beautiful images, so why wouldn’t I use it? My preference is to shoot high-quality images, and while I miss more shots than if I used my 70mm to 200mm, I am totally okay with that because what I do shoot is beautiful. My apologies to those I miss.

Shooting the Chilmark 5K begins with a 100+ mile journey;

  • Depart from home: 5:25 am
  • Pick up my friend and second-shooter, Scott: 6:00 am
  • Arrives at the Palmer Avenue parking lot in Falmouth, MA: 7:10 am
  • Wait for a bus and board the 8:15 am ferry
  • Arrive in Vineyard Haven, Marthas Vineyard at 9:00
  • Meet our ride and arrive at the race finish line at 9:30
  • Race start: 10:30
  • Board a bus back to Vinyard Haven at 12:30 pm
  • Enjoy lunch in the Black Dog restaurant and board the 2:30 pm ferry back to the mainland.
  • After dropping Scott off, I arrived home at 5:30 pm, ready to work on the images, catalog them and build out the online photo store.

For the race itself, the conditions, as usual, were not great. The sun was strong with no cloud cover and was perpendicular to the runners, creating strong shadows. On the upside, because I shoot in manual mode, there would be no need to make any lighting adjustments during the race. It is not an easy exposure to set up because of the reflection from the pavement but I opted for:

  • f/2.8
  • 1/800
  • ISO 100

The camera meter indicated that I should shoot at 1/1000, but the test shots were slightly under-exposed, and I chose to slightly over-expose the images to counteract the shadows.

I am delighted with the outcome because strong summer sunlight is tough.

Enjoy this selection of images.

he 2021 Chilmark 5K was held on August 14, 2021, in Chilmark, Massachusetts. The race is a fundraiser for the Chilmark Community Center, and it is one of the most popular running events on Martha’s Vineyard.

The race started and finished at the Chilmark Community Center, and it took runners along Middle Road, a scenic route that winds through the hills of Chilmark. The course is relatively flat, with a few rolling hills, and it is a good challenge for runners of all levels.

The 2021 Chilmark 5K had a record turnout, with over 1,000 runners participating. The overall winner was Ian Neill of Somerville, Massachusetts, who finished the race in a time of 16:57. The women’s overall winner was Amory Salem of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who finished in a time of 18:36.

The 2021 Chilmark 5K was a great success, and it raised over $50,000 for the Chilmark Community Center. The race is a popular tradition on Martha’s Vineyard, and it is sure to continue to be a popular event for years to come.

Here are some additional details about the 2021 Chilmark 5K:

  • The weather was perfect for running, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s.
  • The race was chip-timed, and results were available online shortly after the race.
  • There was a post-race barbecue and awards ceremony at the Chilmark Community Center.
  • The race was sponsored by a variety of local businesses.

The 2021 Chilmark 5K was a great day for running, fundraising, and community. It was a day to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Martha’s Vineyard, to support a worthy cause, and to celebrate the spirit of running.