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On the 27th of November 2011 I was invited along to the National Cyclo Cross Championships at the Moorways Stadium in Derby to take some photographs of the event.
I attended an earlier stage in the championship in January 2011 and at that time I tried my hand at generally photographing the cyclists without any real agenda.
This time I decided I wanted to concentrate more on the cyclists themselves rather than their bikes and gear. I wanted to capture the expressions on the faces of those taking part.
As the main (Senior) event was taking place mid-afternoon I was a little concerned about how much light was going to be available to take some decent portrait shots. I decided to go to the stadium and into the wooded area where the main part of the course was going to run. It was immediately apparent that I was going to need a flash if I was going to have any chance of getting the shots I wanted.
On the day I went along armed with my usual bag of gear. I'd already took the decision to use my Nikon 70-300mm lens and my SB600 flash unit.
I initially put the camera on a monopod but in practice that made it very difficult to change orientation. I set up the camera in manual mode with an ISO of 200. I set the flash to manual and worked between the aperture and shutter speed to control the exposure.
All in all I had a great day out. Four of my favorite shots from the day are seen here.