Outdoor Focus Winter 2017 - Page 4

Runners and Riders b Jon Sparks faces a tough challenge in the hills of the Lake District A recent two-day shoot embodied many of the challenges, logistical and technical (and physical!) which some assignments pose: covering a substantial distance within tight time constraints while still capturing a decent range of shots. This required careful planning as well as flexibility on the day. Former Guild member Mark Sandamas now runs Coast to Coast Packhorse, providing logistical support for walkers and others tackling Wainwright’s Coast to Coast route. Mark’s also a fell-runner, and was planning a runners’ crossing with two Australian guests. One, Chris Ord, is Publisher/Editor of TrailRun magazine Down Under, and leads running tours; the trip was a pilot for these too. Joining them for four days, partly on foot, partly on bike, freelance writer Ellie Ross would be covering the trip for outlets including The Guardian. Mark and I met beforehand to discuss the shoot, scrutinising maps and considering the variety of shots required. We agreed I’d join for two days, the third and fourth of the journey. I’m no fell-runner, so my only chance of keeping pace was on my mountain bike. A further refinement was added when we realised that my partner Bernie was free on the first of these days. www.jon-sparks.co.uk I knew that I had to pare down my photographic kit. Time constraints ruled out faffing with multifarious lenses and flashguns. Besides, I needed to be able to keep up, and there was some distinctly technical terrain on Day 1, while Day 2 would be easier but longer. Day 1 Ellie Ross running down Grisedale with the crags of Dollywaggon Pike behind. One of the locations I’d earmarked on my way up the valley earlier. Focal length 22mm (Full-frame equivalent 33mm) DAY 1 T Day 1 Looking down Grisedale towards Ullswater. Having lost the planned skyline shot, this was some compensation, though it didn’t actually need the longer lens I’d carried. Focal length 112mm (Full-frame equivalent 168mm) 4 Outdoor focus | winter 2017 he runners were starting from Grasmere but we’d decided that I’d start from Patterdale and rendezvous at Grisedale Tarn. I envisaged my first shot being a dramatic skyline view as they crested Grisedale Hause. This demanded a long lens, and this dictated that I’d take my venerable (2010) Nikon D7000 rather than a newer full-frame camera. I also packed a cheap Sigma 55–200mm zoom; on APS-C sensors, 200mm gives an image equivalent to a 3