Course Tape and 'Cross Photography

May 06, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Caution-tape is ubiquitous at cyclocross races. From a pragmatic point of view, the tape is often a necessity to mark out a course. But, the thin cordon may frequently appear as a distraction or obstruction in photographs. Completely avoiding tape whilst capturing images of 'cross racing is difficult too, since it may line both sides of a course. Nevertheless, there are ways to use the ribbon and perhaps even enhance a photograph.

Allison Arensman (Fiets Maan Racing) at the 2012 CX NatsAllison Arensman (Fiets Maan Racing) at the 2012 CX NatsAllison Arensman (Fiets Maan Racing) at the 2012 CX Nats

In the simple photograph above, of Allison Arensman (Fiets Maan Racing) at the 2012 CX Nats in Verona Wisconsin, the tape in the foreground frames the racer. Back in Northern California climes, and BASP at Coyote Point, the following photograph of Ned Overend (Specialized) is captured from a point of view underneath the tape. The composition leads the tape from the top left corner toward the racer. The flat clouds and white in Overend's kit also help this image.

Ned Overend (Specialized)Ned Overend (Specialized)Ned Overend (Specialized)

Another from Northern California, the Santa Rosa Cup course tape surrounds Ron Riley (Bike Station Aptos) in the photograph below. The composition both frames the racer and has lines to show where he raced from and where he is racing to.

Ron Riley (Bike Station Aptos) between a Narrow Gauge of TapeRon Riley (Bike Station Aptos) between a Narrow Gauge of TapeRon Riley (Bike Station Aptos) between a Narrow Gauge of Tape

Sometimes the tape merely provides chromatic coordination as in this blue on blue with Nicole Thiemann (Team CF Elite) at CXLA (below).

Blue on Blue with Nicole Thiemann (Team CF Elite)Blue on Blue with Nicole Thiemann (Team CF Elite)Blue on Blue with Nicole Thiemann (Team CF Elite)

One final example, in the following photograph the tape appears on the left, to the right, down low, and up high. It is included simply to reflect the tape's purpose...a corridor in the course that Peter Knudsen (TBB.cx) follows.

Peter Knudsen (TBB.cx) Tackling the Course and the Mud at Lange TwinsPeter Knudsen (TBB.cx) Tackling the Course and the Mud at Lange TwinsPeter Knudsen (TBB.cx) Tackling the Course and the Mud at Lange Twins

Leading lines and framing within the composition are oft used in photography. Sometimes, course tape can fit these same purposes in a manner that accepts they are a part of the scene of cyclocross racing. As such, they become less of an unwanted portion in the imagery.

 

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