Thu - July 24, 2008

The End of My Photography during the 2008 Missouri River 340 Race

Sea Wind canoe and sunset over Missouri River

I packed my Canon EOS 40D camera with a tripod for the recent MR340 race. I launched 40 minutes before the start and paddled across the Kaw River to shoot 150 boats lining up above boat ramp, then starting, entering the Missouri and heading down the river.

Exactly speaking, there were only 149 boats starting since my Sea Wind canoe was waiting for me stacked in a muddy beach of the Kaw River. Amazingly, I lost not more than 5 minutes to other boats before I was able to launch and start my race. You can see 8 of these pictures in the Fitness Paddling blog.

After 86 miles and more than 12 hours of almost non stop paddling (just a few minute breaks at two checkpoints) it was time to stop and turn my navigational lights on. Fortunately, the Big Muddy offered a beautiful big sandbar for this purpose. I couldn't resist the quiet sunset and unpacked my camera and tripod. I spend next 25 minutes shooting. I preferred not to count how many boats passed me during that time.

The above picture is a HDR image derived from three 3 frames shot with different exposure time, processed and map toned with the Photomatix software. It is similar to my recent picture of the Colorado sunset combined from 5 frames.

During the 2007 MR340 I also stopped to shoot sunset between Waverly and Miami, but I was about 10 miles closer to Miami paddling a faster Thunderbolt kayak. Mark Przedwojewski and Brian Weber were just passing in their Kruger cruiser. At that time Connie was at Miami looking upstream and shot a picture of West Hansen and Richard Steppe approaching the checkpoint.

This year I managed to shoot Toby is his Sea Wind leaving the sandbar. Why he was in such a hurry?

It was the last time I used Canon camera during the race. My serious photography attempts ended there. The camera and tripod remained packed till Coopers Landing where I left them with my wife. I focused on paddling and shooting with my compact Pentax Optio W30.

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