Be sure to add your blog to my blog list -- Click HERE or blog list above to add your blog!

Apr 6, 2013

Tips for using your camera during races

Some people wonder how I can carry a camera when I'm running a race.  Here are a few suggestions for what helps me if you decide to try it.

1) First, I carry a small point and shoot.  The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1.  Here's what it looks like:

It's light, easy to carry and fits in the palm of my hand.  It also has a camera strap which you need when running with it just in case it slips out of your hand or you need your hand free.  I'd really like to get a water, freeze, drop proof one so I don't have to worry about it if it rains during a race but I've been lucky overall with weather.

2) Settings - I used to just use the normal auto setting but I'm finding that it does not work that well.  I have to take a ton of pictures and many don't come out when you are running.   I've seem to have found if you put it in the sports mode, it takes the picture much faster and much clearer.  The sports mode is made for motion but really for motion you are trying to take and not designed for you running but it works better.

3) Amount of pictures - As I said, I take tons of them.  I took 222 pictures for my last race review.  You need to.  It's the only way to get some good ones(in my opinion).  If there is a shot I want, I will try and take it and then immediately take another one just in case.  You don't have time to check the picture during the race.

4) Don't stop - Keep running your typical pace.  I've gotten used to just running with the camera.  It's pretty much like running if you carry your phone.  I also sometime use my Armpocket Sport i-20 to carry the camera too.  It's designed for my iphone but fits my camera nicely as well.  The only real exception is the full marathon.  I could probably carry it and might try at my next one but it's difficult to have that to worry about it for 26.2 miles.

5) Don't use zoom - you can't get a good picture with it.  It's not going to happen.  The camera is more sensitive with the zoom and you need a steady hand.

6) Don't worry about what people think.  Yes, I probably look crazy out there with it.  I even have some race pictures of me from race photographers with my camera out but the pictures are important to the story and some have great views.

7) Think about how you might use the pictures.  When I take some of them, I think about how they will fit on my blog header, on my Facebook page or might just be a cool picture.  Thinking ahead will get you some better pictures.

8) Use cropping software.  I just use the free PicMonkey website to crop and adjust the pictures.  It makes a difference when you crop the picture to the scene.  It looks much better.  Here's an example.
I hope some of these quick tips will help you in photographing when you are actually racing the race.  Try it out.  You might find it's easier than you thought.


Rest day on the schedule today!


Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!


  1. Hey-I saw you on and thought I would come over and check you out. Great camera tips. I carried cameras for my marathons but I don't normally carry one for shorter races. I am going to have to start. Thanks!

  2. I have only tried running with my phone and using the camera on it. It doesn't take great pictures. We have the bigger Luminx and it takes great pics, so I imagine that one does too. We bought a small point and shoot but even when standing still it takes pretty bad pics. Great tips!

  3. Thanks for the tips,
    I want to start taking pictures during my races.

  4. I'm a camera runner, also! Several friends think I'm crazy but I love it! It feels strange now to run without anything in my hands! You gave all great tips! Thanks for sharing! :0)