The 2017 London Marathon was one of my first attempt to street & event photography in London. I didn’t set many expectations about the outcome as I haven’t done much of this kind of shoots in the past. So instead, I’ve turned my mindset towards exploration and fun.
Catching up with elite runners
My plan was to camp first around Greenwich (6-7th mile), trying to catch elite runners that were leading in the race. Unfortunately, I’ve arrived there a little bit late and both sides of streets were fully packed with spectators. So, couldn’t find any suitable spot I walked few minutes around the University of Greenwich and settled on the side of the Trafalgar Road.
Just in time, as the first runners were suppose to arrive shortly. Unfortunately, my lens had some troubles with focusing and most of the elite runners have run by and I didn’t take any good quality shoot… Lesson learn!
After around 15-20 minutes, I decided to move further down the street, walking to the 2nd location that I planned to visit, around mile 17th. I had to get to the opposite side of the Thames River. Fortunately, right there was Greenwich Foot Tunnel, which takes you right there.
Closer to the fast runners
From the tunnel exit, I’ve simply walked alongside Westferry Rd, in the direction of Canary Wharf. It wasn’t that much crowded here so I could get really close to the runners and I’ve managed to catch few interesting photos.
I’ve used 2 lenses: the wide-angle, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 and an old, 50mm f/1.8 Canon prime. This is still the same, minimalistic combination of lenses I’m using.
I’ve stayed here a little longer catching the efforts of runners going for sub 3:00 finish time, which means also very strong pace.
The running fest
As I moved closer to DLR stations the was again much more spectators and cheering. This was really great feeling and I imagine it is even much more intense if you’re a runner. Live music, applause, signs, people shouting runners names, cheering, drums - all of this creates a quite spectacular experience. I know this feeling since I was running my first marathon race in 2011, 6 years ago…
When I was now walking with my camera alongside the street full of crowds and runners, each fighting their internal battle with fatigue, exhaustion, pain and weaknesses, I decided I want too, to be part of this experience next year. So, a few days ago I’ve signed up for the ballot to enter 2018 London Marathon.
Wish me luck and maybe we’ll meet on the streets in 2018!
If you want to see more photos from, feel free to check my full Flickr gallery album from 2017 London Marathon.