Friday, 21 July 2017

Cambridge University Bumps (1 of 5) - At the Start

May Bumps

A bumps race is a form of rowing race in which a number of boats chase each other in single file, each crew attempting to catch and "bump" the boat in front without being caught by the boat behind.

The Cambridge University Bumps  are held on the river Cam in Cambridge. The annual  races started in 1827 but in 1887 it was separated into two races, the Lent Bumps held in February / March and the May Bumps held in May / June. These races where men only until 1974 when the May Bumps had woman races. The Lent races had women from 1976. There is also the Cambridge Town Bumps held in July which started in 1868.

So back in May this year one of our eminent sports photographers (Paul Sanwell) organised an outing for the  Cambridge Camera Club Wednesday Workshop to visit the May Bumps. We chose the fist day (It was a Wednesday). The races started at 13:00. Chis Fell, Jane Moore and I decided to meet in Milton and walk down to the start just past Baits Bite Lock.

The Races are started but a set of three canons. These beautiful canons date from the mid to late 1800’s. You can see photos of this part below. The person firing the canon is the new ‘owner’ of the canons. 

 I got home about 20:00 in the evening after a great time with friends.

Before I left for the event I though about what photos I would like to take (rather than my normal scatter gun approach to this type of event). I wanted to see if I could 

  1. Photograph the start of the race and in particular the firing of the canons.
  2. Focus on the crews and coxswain
  3. Try some slow shutter speed / narrow depth of field photos

This is the first of 5 posts on this day out. It will be followed by a blog on the 

Blog 2 - Rowers Portraits
Blog 3 - Coxswain Portraits
Blog 4 - The creative use of slow shutter speed and narrow depth of field (plus a bit of photoshop manipulation
Blog 5 - Lastly a set of monochrome pictures

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