Photo marathon? Yes it was.

My "bib" for the photo marathon

This past weekend, I participated in the 3rd annual Vancouver Photo Marathon. Its 12×12 logo means that participants receive a 12-exposure roll of film at the start. Each hour for the next 12 hours, a theme is revealed, and participants have to use a single shot from that roll that represents that theme. There’s no real time limit to complete a single shot, but the completed roll of film has to be handed in by the time the 12 hours have elapsed.

12 hours, 12 themes, 12 exposures

As a runner, the use of the word “marathon” in the event name seems fitting, and that was my mindset throughout the day. The mental aspect of finding an appropriate photo is compounded with the physical in terms of all the walking I did (14 kilometres is a reasonable estimate). There were “water stops” when I had to return to home base in the West End to retrieve the newest theme. Given all the walking I did, the need to stay hydrated and fed was essential (especially on such a warm day).

And like in an actual marathon, I encountered an equivalent to a “wall” in the late afternoon, when I fell a theme behind amid flagging energy. A quick dinner before the 11th theme was revealed gave me a boost; the disappearing sunlight gave me more reason to get one more decent shot. The last shot was a bit fortuitous in that I didn’t have to go far, and took it within 20 minutes of the theme being revealed. That could be compared to the final sprint at the end of a race.

I think that finish made it a great experience overall; there is a certain level of endurance required to complete this marathon, not to mention the ability to think on the fly when finding a photo for the theme. It certainly invigorated my interest in photography; I’m already looking at a local project that will soon be accepting submissions. For now, I’m just hoping the prints come out OK. All the participants’ photos will be displayed on September 25. That should be fun!

(Speaking of running, the time has come to start training for real. As I mentioned last week, I am aiming to run in the Fall Classic. I’ve given myself 15 weeks, which should be enough time.)

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2 Comments on “Photo marathon? Yes it was.”

  1. Emad says:

    Nice post !

  2. […] (A follow-up to “Photo Marathon? Yes it was.“) […]


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