The End of My Photography during the 2008 Missouri River 340 Race
This article was originally published in my old Paddling with Camera blog on July 24, 2008, i.e., just after the 2008 MR340 Race. The big sandbar was, of course, Hills Island.
In early MR340 races I was doing much more photography than nowadays. Perhaps, I need to slow down and have more camera time. I am not going to win anything. During the 2017 race I just shot a few pictures at the start and then at Dundee sandbar with Olympus Stylus TG-5 .
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 here.
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. The above picture is a HDR image derived from 3 frames shot with different exposure time, processed and map toned with the Photomatix software. I preferred not to count how many boats passed me during my 25 minute shooting.
During the 2007 race I also stopped to shoot sunset between Waverly and Miami. 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 Connie. I focused on paddling and shooting occasionally with my compact Pentax Optio W30.