The Colour Run and Velez-Malaga

September 10, 2017 - Torrox, Spain

A bit of a chance to sleep in this morning. Rob was to meet us in the square at 10am where he promised us coffee and a bit of a chat about Sports Photography and Shutter Speed Priority mode before the start of the Colour Run. As it turned out we were disappointed. None of the cafes were open. Rob's wife, Sue, came along this morning (with camera) and while we waited around she scouted about for coffee. We all stood or sat around and took in the surroundings. Under the colourful umbrellas above there were many locals in white 'T' shirts with the same logo and often wearing a brightly coloured backpack. Some were even doing warm-up jogs.

The stage was already set-up in the corner of the 'L' shaped square and there was music and the occasional gee up from the organisers.

Paco began opening his umbrellas at La Plaza café and laying the tables so we moved over there and Sue organised our coffees. Rob talked about various ways of capturing moving objects using Shutter Priority setting for fast shutter speeds to stop the movement or slower speeds to pan with the action. Autofocus setting was another point to focus on … ha, ha.

Rob also explained how the course of the run has changed again this year and he was not sure where the course went or in which direction the runners would return. When he parked the van to check what was happening he returned to find it taped in to the course so he thought he should move it to the top car park instead. There were cones and tape up there as well so he wasn't sure what would happen after the run.

While this was happening, and out of our sight, the run had actually started but Rob assured us that was the boring part, the real spectacle would be the return of the runners into the square. He explained how the runners would pass through a series of checkpoints out on the course. Each point was equipped with different coloured powder 'bombs' to mark the runners as they passed and by the time the runners finished they would be branded with five different colours.

A short while a Police motorcycle with lights and siren entered the square and the first runner arrived. He definitely had all the colours on his white shirt but mostly on the back. He must have surprised most of the checkpoints!

The first place-getter was so far ahead of the rest that we had plenty of time to get set up before the rest began to arrive. We all spread out along the street and around the finish area and we all got many good shots. Some of the runners seemed plastered from head to toe. Perhaps the more popular of the locals?

When we all seemed to have our fill of photographing the runners and their hangers-on and we began to congregate near our coffee table and near Rob he decided we should head off. He left us with Sue who led us down to the Tourist Information Office and, of more importance, the Bus Stop where Rob was to pick us up. Of course these plans were all subject to the course of the Colour Run and as it turned out Rob had to stop across the road and we blundered out into the traffic to get on board. (There is not really a great deal of traffic around Torrox nor is it very fast so wandering into the road after a quick look Left instead of Right is no great danger.)

Once our gear was stowed, the passengers were on board and Sue had been shown once again how the seat belts worked (raising his eyes to heaven) we were on our way. We had commented yesterday as we drove that almost every road sign pointed to Velez-Malaga and today that was where we were headed. Now that shouldn't present a problem! No it wasn't and Rob had already done scouting trips for these days in the field so he knew exactly where he was headed. The white church of Ermita de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios that sits on a hilltop above the town.

We took photos at slow shutter speeds and high ISO ratings inside the church and learnt the difficulties of white buildings in bright sunlight (as if we had not already seen them around Torrox). In fact we could commiserate with the painters who had been muttering about white on white (and perspectives) last night.

From the church surrounds there were also opportunities for landscape photographs and arty shots of fountains and churches through explanatory laser cut metal signs (one for Max and one for Margaret).

Our next stop was at a reservoir, Embalse de la Viñuela, for a picnic lunch of tortilla and salads, with fruit and juice. That was really plenty to eat. While we ate Rob gave a bit of a talk about the choice of Aperture Priority or Speed Priority in finding the correct exposure and about composition of landscape photographs. Much of this is now becoming second nature.

The edge of the reservoir gave us the opportunity to try different compositions and ways to include foreground in landscape photographs to lead in to the picture. The reservoir itself is striking in that the milky colour of the water gives an aquamarine tint to the sky reflection and the reflected light on white concrete actually appears green. A good chance for Rob to explain how shadows can take on different hues depending on the nature of the light from the sky or reflections from the water.

Thoroughly satisfied with our days efforts we returned to Torrox to work on our photos and to choose two shots from today and two from yesterday. Rob came around about 6.30pm and we passed over our image files that he then showed on his screen for comments and review. Unfortunately Sue and Karen don't have laptops with them and had difficulty transferring files so we could only have a brief glimpse of their work. Notwithstanding that the feedback from Rob was very good with useful comments about style, composition, lighting effects and exposures. Sue and Karen then left to walk to their house at the top of the hill for a quick tidy up before dinner.

At 7.15pm we gathered with the artists at the Bar San Roque again; this time with some trepidation as we had been disappointed with last night's dinner portions. Discussion tonight was about the artists annoyance with white buildings, shadows and perspectives. I don't think their tutor is endearing himself to them although they do admit he has a way with the 'Pueblo Blanco'.

Dinner tonight was Sylvia's mother's Paella for most of us but there was wine (tinto and blanco), bread and nibbles beforehand. Some had expressed reservations about rice and others about seafood so the paella was served with prawns separate from the main dish. My garlic allergy was already catered for with some chicken and chips and those with an aversion to rice also had the same. Salad was also served to accompany everything and there was olive oil and balsamic vinegar for those who wished. A much, much better meal than the previous night although I am told the paella was lacking in flavour. Probably a consequence of serving the seafood separately.

We thought the day had been very successful all round. The Colour Run was great fun and the trip out to Velez-Malaga and to the reservoir was a worthwhile chance to experiment with exposure and composition. An early start was scheduled for our drive to Granada so we left the group to their revelry and sloped off for an early(ish) night.



Margaret Day 2 - 1
Margaret Day 2 - 2
Max Day 2-2
Max Day 2-1


September 17, 2017
Great photos,
I wondered what the photo of the boy covered in colours was all about now I know.
September 17, 2017
Lucie went to a similar event at homebush last week, but it was a music festival instead of a run. Her shoes still have a purple tinge from all the powder!
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